Pele FC’s Jumane Somerset and Delon Lanferman of Alpha United said that the MLS Combine is something every top Guyanese player should at least be given a chance to attend.
The two returned to Guyana last week after participating in December 17 – 20 MLS Combine in Curacao; an event organised by the Caribbean Football Union (CFU) through their partnership with USA’s Major League Soccer.
After joining other players from within the confines of the CFU and competing in front of professional scouts, Somerset and Lanferman are now awaiting confirmation from the GFF, who will be informed by the CFU if one of, or both Guyanese players were good enough to gain an invitation to the annual Adidas MLS Player Combine in Florida on January 8 – 13, 2016.
“It was a wonderful experience and I hope other players will get a chance to at least be seen” Somerset said in an interview upon his return.
Somerset, 22, is described as one of Guyana’s top defenders, but the player is also yet to make his Golden Jaguar debut.
Pele FC finished third in the STAG Elite League (Genesis) and conceded a total of 14 goals in their 16 matches played. Only league champions Slingerz FC (9) and Alpha United (11) conceded fewer goals.
“It wasn’t easy at all, and I think that I did my best. The coaches were hard on us and treated us like professionals. Apart from doing drills, we played couple of games against a local side” the Pele FC defender said.
Asked about the level of play, he added “I honestly expected more but I think our league level was way higher because I had a more difficult time marking players like Lanferman, (Vurlon) Mills and Daniel (Wilson) but I think I did my best so I’m keeping my fingers crossed.”
Meanwhile, for Lanferman, it was something he said that could not have come at better time in his career.
Lanferman finished the League (Genesis) as the highest goal scorer (11), one more than Pele’s Gregory Richardson. He played a pivotal role in his club’s success this year, despite them finishing second behind Slingerz Football Club.
The 20-year-old Lanferman is yet to make his Senior National team debut, though representing Guyana at the U-20 and U-23 levels.
“The level wasn’t all of that as I was expecting and I think it was good for me and Jumane because we were playing all the time so it was nothing new, but it was exciting” Lanferman said.
The CFU/MLS Combine caters for players between the ages of 18 – 22 years-old and is an annual showcase of Caribbean football talent organised jointly by MLS and the CFU, with the inaugural Combine being held in January 2014.
The Combine provides opportunities for Caribbean players to be observed by MLS scouts with the hopes of being invited to the MLS Combine, an invite-only showcase event held in Fort Lauderdale, Florida prior to the annual MLS SuperDraft.
The Combine is part of an agreement between the two entities as they try to promote football development throughout the Caribbean region
Gregory ‘Jackie Chan’ Richardson is the first and only Guyanese player so far to be signed by an MLS club following his 2009 deal with the Colorado Rapids