Tired Arnett youngster late for MLS scouts
Arnett Gardens' clumsy handling of travel arrangements for defender Oneil Anderson to attend last week's MLS Caribbean Combine, has all but ruined the youngster's chances of being selected by coaches who were assembled in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, scouting talent.
Anderson, who arrived at the combine a day after it started, was exhausted after stepping off the plane Wednesday morning and ended up being late for a training session because he had fallen asleep in his hotel room.
The player was up from very early that morning, having reached the airport in Jamaica from 3 a.m., desperate not to miss his flight after Arnett Gardens had failed to fly him out of the island on Tuesday alongside players from other clubs.
Anderson, now back in Jamaica, said it was fatigue that caused him to arrive at the practice session late.
"When I get there, they say that I could go out on the training pitch or I could go up to my room and get some rest, because there was a four o' clock game (as well). I was really tired and I went up to my room and I dozed off a little, so that's why I turn up late to the training ground," Anderson said
Former Reggae Boy Tyrone Marshall, an assistant coach at MLS outfit Real Salt Lake, said Anderson was more than 30 minutes late for the practice session.
He said when Anderson arrived at the hotel, he instructed to him to drop off his things and come immediately to the training ground but Anderson turned up 45 minutes later.
"I was waiting there for 30 minutes and I didn't see him, so I went back to the hotel. Around 45 minutes later, Andy Williams called me to say that Oneil just got there," Marshall recalled.
Were it not for STAR Sports, Anderson would have missed the trip altogether. It was not until Patrick Roberts was contacted by reporter Marc Stamp last Tuesday that the uninformed club president started scurrying to book a flight for Anderson, who said he was in prior discussions with coach Jerome Waite.
Roberts, who is already trying to put out flames of discontent over player remuneration at the south St Andrew club, and had assured that Anderson's rushed departure and late arrival would not have affected him in Fort Lauderdale, yesterday shockingly revealed that he had not spoken to the player since his return to Jamaica.
"I have not spoken to him since he came back. When I do, then I can talk to you about it," Roberts responded when asked whether mismanagement may have ruined the 20-year-old defender's chances to secure an MLS contract.
The Major League Soccer Caribbean Combine is an annual showcase of Caribbean football talent between the ages of 18-21, organised jointly by Major League Soccer and the Caribbean Football Union in 2013. The inaugural combine was held in January 2014.
All 31 member associations are encouraged to send representatives who fit the criteria. 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.