September 15 – The Caribbean Football Union (CFU) and US pro-leagues operator United Soccer League (USL) have unveiled a new long-term partnership aimed at creating increased professional playing opportunities in the USL’s leagues.
The USL runs the second tier USL Championship and third tier USL League One in the US. The two leagues have drawn from the CFUs 31 nations for some of their best national team players. In the Championship’s 11 seasons, three league MVPs have come from the Caribbean (Yordany Alvarez/Cuba, 2011; Kevin Molino/Trinidad and Tobago, 2012/2014; Dane Kelly/Jamaica, 2017).
The new co-operation will also see opportunities for Caribbean coaches, referees, and front office staff in the two leagues.
The USL said that the first step in the co-operation will be enhanced player scouting across the Caribbean competitions with a planned combine for select players from the CFU nations to compete in front of USL technical staffs.
“Caribbean football has made tremendous contributions to the USL over the years and this partnership creates an exciting opportunity to augment that legacy,” said USL President Jake Edwards. “We are thrilled to work with the Caribbean Football Union and its members to grow the sport throughout the region and impact our communities together.”
On the playing side the USL said it will help build coach and sporting director certification as well as opne up the US market for job opportunities. USL sporting Director Mark Cartwright and club technical staff have also been committed to share best practices.
Off the pitch the USL will welcome CFU executives to league meetings where they will participate in educational sessions and interact with the owners and executives from USL’s league office and clubs.
“Part of our role in the CFU is to lobby for our member associations in all spheres and to court opportunity for administrators, coaches, players and our referees. This agreement does just that, opening pathways for the CFU, and it brings to the USL a tangible benefit, because our people in the Caribbean have the ability to add value wherever they are placed. This collaboration marries talent with opportunity. Everyone wins,” said CFU President Randy Harris.
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