Jeremy Garrett’s dream of becoming a professional footballer has landed on the doorsteps of reality, because he has proverbially struck ‘gold’ and will now join the Washington-based professional club D.C United for a two-month training programme with its Under-23 squad.
The season, running from May 14 to July 27, includes five to eight matches along training sessions three times per week.
Firstly giving praise to the Almighty, then to family members, close friends and coaches, the 18-year-old excitedly expressed himself by stating, “It’s a dream come true!”
“It’s a great feeling for me to be selected by DC United to be a part of their U-23 team. I must say it’s almost a dream come alive for me to have such a splendid opportunity. The hard work and dedication I’ve been putting in both on and off the field is finally paying off, and now I am happy for such opportunity on my side”, the national player told Guyana Times Sport on Sunday.
Garrett said the audition was intense, but it was not anything he was not able to comprehend, since he kept his composure, given he had had similar opportunities at the said club in 2017, and with Portugal’s Sporting Lisbon in 2016.
The club competes as a member of the Eastern Conference in Major League Soccer (MLS), the top level of professional American soccer; and based on reports, is in talks with the great Wayne Rooney of England to form an alliance. Garrett hopes to interact with such outstanding personalities in order to absorb a wealth of knowledge.
“Interacting with Rooney, should he sign for the club, could help build my character. A part of the programme stated (that) U-23 players may be selected to train with the first team, depending on performance over the season. If I can keep my performance up and get a chance to train with such great players, it would be a great accomplishment,” he disclosed.
Paving the way
Garrett could be following in the footsteps of Fruta Conquerors’ team mate Gregory ‘Jackie Chan’ Richardson — the first Guyanese player to sign a contract with an MLS team, when he joined Colorado Rapids in 2009. While the youngster’s accomplishment is in no way yet commensurate with what Richardson did in that era, he knows it can spark greater interest among youngsters.
“If I can do well here, I think that (many) more doors and opportunities may be opening for Guyana on the whole. I think that once I can remain focused and (am) guided correctly, I can reach even to the MLS senior division; and by doing that, I can possibly (pave the) way for all those young talents coming out of Guyana,” the former Chase Academic Foundation student expressed.