As the Houston Dynamo broke ground on their new downtown stadium this weekend, word was spreading that a Jamaican central defender named Jermaine Taylor would be joining the team on trail this week. Jesus Ortiz at the Chronicle seemed convinced that unless Taylor falls flat in his trial, he's all but guaranteed to get a contract offer from the team. I guess we'll just have to see.
Taylor trialed with DC United last year and in reading through some Jamaican soccer forums over the weekend, the general reaction seemed to be surprise that he was not signed. Taylor is an experienced international defender with 37 caps for the Jamaican National Team, so there is every reason to believe he could make an impact in MLS. Already having fellow Jamaican Lovel Palmer on the team could help with Taylor's transition to MLS as well.
Taylor is 26 years old, just under 6 feet tall and has played his entire career in Jamaica for Harbour View and St. George's SC. Here's some thoughts on Taylor from JamaicaFootballFederation.com:
This sturdily-built player is a good header of the ball, deceptively quick, a good passer of the ball, a good reader of the game and a natural leader. If he gets rid of his sometimes casual approach then a place in the national team is his to keep.
Assuming Taylor has a good week of training, we should see him against FC Dallas on Saturday in Corpus Christi. If he plays, I'll be sure to keep an eye on him and try to get a better assessment of his play.
Dynamo executives, players and fans are still abuzz after the team was finally able to break ground on their new downtown stadium on Saturday. You can read about the event and enjoy quotes from a variety of dignitaries that were in attendance here and check out some photos from the event here.
There will be a web cam positioned on the stadium site that will allow fans to see the progress of construction over the next year and Dynamo Theory will be following along the entire process as well. Construction will begin immediately as the team and contractors will be on a tight schedule to have the stadium ready by next April.
Congratulations to Dynamo Academy forward Isaiah Noreiga, who was named to the Trinidad & Tobago roster for the 2011 CONCACAF U-17 Championships