Ebanks invited to MLS Caribbean Combine

Jonah Ebanks - Cayman Sports Buzz file photo

Jonah Ebanks, the joint winner of the Cayman Sports Buzz Male Footballer of the Year Award, has been invited by Major League Soccer to its Caribbean Combine used to scout talent from the region.

“I was very surprised because obviously at my age, I don’t get too many opportunities. Although I was surprised, I was happy at the same time,” Ebanks, 21, told CaymanSportsBuzz.com.

Ebanks has developed into an integral part of the Academy Sports Club men’s team competing in the domestic Cayman Islands Football Association (CIFA) competitions, leading the Cayman Premier League in scoring with 17 goals last season.

Now, he’s going to join top prospects from across the Caribbean at the 9-11 January combine in Ft Lauderdale, Florida to be assessed by scouts from top clubs across North America.

“We as a league utlisze this event as a means of providing some of the tremendously talented players among the Caribbean’s 31 member federations to showcase their abilities for our clubs’ coaches and technical staffs,” explained MLS Director of Player Relations & Competition, Samyr Layne in a letter to Ebanks.

“The Caribbean Combine gives technical staff members the opportunity to see you play live with peers of a similar ability, and to speak and interact with you directly.”

Jonah Ebanks (right) and Karl Solomon were the joint winners of the Cayman Sports Buzz Male Footballer of the Year award.

Ebanks, who previously represented Cayman at the U20 level, is pleased to continue to get recognition for his footballing abilities. “I think it’s down to hard work. I always put in the hours at the pitch and I’m happy that it’s finally paying off,” he said.

“I want to take the opportunity and try to make a career out of what I love doing,” Ebanks told CaymanSportsBuzz.com. “The experience would be nice to gain because, obviously, I haven’t played football in the States, so I don’t know what’s expected but I’ll just try my best.”

No Cayman player was invited to the combine last year, as the MLS opted to scout only players competing in the CFU U20 qualifiers. Standout goalkeeper Ramon Sealy, of Bodden Town Football Club, was invited to the first ever MLS Caribbean Combine in 2014.

The MLS Caribbean Combine has led to players from the region being drafted by the league’s franchises, but although it is no guarantee that an MLS club will offer Ebanks an opportunity to sign with them, it will be a learning experience for the talented youngster.

 CaymanSportsBuzz.com congratulates him on the selection and wishes him the best at the opportunity provided.

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