COACH OF THE YEAR Montego Bay United Football Club captured the most awards at the Professional Football Association of Jamaica (PFAJ)/Red Stripe Premier League (RSPL) presentation ceremony on Thursday night at the Courtleigh Auditorium in New Kingston. Chairman of the PFAJ Don Anderson described the season as one of the most interesting. “It has been one of the most intriguing coming to an end. MBU has been most consistent in three years by competing in the last three finals and winning two times,” Anderson said. “I salute MBU. However, Portmore’s Michael Binns scored a goal in the final that was worthy of a World Cup final,” he shared. He admitted that there were challenges along the way. “Personally, throughout my 37 years in administration, my firm belief is that off the field issues must be dealt with around the table. Football needs us all, so let us work together,” he also added. The 2015-16 champions collected the coveted title and winning cash incentive of $2.5 million, plus 35 medals, while beaten finalists Portmore United walked away with $1.5 million and 25 silver medals. Last season’s champions, Arnett Gardens, finished third and were rewarded $1 million and medals, while Humble Lion received $500,000 for their fourth-place finish in the 12-team league. MBU were the best defensive and top-scoring team. Their striker, Owayne Gordon, received four individual awards. Gordon, who missed the final last Sunday at the Montego Bay Sports Complex in Catherine Hall, received Round Three top striker for scoring 10 goals, the leading goalscorer with 20 goals, the Most Valuable Player and the Tony Burrowes Player Personality Award. MBU’s Jacomena Barrett won the goalkeeper of the year award for the third consecutive season, while former national player Paul ‘Tegat’ Davis won the Winning Coach award, and Dwayne Ambusley won the Winning Captain award. Marcel Gayle of first-time team in the Premier League the University of the West Indies FC, won the Coach of the Year award. Portmore United won the regular season award for the team that finished on most points and were also the team with the most wins. Junior Flemmings, who is on loan from Tivoli Gardens to MLS club New York Red Bull, was the Junior Player of the Year. MBU’s Dino Williams was the Round One top goal scorer with six goals, while Cory Burke, who started the season at Rivoli United before transferring to MoBay, scored the most goals (six) in Round Two. Boys’ Town FC won the FIFA Fair Play award, while the top referee was Valdin Ledgister and top assistant referee was Richard Washington. The RSPL best XI players were: Damian Hyatt (Arnett Gardens), Ladale Ritchie (MBU), Oneil Thompson (Arnett), Khareem Manning (Portmore United), Rosario Harriott (Harbour View), Ricardo Morris (Portmore), Andrew Vanzie (Humble Lion), Renae Lloyd (Arnett), Owayne Gordon (MBU), and Dino Williams (MBU).
With so many games bunched closely together over the next two weeks, Murray expects to continue alternating goalies from game to game. “We’ve got two goalies who are fresh and both are playing well,” Murray said. “Why wouldn’t you play both when that’s the case? I think if you’ve got two guys playing well it makes the most sense to play the one who is physically freshest.” The Kings will have to make a roster move if they activate Norstrom. Cowan likely no-go Right winger Jeff Cowan, who left Thursday’s game against Minnesota with a groin injury, is not expected to play tonight. It’s possible Cowan could land on the injured list, although the Kings will evaluate the situation over the next day or two before making a decision. LaBarbera seeing stars LaBarbera admitted he was a bit starstruck during Thursday’s home game against Phoenix. The 25-year-old LaBarbera has played most of his career in front of small crowds in the AHL, so one can imagine his reaction when he saw more than 18,000 fans at Staples Center on Thursday in his first start with the Kings. “A whole lot different than playing in front of the 2,000 or so fans I’m used to,” LaBarbera said. “And I guess I shouldn’t have been looking up at the scoreboard, but it was hard not peeking up there when they were showing all those (movie stars) in the crowd. That was pretty cool.” 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Kings coach Andy Murray insists his team’s goalie situation will eventually sort itself out. He’s just in no hurry to rush things along by naming either Mathieu Garon or Jason LaBarbera as the primary starter. The two newcomers alternated starts over the first two games Garon the season opener Wednesday in Dallas and LaBarbera the following night against Phoenix and even though LaBarbera was more effective in a 3-2 victory over the Coyotes, it will be Garon back in net tonight when the Kings host Minnesota at Staples Center. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREThe top 10 theme park moments of 2019 Garon isn’t focusing too far beyond tonight. “I think that’s the best way to do it,” Garon said. “You don’t have to be focused two weeks from now, you just want to be focused on the next game. We’re both going to get to play every two days, so that will be good.” Norstrom expected back Captain Mattias Norstrom is expected to be activated from the injured list in time for tonight’s game. Norstrom missed the first two games while recovering from the flu and a strained hamstring. After following a brisk one-hour skate Friday with a rigorous practice Saturday morning, Norstrom reported himself fit to play tonight. “I feel good, I’m ready to go,” Norstrom said. “That flu just threw me for a loop. I’m not sure the last time I had a fever like I that. I was probably a kid. But I’m finally back eating some good meals and feeling stronger.”