United Soccer League: Open Tryouts for the Puerto Rico Islanders • Latino Sports

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United Soccer League: Open Tryouts for the Puerto Rico Islanders

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NYC: On March 10th – 11th , the Puerto Rico Islanders FC will hold open tryouts for the 2010 season. The tryouts will be held at the Sylvan Lake Park in Orlando, Florida. If you wish to play professional soccer and have an appreciation for the Puerto Rican culture, then this is the team for you.

Not only will you have the opportunity to play in front of a strong home crowd at the Juan Ramon Loubriel Stadium in Bayamon, PR, you will have the opportunity to be part of the first Puerto Rican soccer team to win a North American Soccer Championship.

Founded in 2003, the Puerto Islanders is a professional soccer franchise that competes in the United Soccer Leagues (USL). Owned by a group of local investors and individual, the purpose for the Islanders was to create a soccer atmosphere in a baseball & boxing dominated country. Initially, the Islanders weren’t considered contenders but all of that changed on May 22, 2007 when the team appointed Colin Clarke as the Islanders Coach.

Recognized by the media and fans as “El General”, Coach Clarke’s “no-nonsense” approach and fierce discipline has made the Islanders into championship contenders and has restored pride in their orange & white jerseys.

Once recognized as a laughing stock, Coach Clarke and his coaching staff has turned the Islanders into a fierce and competitive team. Their most successful season was in 2008, when the Islanders earned the USL Commissioner’s Cup for having the best regular season record.

 

Along with the Commissioner’s Cup, the Islanders won the Organization of the Year. Addionally, the Islanders also swept the USL individual awards as they won Coach of the Year, Goalkeeper of the Year, Defender of the Year and Most Valuable Player.

Falling short of the championship, the Islanders lost 2-1 to the Vancouver White Caps in the USL Championship Match. Along with the team's marvelous 2008 and 2009 campaigns, the Islanders have put on back to back solid performances in the CONCACAF Champions League. Teams from Major League Soccer, the Mexican and Honduran Leagues are now aware of the “Orange Fury” tenacity the Islanders compete.

In addition to coaching the Islanders, Coach Clarke is also head coach of the Puerto Rico National Team. Early in his campaign, the National Team earned two wins against Bermuda and a draw versus Caribbean powerhouse, Trinidad & Tobago.

As a result, Coach Clarke won over the Puerto Rican people and instilled their faith in both the National Team and the Islanders. Based on the Islanders and National Team success, soccer in Puerto Rico is very much alive and you can be part of it!

For more information on the tryouts: www.puertoricoislandersfc.com

Cesar Diaz covers Soccer for Latino Sports (www.latinosports.com). Send Cesar a question or comment for potential use in a future column at [email protected]

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