National Under-20 coach and former Reggae Boy, Altimont ‘Freddie’ Butler will tomorrow be honoured by the San Jose Earthquakes as one of the Major League Soccer (MLS) franchise’s original roster members when the league kicked off 20 years ago. Butler, the first Jamaican to play in the MLS, was drafted by the San Jose Clash (later renamed Earthquakes) in February 1996 in the second round (eighteenth overall) of 250 players in the league’s Inaugural Player Draft. He was also on the team’s roster for the first ever MLS game to be played which was against DC United. Tomorrow the San Jose Earthquakes will hold a 20th Anniversary Celebration when D.C. United visits to Avaya Stadium in a recreation of MLS’ inaugural match in San Jose on April 6, 1996, just four days shy of the exact day 20 years ago. As part of the affair all the former San Jose Clash players, staff and MLS representatives that made the inaugural season possible will be honoured at half-time. “It is always a great feeling to be part of history especially being the first Jamaican to be drafted for and to play in the MLS. Being recognised as one of the pioneers is a special feeling,” said Butler who departed the island yesterday for California. Among the former players who will be honoured alongside Butler are current Chelsea technical director and former Nigeria international Michael Emenalo, US Internationals Eric Wynalda, Eddie Lewis, Paul Bravo and John Doyle. Others include Mexican international Eduardo Missael Espinoza, Jorge Rodas (Guatemala) and Ben Iroha (Nigeria). Having been there at the start Butler now looks on with pride. “It has grown a lot. Right now it is a real big league compared to what it was then and all the signs show that it will grow even more. What I am most proud about is that it has opened the doors for a lot of Jamaicans and the performance of most of them means that we can become a major supplier of talent for the League,” said Butler, who was drafted out of the University of Southern New Hampshire. Even with that success though, the Port Royal native who distinguished himself as a schoolboy at Dunoon Technical High and at Harbour View before venturing overseas, said there is still more for Jamaicans to do in the MLS. “We have to change our outlook, training attitudes and approach. We are too laid back and that is one of the reasons for the most part why some of us do not stay too long there. Our thinking has to get to the level where we treat the sport as a job. We have to prepare our youngsters to know that this (football) is a job just like those you get dressed up in your suits for,” the man, who shares coaching responsibility for the country under-20 Boyz with his former Reggae Boy teammate Ricardo Gardner, said.
The organisers of the annual Danny McDaid 15k road race in Letterkenny hope to see participation for this year’s race exceed 200.Launching last years Danny McDaid 15k road race are from left Brendan McDaid, Danny McDaid, Siobhan Doherty-Barrett, Station House Hotel and Neily McDaid.Now in its ninth year, the race will take place on August 11th.Last year saw 140 runners take part in the Letterkenny Athletics Club organised event, and it is hoped that the continued growth of running in the town and the county in general will see even more take part. The race, named after the Newmills 1972 and 1976 Olympic runner, was established as a preparation for those preparing for marathons and half marathons later in the year.Speaking at the launch of this year’s event at the Station House Hotel, which is sponsoring the race for the fourth year, Mr McDaid said the numbers keep increasing.“It is at the right time for people who are thinking of longer distances,” he said. “People have been doing that many 5ks now that it is a nice change and it gives them a feel of where they are at in their training.“Before people used to just want to exercise but they did not want to go to the line to compete but today that is not a problem.” Chair of Letterkenny Athletics Club, Brendan McDaid, hopes the participation can exceed last year’s race, which was the biggest to date.“There are a lot more people doing fun runs. Every race this year has seen an increase. More and more people are being active and keeping fit and running is one of the cheapest ways of doing that.”Siobhan Barrett-Doherty of the Station House Hotel said the hotel was delighted to be associated with such a beneficial local event.“This is an event with strong local affiliations and we like to be able to support local initiatives as a local home-gown hotel,” she said.Registration swill be accepted right up until the morning of the race. Anyone interested can email: email@example.com DANNY McDAID 15K TO ATTRACT RECORD NUMBERS was last modified: July 31st, 2013 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:15kDanny McDaid