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.
WICKET TAKERS SCOREBOARD Leg-spinner Damion Jacobs, who for the most part bowled in tandem with Miller, also played a part by taking three for 17. The other wicket to fall was accounted for by debutant fast bowler Reynard Leveridge. Wicketkeeper batsman Sunil Ambis, who was the joint top scorer in the Windwards’ first innings did not bat due to an injury. The win was the Scorpions’ first of the season after losing their opener last weekend away to defending champions Guyana Jaguars. “It was a fighting effort, and I must congratulate the lads,” said Miller, who is in his second match as captain. “I am happy that we won the game, and I am happy for the bowlers. “I am, however, not happy with the batsmen. They need to take it up on themselves and improve, as at this level the type of batting performances we are displaying are not acceptable.” Liam Sebastien, captain of the Windwards, who are now losing their second match in a row, described his team’s batting display as atrocious. “Its inexcusable having to score about 100 runs to win and getting bowled out for 60-odd,” he bemoaned. “It’s a game that we should have won having put ourselves in a good position to win. Jamaica will next host Barbados Pride at Sabina Park starting on Friday. Spinner Nikita Miller has hailed the character shown by the Jamaica Scorpions in their 41 runs win over the Windward Islands Volcanoes in the Digicel WICB Regional Four-day Championship action at Sabina Park yesterday. Resuming the day on 92 for two for a 38 runs lead, and needing most things to go right, Jamaica were led to victory via a spirited and fighting bowling and fielding display. This was, however, after their batsmen, almost made victory improbable. Starting with overnight batsmen John Campbell, not out on 43, and Jermaine Blackwood, not out 16, Jamaica progressed to – at one stage, 121 without further loss, and was eyeing potentially a healthy second innings lead. However, in the space of 36 runs, they were bowled out for 157. Campbell, who made 32 in the first innings went on to lead all batters with 67, while Blackwood fell for a second-best score of 27. This left the Windwards with a victory target of 106 runs, but in one of their worse batting displays, they were dismissed for 64 in the post-lunch session. Leading the way for Jamaica was Miller, who picked up five for 22, a performance, which gave him the Man of the Match award. SCORPIONS 1st Innings 151 VOLCANOES 1st Innings 205 SCORPIONS 2nd Innings (overnight 92 for two) J Campbell lbw b Edward 67 T Griffith lbw b Mayers 22 D Thomas b Mayers 9 J Blackwood c Johnson b Edward 27 A McCarthy c Sebastien b Edward 1 +C Walton c Johnson b Edward 14 D Green c wkp Robinson b Matthew 2 D Jacobs c Johnson b Edward 3 *N Miller c Johnson b Edward 4 O Thomas c Smith b Johnson 0 R Leveridge not out 2 Extras (b4, lb2, nb2) TOTAL (all out, 61.1 overs) 159 Fall of wickets: 1-53, 2-75, 3-121, 4-126, 5-138, 6-144, 7-149, 8-153, 9-157, 10-159. Bowling: Shillingford 11-0-52-0 (nb1), Johnson 6.1-2-14-1, Matthew 13-5-22-1, Mayers 16-2-45-2, Edward 15-3-20-6. VOLCANOES 2nd Innings (target: 106 runs) D Smith c Griffith b Miller 19 T Theophile c Thomas b Leveridge 0 +J Robinson c Griffith b Miller 5 K Hodge lbw b Jacobs 9 *L Sebastien lbw b Miller 0 K Mayers not out 15 S Shillingford c Leveridge b Miller 0 M Matthew lbw b Miller 8 D Johnson c wkp Walton b Jacobs 5 L Edward c Griffith b Jacobs 1 S Ambris ret. out 0 Extras (w2) 2 TOTAL (all out, 27 overs) 64 Fall of wickets: 1-4, 2-21, 3-31, 4-35, 5-35, 6-36, 7-51, 8-58, 9-64, 10-64. Bowling: Thomas 5-2-9-0, Leveridge 4-1-11-0, Miller 9-2-22-5, Green 1-0-5-0, Jacobs 8-2-17-3 Result: Scorpions won by 41 runs. Points: Scorpions 16.2, Volcanoes 5.2. Man-of-the-Match: Nikita Miller.