Former national Under-23 representative, Venton Evans, says the sky is the limit after scoring on debut for US League One outfit Fort Lauderdale CF, against North Texas Soccer Club, recently.
Evans’ bullet header, which bulged the net at point-blank range in the 14th minute to give Lauderdale the lead, in a sense punctuated a brief period of frustration. Despite being signed by the club, the Jamaican had been unable to play for a few weeks prior as he had not received his International Transfer Certificate (ITC) and P-1 Visa.
“It was good to score. It was a bit frustrating knowing that I had to be waiting on my ITC but I have been working really hard, so it was good to see it pay off,” Evans said of etching his name on the scoresheet. Unfortunately, it was not enough, however, as the team went down 4-2 to Texas at the final whistle.
The midfielder, who previously plied his trade for Portmore United and UWI FC in Jamaica’s Premier League, admits that in some respects, joining the US League has required a bit of an adjustment but believes he has been coping well so far.
“The game is a lot faster here and the guys are a bit fitter. When I played in the Premier League (JPL) the ball did not move that quickly, but things have been going well because I have put in the work to improve my fitness,” he added.
Evans’s versatility and leadership qualities have not been missed by the team’s manager Darren Powell who not only started the player as soon as he became available for selection but also shifted him between the right-wing and central midfield positions.
Solid performances for the player could see him potentially being called up to Lauderdale’s parent club Miami FC, an MLS club owned by legendary former England and Manchester United player David Beckham. Like many other young players, Evans harbours long-term ambitions of eventually plying his trade in the big European leagues. For now, however, he is solely focused on the task at hand.
“I am focused on continuing to do well for the club in the league. I have targeted scoring about 11 or 12 goals this season.”