Addlery looking to strike in Mexico

September 15th, 2010

Jamaica international Nicholas Addlery

Football has taken Jamaica international Nicholas Addlery to many places in the world. Some odd. All special, he says.

But the striker just can’t wait to get back to Mexico.

Today Addlery’s underdog Puerto Rico Islanders play many-time Mexican champions, Deportiva Toluca F.C., in the CONCACAF Champions League (CCL).

“That is my favourite competition,” Addlery said recently of the CCL, which features the best clubs in the Caribbean, North and Central America.

His eagerness is understandable. The Jamaican currently sits third among the CCL’s leading scorers for 2010/11 with four goals. Two of those in July helped the Islanders, who play in North America’s second tier United Soccer Leagues (USL), sink the Los Angeles Galaxy 4-1 in the preliminary round. The USL franchise eventually booted the Major League Soccer (MLS) glamour club from the competition on a 5-3 aggregate.

Today’s clash is vital. The Islanders are tied with Toluca on four points atop Group D after two games.

Yet, this game may have additional meaning for Addlery. He will again get to showcase his skills in a country which offers CONCACAF’s elite professional league. And he wants in.

It almost happened. In January, the 28-year-old went on a month-long training stint with Cruz Azul, another top Mexican club. Addlery had scored in the Islanders 2-0 win against the club in the first leg of the CCL’s 2009/10 semi-final. Cruz Azul eventually eliminated the USL team, but the many-time Mexican champions were impressed. They sought Addlery’s services.

The Cruz Azul tryout was successful and Addlery seemed set for a loan spell in the Primera División de México.

“I had a contract,” he said. “I had a signed contract.”

But that, apparently, was not enough. The clubs, Addlery explained, could not agree on “transfer negotiations” and the deal eventually fell through. Addlery was deflated.

“I was very disappointed,” he said, declining to discuss details of the breakdown. “Let’s leave it at that.”

Addlery, who earned his sixth senior cap for Jamaica when he started for the Reggae Boyz against Peru on September 7, has been part of the Jamaican football influx into several other places. He is believed to be the first Jamaican to play professionally in Vietnam. He also represented teams in Trinidad and Tobago and Canada, and had a stint with D.C. United of MLS.

For Addlery, a spell at Cruz Azul would have opened doors in Mexico for fellow countrymen as well.

“For some people, it wasn’t an opportunity just for me,” explained the former Jamaica College star, who has represented Jamaica at various youth levels.

“It was an opportunity for everybody in Jamaica. I always look at (going to clubs overseas) as ‘well, I might be the first, but yet still others are to come’. So I was disappointed about that as well.”

Nothing is guaranteed

Addlery’s contract with the Islanders reportedly ends this season.

Despite his success at the Cruz Azul trial, he knows nothing is guaranteed and he may not be called back. So today’s game offers Addlery a chance to catch the attention of other Mexican clubs.

If he does, it will be time to move again – to another club, another country, another lifestyle. Adjusting never bothered Addlery. He embraces it.

“Life is about experiences,” he said. “I mean, you can always learn and you can always pass on something that you have learned to somebody else, you know. Travelling, it has only been a blessing for me.”

Today, in Toluca, he is hoping to count some more.


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