Sunday, January 25, 2009

By: Edwin R. Jusino

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Bayamon- The star captain of the Puerto Rico National Football Team, and central defense for the Toronto FC of the MLS offered soccer clinics to boys and girls in the Complejo Deportivo Calcaño Alicéa, helped by his ex teammates and members of the Puerto Rico Islanders, Alexis Rivera, John Krause, and Noah Delgado.

According to Velez he has no plans of establishing a permanent soccer academy, but has plans of repeating the camp 1 a year, depending on TFC’s calendar.

Upon being questioned about TFC’s new Designated Player, Dwayne DeRosario, Velez responded: “he’s a great attacker and with his help the team will get far. We got a good team this season”. He also responded questions about he’s 2 red cards that made him suffer suspensions during his debut season in the MLS. “The 1st card was an unfair one; the 2nd card was a reaction and a mistake on my part”. Velez also spoke about Toronto’s fan base: “They’re the best in the league and I’m happy to play for them”.

Velez is confident that he will be able to play the next edition of the CONCACAF Champion’s League with Toronto FC: “We lost the pass to this year’s edition because we were in a bad moment of our season”. FútbolBoricua asked him how it would feel to play his old team and teammates and the defender responded: “I got a job to do with Toronto even if we play against the Islanders”.

Commenting on this year’s Champions League run by the Orange Troop, the Puerto Rico Islanders, and Velez seemed excited and hoped all the best for them. In his personal opinion the Islanders have a good chance of beating CD Marathon in the quarterfinals next February and March.

In past weeks the captain of the national squad expressed frustration in an interview done by the local newspaper Primera Hora, and responded to questions about the National Federation: “We ask the support of the Federation. I can’t really comment about what changes need to be done, since I’m not in charge; we need a more organized national squad to attract serious players”.

The Captain also encourages kids interested in professional soccer careers: “be dedicated, work hard, and apply yourselves”.

Responding to rumors in the local entertainment media about wrong dealings in Velez’s transfer to Toronto FC by members of the Islanders FC, Marco said: “I wanted to progress in my career. I didn’t leave because I was unhappy with the club; I just wanted to go forward in my career as a professional soccer player. I love playing in Toronto”.



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Director Ejecutivo de Graduado del programa doctoral de Historia de las Américas de la Universidad Interamericana de Puerto Rico Recinto Metropolitano. Lleva más de una década cubriendo el fútbol de Puerto Rico. Finalizó su disertación doctoral sobre el pasado presidente de la FPF, el Dr. Roberto Monroig. Hincha del Club Atlético de Madrid y de la Selección Nacional de Fútbol de Puerto Rico. Puede contactarle via twitter o Instagram en @erjusinoa