Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Over-40 soccer players with Caribbean roots play in tournament in Land O'Lakes

LAND O'LAKES — Old friends and long time opponents gathered at the Land O'Lakes Recreation Complex on Saturday to re-create rivalries of Jamaican and Caribbean youth soccer from decades before.

The event was the inaugural Tampa Albion Masters, an over-40 tournament for teams from around the country that have some former players from the Albion League of Jamaica. The organizers — Carrollwood FC Masters player Greg Phillips, who lives in Odessa, and Roger Gordon-Martin, a Land O'Lakes resident who once played internationally for Jamaica — plan to make it a yearly gathering.

"We live here and we know the facility is nice, so we decided to hold it here in Land O'Lakes," Phillips said. "These guys out here are mostly guys who played in Jamaica together and then migrated to play in college, and met people in college and play together now. Some of the guys out here played internationally as well."

The tournament was composed of four teams from Orlando, Tampa, Fort Lauderdale and the Bronx, N.Y. The teams usually play in masters leagues in their hometowns, where the quality of play is high enough to sustain their interest.

Organizers brought in three FIFA-approved referees for the tournament. Lamar Duja, an American who plays with Phillips on the Carrollwood FC team, said the veterans still have the ability to play an entertaining match.

"I like the idea that these Caribbean guys have come up with," Duja said. "These older guys are pretty good. You'd be surprised; they don't need to run a lot anymore. They know what they're doing, so you can't let the age fool you. A team only needs one or two guys that can really run."

The tournament was held in a round-robin format, featuring matches with 20-minute halves. Then the top two teams played for the championship.

Santos FC, the Bronx team, bested their rivals from Fort Lauderdale in the final, winning 4-2 on penalty kicks.

Still, there was more than competitive pride at stake. The event also was about preserving old friendships and passing on the ideas of one generation of Caribbean people to another. Co-organizer Gordon-Martin said camaraderie was one of the most important reasons to put the event together.

"It's good for us to come together again and reminisce," Gordon-Martin said. "One important part of this is getting our kids together and they see who we grew up with and how we are. It's a social gathering for all of us who knew each other way back when, but it's more than that, too, because we all have families now."

The tournament was organized quickly, which limited the number of teams able to come. But organizers hope to have more participants in the future.

"There are a lot of teams that could have been here that aren't because we did this very last minute," Gordon-Martin said. "It can bring people from other places into the area, and it keeps the hotels busy in the off-season. We live up here in Pasco, so it's always nice to bring people down here and to Tampa to play."

David Rice can be reached at davidrice83@gmail.com.

Over-40 soccer players with Caribbean roots play in tournament in Land O'Lakes 07/20/10 [Last modified: Tuesday, July 20, 2010 6:23pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Navy expected to relieve admiral in charge of 7th Fleet in response to deadly disasters at sea

    Nation

    The Navy will relieve the senior admiral in charge of the service's 7th Fleet based in Japan in response to four embarrassing accidents this year, two of which killed sailors at sea, two U.S. officials said.

    Tugboats assist the guided-missile destroyer John S. McCain on its way to Changi Naval Base in Singapore on Monday. [U.S. Navy]
  2. Trump chides media over Charlottesville

    National

    President Donald Trump is blaming the media for the widespread condemnation of his response to a Charlottesville, Va., protest organized by white supremacists that led to the killing of a counter-protester.

    Trump met service members before the rally.
  3. Jones: Koetter-Winston exchange highlights latest 'Hard Knocks'

    Bucs

    There are certain things that make HBO's Hard Knocks must-see television.

    Jameis Winston, left, has an exchange with Dirk Koetter that highlights Hard Knocks.
  4. Rays are full of ideas they'd like to share when commissioner visits

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Commissioner Rob Manfred is coming to the Trop today. Hmm. Rays principal owner Stuart Sternberg will be there to greet him. Hmmmm. And they have a scheduled joint media session. Hmmmmmmmmm.

    Commissioner Rob Manfred isn’t expected to say anything definitive about the Rays’ stadium situation when he visits the team today.
  5. Mayor Rick Kriseman endorsed by another police union

    Blogs

    ST. PETERSBURG — Mayor Rick Kriseman is already backed by the city's largest police union, the Suncoast Police Benevolent Association.

    Mayor Rick Kriseman has secured another police union endorsement