Alvas Powell expresses delight at breaking Boyz goal drought

BY SEAN A WILLIAMS
Deputy Sport Editor

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

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GEORGETOWN, Guyana – Before kick-off, Alvas Powell thought it was going to be a normal evening's work for him.

He was expected to put in his customary gritty shift for the Reggae Boyz down the right defensive channel. And true to form, he delivered, but with extra trimmings this time.

Powell, a native of the quiet rural district of Danvers Pen in St Thomas, surely never banked on breaking a drought that has followed him since he debuted for the senior Boyz in 2012.

In almost 60 matches in a Jamaican shirt from the youth ranks up, Powell scored for the first time for his country as Jamaica blanked hosts Guyana 4-0 in a Group C match of the Concacaf Nations League B at the Leonora Track and Field Stadium on Monday.

Powell, who starred as a player for Paul Bogle High in the daCosta Cup, did not break the goal-scoring jinx with one, but two goals.

The FC Cincinnati player opened the scoring in the 14th minute and put his country up 2-0 in the 26th.

His pacesetting efforts were followed up by another double from Turkey-based Dever Orgill in the 44th and 54th minutes. Orgill, interestingly, got the proverbial monkey off his back with a double at the National Stadium against Honduras in the Concacaf Gold Cup in June.

So both players have a few things in common, including that they hail from the eastern end of the island as Orgill's heartland is in neighbouring Portland.

“It's a great feeling scoring for the first time for Jamaica because before I have only came close and have had many assists.

“I am just excited to be on the scoresheet, but more importantly, I am happy for the team,” said the 25-year-old Powell.

He said on the night in Guyana he realised that Golden Jaguars leftback Liam Gordon “was weak”, so he decided to take advantage.

“So I capitalised on that [defender's weakness] as early as I could and I know he just could not cope with my speed, and I realised it was working for me and then I got the first goal,” he reasoned.

Powell admitted and supported his coach Theodore Whitmore's claim that his daring runs were practiced in training over the recent two matches, the first one against Antigua and Barbuda in Montego Bay on Friday, where the Boyz won 6-0.

“All of that [running at defenders] was coming from the training and I have been working hard at it, and to see that translate into goals was good.

“I always like to take the ball from my defence to the other goal, sometimes it works and at other times it doesn't… a lot of the time by the time I reach the other goal I don't even have strength to kick the ball, but last night (Monday) I got the chance to go out there and perform for the country, and it was good,” said the tough-tackling utility player.

Powell was quick to get off his celebratory high horse, opting instead to continue to grow his game for the sake of his club and country.

“One thing for certain is that I am not going to get carried with this [scoring] and I will just continue to focus and work hard for the team,” he noted.

The piercing dribbles by Powell from his half to the opponents' is in fact a sub-feature of his game from a schoolboy player to the professional he is today.

It has been known to unsettle back-tracking opponents, and has been a source for goals mainly for teammates.

“Yes, I do try to do those kinds of runs in the MLS, especially at Portland (Timbers) quite comfortably, but moving to Cincinnati it has been ups and downs for me with a new coach and I have not been playing as much as I like… but I will just keep working ,” he noted.

Powell, a senior member of the Whitmore's unit, says he thinks the team is on the right track.

“I think the results in both [Nations League] games say a lot, and what you saw was that a lot of young players coming in and showing the coach that they are hungry and that they want to be here and not like they are on holiday.

“I think we have improved a lot as a team because a few years ago we could hardly make four good passes, but now we are making like 20 passes, and I think that is good for the entire team.

“Still there is room for improvement, but now we have to put these two games behind us and we just have to have the same mentality as we look to upcoming games,” Powell said.


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