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TFC to sign Richardson
February 18, 2009, 8:13 AM
Filed under: Gregory Richardson, MLS Preseason, Signing, Toronto FC

Guyana national striker Gregory ‘Jackie Chan’ Richardson is set to become the first Guyanese to play in the US Major League Soccer (MLS) as he wrapped up his one week training session with the team in Miami, Florida.

Speaking to Stabroek Sport from New York where he was meeting former Guyanese broadcaster and journalist Gary Tim, along with Garth Nelson who was instrumental in his overseas accomplishments, Richardson said, “Soon I will make my country proud.” He said it’s just a matter of time before he is signed to Toronto FC and after one week training with the team in Florida he is looking forward to returning with them next week.

“Playing here is great so far. I’m a football player so I know how to adjust and what I have to do when so ever I go out on the field. I was asked to stay one more week, but things will be made legit in a few weeks, so I will be making my people proud soon,” the striker said. “First I had a slight problem adjusting to the different climate but then it was good for me, but words can’t really express how I feel and I will continue to work hard to make my dream a reality,” Richardson said.

Eight players tried out with the club for one week and Richardson and an African player were asked to stay on for another week. The team returned to Canada but Richardson remained in Miami since he does not hold a Canadian visa. However, he is expected to rejoin the club when they return to Miami for their pre-season training.

Meanwhile, Nelson said Richardson’s tenure with the club is practically a done deal. He said they asked him to stay on after sending home players who had played at some of the highest levels in world football. “They know what Gregory has to offer and according to the coach he has blend in really well with the system they have at the club. So I see him being signed in a matter of two weeks or so and I know how much it will mean for him knowing how much he has given to football,” he said. Further, Nelson said senior players on the team have also been advocating for Richardson as they enjoy playing with him. Among those is Canadian international player Dwayne De Rosario who is of Guyanese parentage.

Richardson said that De Rosario who is a popular figure in Canadian football, had been very supportive during his stint. “I know I will make it so right now I’m happy to be here and even happier to stay,” Richardson said. He has been featured in all the club’s four games played during the one week camp but did not score although he had had several opportunities to do so.

Twenty-six-year-old Richardson came to prominence last year during the CONCACAF club Champ-ionship with his Trinidad and Tobago Pro-League club Joe Public when he devastated MLS top club New England Revolution scoring four goals in his club win. He also single-handedly ripped apart several other top clubs in the tournament. Several international news agencies linked the striker with moves to New England Revolution and other top MLS clubs including Columbus Crew and San Jose Earthquake.

A buoyant Richardson had also told reporters after he had just helped Pele win the million-dollar first prize in the Kashif and Shanghai Tournament, that he had nothing more to accomplish on the local scene. He had said too he planned to move further afield.

Toronto FC will open their 2009 MLS season on March 21 against the Kansas City Wizards. Richardson hopes to don the club’s colours on that day.

Source: Click Here

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