Jamaican scorer has had two previous trials with Indy scuttled due to injury
By: Brandon Cockrum
One week into official preseason training and the Indy Eleven have just 15 healthy, signed players on their roster. Two positions that they're most shorthanded at are forward and wide midfielder but there may be help on the way. In a February 9 interview with Casilero Deportivo, Indy Eleven head coach Tim Hankinson said that Indy would be adding Jamaican Dino Williams to the roster this season. Hankinson previously coached Williams at Montego Bay United in the Jamaican Premiere League. Of the player’s skills, Hankinson has said, "There are strikers and there are goal scorers, and Dino is a goal scorer, but he also possesses the versatility to be a dangerous performer on the wings.”
|Williams also signed with Indy in 2016.|
The 26-years old Williams is prolific goal scorer in Jamaica’s Red Stripe Premier League for defending-champion Montego Bay United. Upon the announcement of his signing with the team in 2016, former Eleven GM Peter Wilt stated, “Williams is a promising player that is coming off the best form of his career while playing for Coach Hankinson. We had Dino in as a trialist in 2014 and he showed promise before sustaining an injury."
After again returning injured to Jamaica from Indy in the spring of 2016, Williams play was limited but he salvaged his season by finishing as the league’s golden boot winner and scoring the decisive goal in the league final. When the Premiere League kicked off its current season this past September, Williams told Jamaica’s Gleaner that his body was fully rested and recovered from groin surgery and that he was ready to set the league’s goal-scoring record.
Williams has partnered in both the Montego Bay attack with Owayne (Omar) Gordon, formerly of Indy Eleven, helping lead the team to the top of the Jamaican table. After 23 match days the striker is sitting on 7 goals, good for third place in the league’s golden boot race. (Former Indy Eleven and Sheffield Wednesday forward Jermaine Johnson is in second place with 9 goals.)
Willams has six appearances for the Reggae Boyz at the international level and most recently wore the green and yellow jersey of Jamaica this past November against Suriname. The attacker was called into camp in January 2017 to train for February friendlies versus USA and Honduras but skipped training at his club’s request due to injury. He did not make the traveling roster for the two matches. (Former Eleven attacker Gordon has made four consecutive appearances for the Jamaican national team.)
Assuming that the as-of-now unofficial loan of Williams to the Eleven becomes official, the attacker's arrival in Indianapolis will likely be delayed so that he will be available to United for their first round matches in the Caribbean Football Union’s Club Championship group stage, held March 1 to March 5. The player will then have to pass through immigration process' as well as a medical test (or two) before he could begin play for Indy. It will not likely be known until at least mid-March if Williams will get his third chance to practice with the Eleven. And then, as some might say, Only Jah knows if we will ever see Williams in the blue checkers.