Junior Flemmings, the Jamaican high-school scoring sensation who was on trial with the New York Red Bulls earlier this year, appears to be kicking his game up a level in the Red Stripe Premier League - his home country's top flight.
The 19-year-old's club, Tivoli Gardens, got off to a slow start to its season, but has now registered three consecutive wins. The most recent, 3-2 over Arnett Gardens, won Flemmings a rave review from the Jamaica Gleaner:
The former Jamaica College player not only had a foot in all three of his team's goals, he outdid three defenders and the goalkeeper to score the final goal and secure victory himself. All throughout the game, Flemmings and his more seasoned compatriot Jermaine Johnson were unplayable whenever they went forward.
Well done, Mr. Flemmings. But why should any fan of RBNY care particularly about his achievements? Because of the very last line of the Gleaner's report:
Flemmings...has set himself a target of eight goals in the League before taking up a professional opportunity in January.
A "professional opportunity" is not necessarily a contract. A trial would reasonably be called a professional opportunity.
This is news because the last time we heard anything about Flemmings' plans, he was telling the Gleaner he intended to attend college in New Mexico in January. That report contained direct quotes from Flemmings:
I am currently at Tivoli Gardens, where I will play from now until December, when I will take up a scholarship in the US.
The latest report does not include any direct comments from Flemmings on the subject of his next move.
Both articles raise questions: the former suggests the player would be arriving in New Mexico after the conclusion of the college soccer season; the latter contradicts the former by implying he isn't heading to university but to try to secure a pro contract. It's hard to find an explanation for both to be right. We will find out the truth of the situation in January, or whenever someone is able to reach Flemmings for clarification.
In the meantime, another point of information: when Flemmings' RBNY trial concluded, head coach Jesse Marsch suggested to BigAppleSoccer.com's Kristian Dyer that he might be back:
Junior went back for now. We're looking at some potential possibilities for mostly next year.
When Flemmings said he was heading to college, it appeared any near-term chance of seeing him join the Red Bulls was over. The latest report out of Jamaica gives cause to think again. The player is going somewhere in January, and it may yet prove to be RBNY.