Between stints as an on-air analyst of all things RBNY for MSG (congrats on the new gig, Kristian!), BigAppleSoccer.com's Kristian Dyer has unearthed another New York Red Bulls' trialist: Junior Flemmings.
Flemmings' presence in RBNY training was revealed by Dyer on August 19. On August 20, a follow-up report noted the player has been pegged as "another creative wide guy" by Red Bulls' head coach Jesse Marsch. Flemmings is reportedly now working with the club's USL squad, NYRB II, as part of a process of acclimatizing and getting his fitness levels up.
The Jamaican comes highly recommended from his home country. Whether he is more a wide attacking player at senior level remains to be seen, but as a youth player Flemmings has been a consistent goalscorer - and he has said he thinks of himself as a striker. He was the top scorer in Jamaican high school soccer last season, captaining a Jamaica College side that won three major schoolboy titles.
He captained the Jamaica U-17 team at the 2013 CONCACAF Championship, and his performances at both youth international and school level won him attention from several professional clubs in 2014, including Manchester City and Toronto FC.
In 2015, in addition to his stellar season for his high school, Flemmings played for Jamaica in the CONCACAF U-20 Championship. It was a disappointing tournament for the host nation, which managed just two points from five group stage game. One of those points - against Trinidad and Tobago - was salvaged by an injury-time free kick from RBNY's current trialist.
More recently, he has been one of the younger players in the Jamaica U-23 squad seeking to qualify for the 2016 Olympic tournament (Flemmings won't turn 20 until January 2016; he is about six months older than RBNY's young forward Anatole Abang). That campaign ended in disappointment: the Reggae Boyz lost to Cuba on August 14, ending their hope of progressing to October's CONCACAF Olympic qualifying competition in the US.
Flemmings was expected to be playing soccer in America this year: he had reportedly accepted a scholarship offer from the University of New Mexico, and he refrained from taking a salary for his appearances for Tivoli Gardens in Jamaica's Red Stripe Premier League to maintain his NCAA eligibility.
But Dyer reports the player is now "looking to begin his professional career." Flemmings is young and doubtless needs some time to figure out how his skills are best applied when he's playing men rather than boys. Nonetheless, he is one of the most highly-rated Jamaican soccer players of his generation - and the Red Bulls should be complimented for having got themselves an early look at him now that he is apparently committed to turning pro.