Grenada-born Anthony Modeste is presently one of the toughest defenders in Jamaica’s National Premier League competitions.
He leads former Caribbean Football Union Caribbean Cup holders and many time league champions Portmore United Football Club against Cayman Islands national team in two friendly games on 15 and 16 March in the Cayman Islands.
Modeste is one of the most successful players from Grenada. During his eight years as captain of the national team he collected over 30 caps, scoring ten goals in the process. He had a trial with Major League Soccer side DC United and has been skipper on the Portmore United team for the past five years.
Portmore United presently holds second position in the league standings of the National Premier League with 44 points, just two less than leaders Tivoli Gardens. With this level of performance the Cayman will be in for a tough test. They are preparing for the second leg World Cup 2010 qualifying game against Bermuda on 30 March at the Truman Bodden Sports Complex.
Cayman drew 1-1 in the first leg last month and go into this game knowing that a 0-0 draw is enough to place them in the second round of the qualifying rounds to meet the Soca Warriors Trinidad and Tobago.
This calm, easy going, powerful utility player has been playing on Grenada’s national football team from the tender age of 15. He has matured into a professional player controlling the midfield and stands firmly in the defence line where he executes his duties best.
‘I am a utility player but I concentrate on playing as a central defender where I feel more confident,’ Modeste said in a recent telephone interview.
Modeste, nicknamed Nixon, met former Jamaica international Linval Dixon while playing against the USA in a World Cup qualifying game. This encounter blossomed into a friendship that took him to Jamaica became his second home where he has been playing for Portmore United except for the occasions when he departs from the island to captain Grenada.
‘My first year with Portmore United began when it was called Hazard. That same year the name of the club was changed. I can remember it as if it was yesterday we defeated Arnett Gardens 3-2 on aggregate after a 0-0 first leg to cop the league championship that same year.’
‘I gelled quickly with the team as the players knew of my potentials, since then I have cemented my place in the team and have enjoyed the role as captain for the past four seasons.
‘It’s an honour to come to the Cayman Islands to assist the national team in their preparations for this decisive second leg. Portmore United is a great team; we are always in the top three of Jamaica’s National Premier League competition. This is more than evidence that we will give the team the type of competition necessary to prepare them for the game on March 30.’
Portmore United is bordered by some of the best players and administrators whose talents and experience has contributed significantly to the growth of football in Jamaica.
Modeste Photo: Submitted