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Brian Lara Returns To The West Indies Cricket Team

Black Immigrant Daily News

News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Fri. Jan. 27, 2023: West Indies legend Brian Charles Lara is returning to the Windies team, but in a different capacity.

The batting legend and former West Indies test captain has joined Cricket West Indies as a performance mentor, the regional sports governing body said Thursday. The 51-year-old will work with all CWI’s international teams “in providing players with tactical advice and improving their game sense”, and will also provide developmental support for the West Indies Academy.

Lara will also engage in “strategic planning” for the ICC World Cup, collaborating closely with Director of Cricket, Jimmy Adams.

“Having spent time with the players and coaches in Australia and in discussions with CWI, I really believe that I can help the players with their mental approach to the game and with their tactics to be more successful,” Lara said. “I’m looking forward to joining the group in Zimbabwe and the opportunity to work with other West Indies teams later in the year.”

Lara is currently with the West Indies squad for the two-Test tour of Zimbabwe, marking his first assignment in the new role.

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Caribbean Heritage Soccer Star Dead At 25

Black Immigrant Daily News

News Americas, FORT LAUDERDALE, FL, Fri. Jan 20, 2023: A Caribbean roots soccer star with the Charlotte FC has died at the young age of 25 from injuries he sustained in a boat crash off the coast of Miami, Florida.

Anton Walkes, who is of Jamaican roots but was born in London, was in Miami, where Charlotte FC was holding a twelve-day training camp.

At around 3 p.m. Eastern Time Wednesday, he was injured in a two-boat collision near Miami Marine Stadium. He was taken to hospital, where he died from his injuries.

Walkes was operating one of the boats that crashed, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said in a statement.

Walkes was a member of the MLS club Charlotte FC. He started his career at Tottenham.Charlotte FC owner David Tepper said all at the club were “devastated by the tragic passing of Anton Walkes.”

“He was a tremendous son, father, partner and teammate whose joyous approach to life touched everyone he met,” Tepper said in a club statement.

Walkes joined Charlotte for the club’s debut MLS season in 2022. He played in 23 matches with 21 starts and had five shots on goal this past season.

Walkes turned pro in 2016 after developing in Tottenham Hotspur’s academy and went on to play with English Premier League club. He also played for Portsmouth before signing with Atlanta United in MLS, spending three seasons (2017, 2020-21) at Atlanta United. Charlotte selected Walkes in the 2021 MLS Expansion Draft, incorporating the center back into their debut campaign.

The MLS released a statement saying “there are no words to describe the sorrow of everyone in Major League Soccer today.”

“There are no words to describe the sorrow of everyone in Major League Soccer today after learning of the tragic passing of Anton Walkes of Charlotte FC. Anton was a talented and dedicated player who was loved by his teammates and fans. We extend our deepest condolences to his partner, family, friends and the entire Charlotte FC family. MLS is coordinating with Charlotte FC to provide players and family members with the resources and support they may need during this tragic time,” the statement added.

Tottenham Hotspur also tweeted: “We are deeply saddened to hear of the passing of former player, Anton Walkes. The thoughts of everyone at the Club are with his family and friends at this incredibly sad time.”

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Miami FC Signs Soca Warrior

Black Immigrant Daily News

News Americas, MIAMI, FL, Thurs. Jan. 12, 2023: Soca Warrior and Trinidad and Tobago international, Ryan Telfer, has been signed to United Soccer League (USL) Championship side Miami FC.

The 28-year-old left winger who was born in Canada, played for Columbus Crew II last season in the Major League Soccer (MLS) Next Pro League, contributing four goals and three assists through 15 appearances.

In the MLS Next Pro playoff final appearance, he scored and assisted in his team’s route to the title win.

Telfer has scored seven goals in 19 appearances for the Soca Warriors.

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Haitian Teen Inks Deal With FC Tulsa

Black Immigrant Daily News

News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Fri. Jan. 6, 2023: The US’ FC Tulsa soccer team has signed a Haitian teen soccer star for their new United Soccer League Championship season.

Haiti Under-20 international Watz Leazard has signed with FC Tulsa for the season, which gets underway in March. The 19-year-old forward was a standout at the CONCACAF Under-20 Championship last July, grabbing the attention of Tulsa’s scouts with a goal and two assists

Leazard, who lives in the port city of Cap Haïtien on Haiti’s north coast, currently plays for his native Real Hope Football Academy in the country’s top flight but will now join the based in Tulsa, Oklahoma club pending league approval.

“I’m very happy to join FC Tulsa. It’s a new step in my career and my development,” Leazard said. “Haiti is complicated because of the political situation, so it was my dream to be able to leave and play in a new championship abroad. I want to accomplish a lot and dream of winning a trophy with Tulsa while scoring lots of goals and lots of assists to help the team.”

Leazard’s signing is the fifth addition to Tulsa’s strike force ahead of the new season which runs from March 11 to October 14.

The club, which campaigns in the Eastern Conference, missed out on the playoffs last season after winning only 12 of their 34 games to finish eighth in the standings.

“International tournaments provide an opportunity to see young players breaking through the scene, and Watz is one of those guys,” said FC Tulsa head coach Blair Gavin. “He’s got incredible size, soft feet for a winger, and has an incredible ability on the ball to break down defenders that isn’t ordinary for other guys.”

At FC Tulsa, Leazard will play alongside Jamaica Under-20 international Christopher Pearson, a mid-fielder who signed for the outfit last summer.

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Colorado Switchbacks FC Signs Jamaican Reggae Boyz

Black Immigrant Daily News

News Americas, COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo., Tues. Dec. 27, 2022: Jamaican born football star, Devon ‘Speedy’ Williams has been signed by the Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC. Williams who previously played for Miami FC will transfer pending league and federation approval.

“I’m really just looking forward to adding on to the success the team had last season,” said Williams. “It’s evident the Switchbacks are building towards a Championship and I’m glad to be a part of it.”

Williams, 30, played with USL Championship side The Miami FC for the last two seasons after signing with them in 2021. With Miami, the Kingston native made 53 appearances, starting in all 29 games played in 2022, and notched three goals. He made 39 key passes across the two seasons and held a huge passing accuracy average of 87%. In 2021 he was also named the USL Championship’s Player of the Week after earning a brace in Miami’s win against the Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC.

Williams brings three Championship titles with him to the Springs, winning in 2016 with New York Red Bulls II and then with Louisville City in 2017 and 2018. He also won an Eastern Conference Title in 2019 with Louisville.

Internationally, Williams has made 23 appearances for the Jamaican National Team the Reggae Boyz, including competing in the 2019 CONCACAF Gold Cup. He also made five appearances with Jamaica’s U20 team. He scored his first international goal for Jamaica in their 2019 Nations League match against Aruba.

The Jamaican got his professional start with New York Red Bulls II where he spent two successful seasons, earning 39 appearances and two goals, and helping the team toward their 2016 Championship title. In 2017 he signed with Louisville City, where he spent four prolific seasons, captaining in 2019. While there he notched nine goals and seven assists, leading the league in completed passes in the 2020 campaign. He completed 93 key passes in his four years at LouCity, and his passing accuracy never dropped below 85%.

“Speedy is a player that has won the whole thing three times, he has every tool you would want in a 6/8,” said GM and Head Coach Brendan Burke. “He will bring high end quality and leadership to our locker room and the hope is that his experience winning titles at this level and in CONCACAF with Jamaica will carry us through the most critical parts of the season.”

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Caribbean Jockeys Racing To The Top At Winnipeg

Black Immigrant Daily News

News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Weds. Dec. 21, 2022: Creating a path into horse racing is something that many leading organisations in the sport have struggled with throughout history, as the sport looks to become more inclusive.

However, a track in Winnipeg is making great in roads in creative diversity in the weighing room, as Caribbean jockeys have become the norm at the track.

In fact, 13 of the 17 jockeys at the track in Winnipeg are now from Caribbean descent, and the leading rider in six of the previous seven seasons have gone to one of the jockeys from the Caribbean.

Success For Winnipeg Racing

The success that has been achieved by the Caribbean jockeys at Assiniboia Downs is just down to a coincidence, as it is the long-term result of strategic effort.

The plan by Assiniboia Downs was to sustain the sport of horse racing in the state, while also helping aspiring jockeys to fulfil their goal in life. It is something that racing in the state has thrived off, but Darren Dunn, who is the chief executive officer at the track, claimed that without the participation of jockeys from the Caribbean, racing may have already seized to have existed in Winnipeg.

If you want to find out more about this and other horse racing tracks in North America click here: https://edge.twinspires.com/racing/tracks/

Dunn also claims that changes within Canada society have played a role in the lack of athletes wishing to become jockeys, which has had a dire impact on the sport as a whole in the country.

Aside from Woodbine, the majority of tracks in Canada will be the place for aspiring jockeys to perfect their craft before then taking their skills elsewhere. And, that would now be the goal of the current Caribbean jockeys taking Winnipeg by storm.

Caribbean Stars Rise To Challenge

Of course, the plan on the whole does sound good, but it still revolves around talent from the Caribbean seizing their chance at Assiniboia Downs. There have been no shortage of success stories since the scheme, with one of the first coming with Chavion Chow. Chow was among the first jockeys to swap the Caribbean for Canada, as he moved to Winnipeg in 2008 when he was in his mid 20s.

His best season in the saddle to date came in 2015, as he landed the rider title, and won 269 races at Assiniboia Downs worth $2.4 million in prize money. Chow claimed that the switch has been an excellent decision, as there is only one track in Jamaica, but far too many jockeys for the amount of horses entered. He stated that in Canada there is more options when it comes to racing, and he said it has been a ‘life-changing experience’.

The success achieved by Caribbean jockeys at Assiniboia Downs has also tempted previously retired jockeys back into the saddle. That includes Leroy Nelson, who was brought back into the sport after a five-year break. After hearing about Assiniboia Downs, he decided to race again, and he is credited with winning over 170 races during his career.

Aspiring To Reach The Top

There is a clear pathway to the top for the Caribbean jockeys riding at Assiniboia Downs, and a perfect example of that would be the success that would Patrick Husbands. To date, the Barbadian-born jockey has won over 3,000 races in his career, and has been racing out of Woodbine throughout his career. In 2003, he won the Canadian Triple Crown aboard Wando, and landed the Woodbine Mile in 2001. In the same year, he also claimed victory with Exciting Story in the Metropolitan Handicap at Belmont Park.

In 2006, he made his first start in the prestigious Kentucky Derby, as he rode Seaside Retreat for Mark Casse. Husbands legacy is there for all current and aspiring Caribbean riders to witness, and they can also dream of landing victories in the Canadian Classics.  

Winnipeg’s Racing Community

The reaction to the Caribbean riders and the scheme has been welcomed very positively, with many of the current jockeys claiming that they are among the fan favourites at the track.

Many believe that as long as they are giving their all on their rides, and they are caring for the horses then the fans couldn’t care less about where the jockeys are from. It could be a perfect example to spread inclusivity around the rest of the world in horse racing.

These jockeys are setting an example for next generations and creating a new career path that can inspire young ones to pursue in the future. Horse racing has come a long way and is finally becoming a sport that is less elitist and more accepting of anyone in any country, as long as they have passion and dedication for the sport of the kings.

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Here’s How Haitians, Cubans Celebrated Argentina’s World Cup Win

Black Immigrant Daily News

News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Tues. Dec. 20, 2022: Haitians and Cuban soccer fans were among Caribbean football fans who celebrated Argentina’s victory over France in the Qatar 2022 World Cup Final football match. Here’s how they celebrated.

Haitians celebrate Argentina’s victory over France in the Qatar 2022 World Cup Final football match in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, on December 18, 2022. (Photo by Richard Pierrin / AFP) (Photo by RICHARD PIERRIN/AFP via Getty Images)

Haitians celebrate Argentina’s victory over France in the Qatar 2022 World Cup Final football match in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, on December 18, 2022. (Photo by Richard Pierrin / AFP) (Photo by RICHARD PIERRIN/AFP via Getty Images)

Haitians celebrate Argentina’s victory over France in the Qatar 2022 World Cup Final football match in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, on December 18, 2022. (Photo by Richard Pierrin / AFP) (Photo by RICHARD PIERRIN/AFP via Getty Images)

Cuban fans of the Argentine national football team celebrate after Argentina won the Qatar 2022 World Cup against France in Havana, on December 18, 2022. (Photo by YAMIL LAGE/AFP via Getty Images)

Fans of the Argentine football team wear the team’s t-whirt while riding on a cocotaxi in Havana, on December 18, 2022. (Photo by YAMIL LAGE/AFP via Getty Images)

Cuban fans of Argentine football team watch the final of the World Championship between France and Argentina on TV in Havana, on December 18, 2022. (Photo by YAMIL LAGE/AFP via Getty Images)

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Caribbean Roots French Player Targeted With Online Racial Abuse

Black Immigrant Daily News

By NAN Sports Editor

News Americas, PARIS, France, Mon. Dec. 19, 2022: While the French soccer team failed to repeat history and claim another World Cup title Sunday, losing by penalty kicks to South American soccer giant Argentina, a Caribbean roots French player who missed a penalty kick has been forced to deal with online racism because of his miss.

Kingsley Junior Coman, a forward who was born in Paris to parents from Guadeloupe, has been targeted with horrific racist abuse since missing his penalty in France’s World Cup final shoot-out defeat against Argentina in Qatar on Sunday evening.

Coman along with Aurelien Tchouameni and Randal Kolo Muani, who all featured in the final, were subjected to vile messages on their accounts, as reported by The Athletic.

Coman and Tchouameni missed penalties in the shootout, while Kolo Muani missed a chance to win the game in extra-time.

The trio received messages that included banana and monkey emojis on their Instagram accounts just moments after the loss. Tchouameni reportedly disabled his Instagram account for a brief time following the racist comments.

Meta, which owns Instagram, Facebook and WhatsApp, condemned the abusive posts and said the messages had been removed. 

Some of the message sent.

FC Bayern, the club Coman plays for, strongly condemned the racist comments noting on Twitter: “The FC Bayern family is behind you, King. Racism has no place in sport or our society.”

The abuse received by the French players is similar to what occurred following England’s loss to Italy on penalties in the final of Euro 2020 last year.

After that game Bukayo Saka, Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho, who all missed penalties, received racist abuse online.

OTHER CARIBBEAN HERITAGE PLAYER

France manager Didier Deschamps (left) and Raphael Varane, a French player with Caribbean roots, appear dejected following defeat against Argentina in the FIFA World Cup final at Lusail Stadium, Qatar on Sunday December 18, 2022. (Photo by Nick Potts/PA Images via Getty Images)

Meanwhile the other Caribbean heritage player on the French team, Manchester United defender Raphael Varane, who lasted 113 minutes of the 120 minutes of play and had o be helped off in extra-time, looking absolutely exhausted, and with a minor injury, says he is taking the defeat hard.

“We are very disappointed of course, we gave everything,” Varane said. “We had to face a lot of obstacles during the competition, we gave up nothing. For an hour we were not in the game. We could have won too. …. We almost turned the game around, which was not going well. … There was mental strength in this group, a lot of heart. That allowed us to come back in this game. We’re disappointed but also proud.”

France was beaten 4-2 in a penalty shootout by Argentina on Sunday as they failed to defend their world title.

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Two Caribbean Heritage Players Set To Play In World Cup Finals

Black Immigrant Daily News

By NAN Sports Editor

News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Fri. Dec.16, 2022: No Caribbean country is in the World Cup, but come Sunday, two players with roots in the region will be going up against Argentina as part of the French squad in the much-anticipated 2022 World Cup finale.

The first is Raphaël Xavier Varane (French: [ʁafaɛl vaʁan].

Varane was born in the city of Lille in the Nord-Pas-de-Calais region. He is of Martiniquan heritage through his father, Gaston, who is originally from Le Morne-Rouge, while his mother, Annie, was raised in Saint-Amand-les-Eaux.

Varane made his professional debut in 2010 aged 17, and after one season as a professional footballer, he joined Real Madrid. There, over the course of 10 seasons from 2011 to 2021, he won 18 trophies, including three La Liga titles, one Copa del Rey, four UEFA Champions League titles and four FIFA Club World Cups.

Varane, who was a key player in France’s 2018 World Cup triumph, was a doubt for the entire tournament after picking up a serious-looking injury in United’s 1-1 draw at Chelsea on October 22. He came through that scare, made Didier Deschamps’ squad and has now played in five of France’s games in Qatar.

Raphael Varane’s roots extend to Martinique. (Photo by Xavier Laine/Getty Images)

The other player with Caribbean heritage on the 2022 French team is Kingsley Junior Coman (French pronunciation: [kiŋslɛ kɔman, -mɑ̃], a forward who was born in Paris to parents from Guadeloupe.

Regarded as one of the most promising young players of his generation, Coman is a quick, talented and technically gifted winger, with good dribbling skills, vision, and explosive speed and acceleration. He is capable of playing on either flank, or even in the centre, as an offensive midfielder or as a striker. Although he is naturally right footed, his preferred position is on the left, which allows him to beat opponents in one on one situations, cut into the centre onto his right foot, and either shoot on goal, create chances for teammates, or make attacking runs into the area.

Coman has, however, joined Adrien Rabiot and Dayot Upamecano in catching a virus that ruled the duo out of France’s World Cup semi-final.

The Times reported that Coman is the latest to catch the widespread illness, thought to be caused by the air conditioning in Qatar. If his flu-like symptoms continue over the next few days, he will be a doubt for Sunday’s final against Argentina.

France World Cup 2022 squad: The full team

GK: Hugo Lloris, Tottenham 

GK: Alphonse Areola, West Ham 

GK: Steve Mandanda, Rennes

DF: Benjamin Pavard, Bayern Munich 

DF: Jules Kounde, Barcelona

DF: Raphael Varane, Manchester United

DF: Theo Hernandez, AC Milan 

DF: Lucas Hernandez, Bayern Munich

DF: Benoit Badiashile, Monaco 

DF: Ferland Mendy, Real Madrid 

DF: Dayot Upamecano, Bayern Munich 

DF: Ibrahima Konate, Liverpool

DF: William Saliba, Arsenal

MF: Eduardo Camavinga, Real Madrid 

MF: Youssouf Fofana, Monaco 

MF: Matteo Guendouzi, Marseille

MF: Aurelien Tchouameni, Real Madrid 

MF: Adrien Rabiot, Juventus

MF: Jordan Veretout, Marseille

FW: Ousmane Dembele, Barcelona 

FW: Olivier Giroud, AC Milan 

FW: Antoine Griezmann, Atletico Madrid

FW: Kylian Mbappe, PSG

FW: Randal Kolo Muani, Eintracht Frankfurt

FW: Kingsley Coman, Bayern Munich

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Suriname Is Not In The World Cup But Several Players With Roots There Are

Black Immigrant Daily News

BY NAN SPORTS EDITOR

News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Tues. Dec. 8, 2022: The Dutch Caribbean nation of Suriname, which sits in South America is not in the 2022 World Cup but several players with roots their are part of the Netherlands team that recently ousted the US from the tourney to move on to the Round of 16.

They include Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk, who was born in Breda to a Dutch father and a Surinamese mother.

Also tracing his roots to Suriname is right-back Denzel Justus Morris Dumfries, who was born in Rotterdam, South Holland, to a Surinamese mother and Aruban father. His parents named him after American actor Denzel Washington.

USMNT’s Sergino Dest is also another. He was born in the Netherlands to a Surinamese-American father and a Dutch mother.

Forward Steven Bergwijn rounds out the Suriname heritage Dutch line-up. He was born in Amsterdam to parents from Suriname. Simons is the son of Dutch former footballer Regillio Simons.

Steven Bergwijn of Holland also traces his roots to Suriname. (Photo by ANP via Getty Images)

Midfielder Xavi Simons is also of Surinamese descent through his father.

The Netherlands, currently top of their Group A with 7 points, will play Argentina on Friday at 2 PM Est.

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