August 13, 2010
‘Tusty’ out in the cold

Marlon “Tusty” James’ hopes of playing in Major League Soccer in 2011 may have been shattered temporarily{{more}} as he has been released by the Vancouver Whitecaps and is currently out of a professional contract.

The Vincentian footballer was released last week Thursday and has since been replaced by Jonathan McDonald from Club Sport Herediano of Costa Rica’s Primera Division.

But according to the Whitecaps’ coach Teitur Thordarson, it has been James’ frequency of injuries and his age which are worrying factors to the club.

“We haven’t been able to use him much and looking ahead, his age is not positive for him thinking about MLS next year,” Thordarson was quoted as saying.

He said James is a great player when he’s healthy, but his age and recent injuries indicate that he might not have a lot more to give at the highest levels of professional Football.

Just serving the Whitecaps for half of this season, James has started four of his seven appearances for 388 minutes of action, scoring one goal. In one-and-a-half seasons with the Whitecaps, James started 17 of his 31 total appearances for 1,628 minutes of action. He scored 12 goals and added a pair of assists in the process.

James, 33, a striker and this country’s senior team, Vincy Heat captain, joined Whitecaps FC on December 23, 2008, after spending four seasons in Malaysia.

Playing with his last club Kedah F.C., James was pivotal as they won every trophy that was at stake in the 2006/2007 championships, winning the Malaysian Super League, the Malaysian Cup and the Malaysian FA Cup.

Being released is not new for James, as in 2008, he along with other overseas based footballers got the boot after a Malaysia Football Association ruling that no foreigners were allowed in their league.

James began his international professional career in Ireland with Bray Wanderers in 2000. He transferred to Tirense in the Portuguese Second Division in 2001 and later played for Sabah FC and MK Land in Malaysia, before finishing off his Malaysia sojourn with Kedah.

Prior to all this, James had a short stint in the Trinidad and Tobago semi pro league.

James’ exit from the United Soccer League leaves two Vincentians carrying this country’s flag.

Still on the Whitecaps’ roster is Cornelius Stewart, while veteran defender Wesley “Butu” Charles was only last month signed by the Montreal Impact, after being in the Football wilderness for almost a year.

Charles was released by the Whitecaps last year July. (RT)