T&T international Shahdon Winchester enhanced his chances of earning a contract with US Major League Soccer’s Chicago Fire when he netted a last-gasp equaliser in a 1-1 draw with Vancouver Whitecaps FC at the 2015 Simple Invitational hosted by Portland’s Providence Park, Portland, Oregon on Saturday.
Vancouver snagged an initial 1-0 lead in the first half thanks to a header from Pa Modou Kah but Chicago showed its fortitude with another rally late in the match and got a share of the points courtesy some impressive individual play by Winchester.
Following a steal in his own half by Fire’s Lovel Palmer, former Finland-based Winchester collected a pass just over the half, and with time and space, raced goalwards, eluded defender Kendall Waston and drilled a right footer past goalkeeper David Ousted in the 90th minute
It was the third straight draw for Chicago in the tournament after opening with a 0-0 stalemate on February 22 and then a 1-1 deadlock with Portland Timbers on February 25.
T&T international defender Joevin Jones played the full 90 minutes for Fire as well and created a late chance for another trialist Alberts Edwards but he headed wide.
Following the game, Chicago coach Frank Yallop expressed his delight saying: “I like him [Winchester]. We brought him in for a reason. For me it’s now about fitting him into the roster. I’ll figure that one out.”
And the T&T trialist’s performance did not go un-noticed by the USA media as Sean Spence writing in the SB Nation in Michigan stated: If Shahdon Winchester doesn’t get a contract—if the season starts and he’s looking for work as a striker in the USA—then the Fire at least owe him a bonus. Give the guy a couple grand. Give him a place to stay until he finds his next stop. Take care of the dude, because he took care of you. Without him, you lose this one 1-0.
Today when the new MLS season kicks off Chicago heads to Southern California next to face the LA Galaxy at the StubHub Center while tomorrow, the trio of T&T players Cordell Cato, Kevin Molino and Kevan George get their season going.
Cato and his San Jose Earthquakes are away to FC Dallas at Toyota Stadium; Molino and the debuting Orlando City are at home to New York City at the Citrus Bowl, while George’s Columbus Crew travels to Houston Dynamo.