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Fri, Dec

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Keon DanielUnited States-based midfielder Keon Daniel says players like him who are reaping the benefits of opportunities must do whatever they can to inspire others who ply their trade in the local leagues.

The Philadelphia Union player has made a name for himself since arriving at the club in March and believes there are also opportunities for others to follow.

“Hard work pays off. It’s great for me being there and it’s the same for others who are based overseas. We’ve worked hard and it’s important for us to build on this and try to help football overall,” the 24-year-old from Lambeau, Tobago said.

Giving a brief insight into life as a professional player, Daniel explained: “It is inspiring to see the way you are treated by the club. The MLS standard is pretty high. Everything is well prepared. You come in early, the pitch is well prepared.

“It’s much better than home. We say we are professionals but we do things anyhow. Hopefully the guys from abroad can help those back home by talking to them and trying to inspire them.

And hopefully the League can learn as well as the persons who run the clubs.” He normally arrives at the training ground 90 minutes before the session to spend time with team-mates and in the process improve the camaraderie.

“Then you just have to go there and play football. I have become more aggressive since I arrived there. If you are not aggressive then you won’t play.

“There are a lot of players competing for spots in the team. Forget the old talk and just play football,” Daniel summed up the approach to the game abroad.

He is two games short of 50 appearances for T&T, scoring nine goals. Daniel’s agent Andre Fortune said Union’s immigration attorney was assisting in the player’s visa problem (which prevented him from playing for the club last weekend) and the TTFF may be asked for assistance.