Louisville City FC coach James O’Connor often describes midfielder Devon “Speedy” Williams as a Major League Soccer-level talent. Williams will have a larger stage to prove it this week with his second career call up to play for the Jamaica National Team.
The Kingston, Jamaica, native is among the 20 players named to the squad for a 7 p.m. Saturday friendly against Canada in Toronto.
“We’re absolutely delighted for Devon,” O’Connor said. “He has worked tremendously hard since his arrival, and we are all thrilled for him to receive this recognition.”
LouCity will have players on both side of the matchup, as midfielder Mark-Anthony Kaye traveled to Canada over the weekend to represent his home nation as well.
Williams, 25, received his second national team call up just more than seven years after his first. Then still a high schooler, he earned a cap on Aug. 11, 2010, appearing during a 3-1 win over Trinidad and Tobago.
“It’s much different this time, because I’ve been a professional for three years now,” Williams said. “I think I’m at a stage in my career where I’m ready for a call like this. I’m sure they had their reasons why they didn’t call me back before this. I just stayed prepared, because I knew it was going to come one day.”
Williams signed with LouCity for the 2017 season after winning both a regular-season and USL Cup Playoffs title last year with the New York Red Bulls II. In 13 appearances he has proven one of the club’s top distributors, leading LouCity with an 87.4 percent passing accuracy on his 733 attempts.
Williams will join the Jamaican team Thursday in Canada.
“This is a really big deal for me and my family,” said Williams, who informed his uncle, a guardian, of the news Sunday night. “And he started crying, so that’s how big it is.
“One day, I’d really like to play a game in my home country. I’d really love to play for my country in my country in front of everyone.”
In addition to Williams, Jamaica’s side will also feature Romario Williams, leading scorer for the Charleston Battery, LouCity’s opponent for a 5 p.m. Saturday game at Slugger Field.