Vassell focusing on form for 2020
National midfielder Peter-Lee Vassell said 2019 has been what he describes as a 'tough' year in his career. But the former Harbour View and Cornwall College playmaker says he intends to continue working hard until he is back on track.
Vassell, who signed a one-year deal to endorse Pepsi-Cola Jamaica and their sports hydration drink, Gatorade yesterday, told Star Sports that competition for places at Major League Soccer side Los Angeles FC (LAFC) and United Soccer League's Phoenix Rising, both in the United States, is much fiercer than at Harbour View, and that he has to put in some more work in order to regain regular playing time.
"It has been a good but a tough season," Vassell told STAR Sports. "I went into the national team and then got a contract and that challenges you to become an even better player. But situations do happen in football and we all have ups and downs.
"I started the season well (at LAFC) but it started to go downhill for me. But the work and mindset haven't changed. Things will happen, but you just have to work harder to turn it around and, hopefully, great things will happen again soon," he said.
Vassell said the move from LAFC to Phoenix Rising was not a performance-based decision.
The challenge is different
"I wouldn't say I have dropped form because my performance never decreased," he said. "But when I asked the coaches what's the situation, it's never based on performance. You know you are in a great team and the challenge is different because you are going up against great players. So it's the level of work rate and the consistency you put in every day, so you have to just work hard and leave the rest up to the coaches."
Vassell believes it was still a good season for him and hopes to close out the year with a solid performance against the Japanese U-22 team. This is when Jamaica's counterparts meet them on December 28 for the Karin Challenge Cup at the Transcosmos Stadium in Nagasaki, Japan.
"It is a big thing to look forward to," he said. "I will have to put in the work and help the team, not only for this game but for future matches. This is a big showcase for young players, not only for me, but there are local players that need to put themselves on the market, this is a big opportunity for them," he added.
Pepsi-Cola brand manager, Cornelia Nathan, said Vassell will be charged with doing above-line advertising, promotions, and endorsing the product at sponsorship events.
"He will represent us in trade," she said. "He is already on the international scene. He will be doing above the line promotion in terms of billboard, press and interviews. Plus, any promotions or sponsorships with football or athletic activity, he will be there to give pep talks and interact with fans.
"It's a great partnership, he's young and already established. We want to build with him, to grow and be able to support him during his journey to football stardom. He is a very talented player and we know this is a great choice."