DEROUX CREDITS UPBRINGING TO CAREER SUCCESS
One hundred players came in for the MLS’s DC United open tryouts in 2005, only one made it to training camp and eventually the roster. Utica City’s very own Stephen DeRoux was the only player offered a contract in that open trial. DeRoux’s unique skill set has helped him in his long impressive career leading to his arrival in the MASL in 2011 and a roster spot with Utica City.
From the start of his career with the D.C. United of the MLS, to the Montreal Impact of the MLS, and even a short spell in Puerto Rico competing in the CONCACAF Championship. DeRoux has appeared in 22 appearances for City this season, scoring two goals and dishing out six assists making him a key player for City’s defensive success this season.
Tommy Tanner, Utica City FC general manger had coached against DeRoux before acquiring him this season. He describes DeRoux as, “strong and fast but also he is the type of player who brings a lot creativity to his game.”
Not all players are able to transition to the MASL. The game is faster and players find less time on the ball. DeRoux credits his ability to play to the indoor game back to his upbringing in St. Mary, Jamaica.
“You can teach someone to kick a soccer ball from here to there but you can't teach them how to be fast, to be voracious you can't teach raw skill that has to come from within,” said DeRoux. “That's what I learned from playing street pickup in Jamaica, I never really played on a team there until high school.”
“I think just the raw talent, the raw street talent that I learned from playing in Jamaica, I think that's always going to be instilled in me you can't really teach that.”
The natural talent that grows from the streets of Jamaica is similar to other Caribbean Islands. Many Caribbean players have found success in MASL due the free flow of play that originates in the less organized platforms of play. Teammate Darren Toby also grew up playing in the Caribbean Islands and has enjoyed a lengthy career.
DeRoux looks to finish the season with Utica City leading the Eastern division and take the team on a deep playoff run. Hopefully fans can see a few more of his post-goal acrobatics as he notches a few more points of his own!
DeRoux and the rest of the team are back in action at the Adirondack Bank Center on Monday, April 22 as they take on the Baltimore Blast for the Eastern Division crown. Tickets can be purchased at www.empirestatetix.com for the 6:30pm kickoff.