Kenardo Forbes has been a team captain, team MVP and 3-time member of the Jamaican National team and he's coming to Utica! Broadcaster Richard Shaw(and former teammate) sat down with Forbes to learn more about his career, favorite pregame meal and Jamaican heritage. 

What was it like to represent your country at the highest level?

To represent my country at the highest level was one of the greatest moments of my life. I remember watching Jamaica at the World Cup in 1998, at that time I was only 10 years old, and ever since that moment all I wanted to do was represent my country. It took a lot of hard work and dedication, but I was able to accomplish my dream at 21 years of age.

What are your strongest attributes as a player and how do you think you can help Utica City FC win a championship?

My decision making, game understanding, and ability to think under pressure are crucial attributes that allow me to perform at a high level. Technically, passing and shooting are my strongest assets. And speed is my strongest physical attribute. If I can put all that together every time I step on the field, hopefully that can put Utica City FC in position to win a championship. 

Can you describe how playing professional soccer in Jamaica differs to playing professionally in the U.S.?

Well it’s a lot different playing professionally in Jamaica. In Jamaica, it’s more about your individual talent and to put on a show for the fans in a competitive manner. In America, it’s about how hard you work and how you fit in with the team style of play. Additionally, how you interact with your teammates on and off the field is also important in the U.S. - and there are definitely much better facilities to train and play in within the United States. However, I plan on utilizing my competitive background while also giving the Utica City FC fans a great experience watching exciting and entertaining soccer.

What excites you and what do you like most about playing in the MASL?

The things that excite me most about playing in the MASL is the fast pace and the non-stop action. This helps and encourages you to think quickly and most of all it keeps the fans on the edge of their seat. I love seeing the fans excited - and to be able to put a smile on people’s faces, especially the kids who are watching and learning, is a joy to see.

Coming from Jamaica, do you find it difficult dealing with the winter climate during the MASL season in Upstate New York?

To be a Jamaican is one of the greatest things I could ever ask for. The climate there is wonderful, and sunshine all-year round is certainly a great feeling. Coming to live in Upstate New York and adapting to the winter weather has certainly been a transition, and something I basically had to get accustomed to. As time goes by it gets easier to adapt. However, playing in the MASL and having the experience of training and playing indoor at great facilities helps you with the winter and it certainly makes this time of the year go quicker. 

Who is your favorite player of all time and what do you like and respect about them the most?

My favorite soccer player of all time is Zinedine Zidane. He plays so simple and makes the game look very easy. He’s great at passing with both feet. He’s a leader. And his touch and control is excellent when he’s under pressure.

What do you usually eat for a pre match meal? And are you any good at cooking dumplings (A popular Jamaican food)?

My pregame meal most of the time is some type of pasta. And yeah, I’m a very good cook and I can make great dumplings!