Sunday, October 22, 2017

Los Angeles Signs Antigua and Barbuda Star Byers

June 3, 2011 by  
Filed under US Soccer, USL

LOS ANGELES, Calif. –The Los Angeles Blues are excited to announce the signing of Peter Byers for the remainder of the 2011 USL PRO campaign, pending USSF and USL approval. The Antigua and Barbuda international forward comes to    Southern California with an impressive track record of attacking success and following a brief, yet successful stint with fellow USL PRO club Antigua Barracuda FC.

“After the game at Antigua in mid-April, some of our players told me about him,” Blues Head Coach Charlie Naimo recalled. “I guess he had spoken to them and mentioned that he was interested in joining the team. I reached out to him the next day, but before I heard back I saw a press release that he had signed with Antigua. So we figured that would be his club for the whole season.

“Then, a couple of days after we played Antigua at home in early May, I got an e-mail from his agent telling me that it was only a one-month contract. Of course, we immediately responded that we were interested, and after pursuing him for a little while we came to an agreement. We’re extremely excited about his acquisition because we think Peter is a great fit for the team.”

Byers’ career statistics speak for themselves. The 26-year-old started out with Antigua and Barbuda Premier Division outfit SAP FC, where he played nearly 80 matches between 2003 and 2007 and averaged just under a goal per game. He then moved on to San Juan Jabloteh of Trinidad and Tobago’s first division, the TT Pro League, and registered 21 tallies in 38 matches.

Byers’ performances soon drew the attention of the Montreal Impact, then of the USL First Division, who acquired his services in 2008. In a span of two years, the Antigua and Barbuda international earned nearly 40 appearances and found the back of the net nine times for the storied Canadian club.

Byers contributed to Montreal’s run in the 2008/09 edition of the CONCACAF Champions League that saw the team win its group ahead of eventual champions Atlante, only to suffer a heartbreaking 5-4 aggregate loss in the quarterfinals to another Mexican side, Santos Laguna.

In early 2009, the striker’s strong play earned him a trial with MLS club San Jose Earthquakes. However, Byers would return to the Impact, and in October of the same year he scored the opening goal in the first leg of the USL First Division final against the Vancouver Whitecaps, which Montreal would go on to win 6-3 on aggregate.

The crafty attacking player made full use of his seven-game stint with Antigua Barracuda FC in 2011 by catapulting himself into the top ten of USL PRO stats leaders in both points registered (9) and goals scored (4). He has earned nearly 30 caps with the Antigua and Barbuda national team and averages just under a goal per every two games for his country.

Charlie Naimo explained what factors, besides the impressive numbers, made Byers such an attractive addition to the Blues roster.

“If you think about our team right now, we have almost all the pieces we wanted,” the Los Angeles Head Coach said. “The one type of player we haven’t had so far is a big, strong, fast forward that could stretch defenses and be a high target for us. Peter is that kind of player. He’s the type of guy who, even if we’re playing poorly, can operate in very tight spaces and handle two or three defenders at a time. That should be a tremendous help as we try to launch counter-attacks.

“That being said, his skills also make him a fantastic asset in terms of our possession game. He really adds another dimension to it. We can probably be a little more direct now in pushing players up the field because Peter will be able to hold the ball for us. Having him here will just make our attack that much more diverse.”

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