ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – As if scoring his first international goal for Jamaica wasn’t enough, Tampa Bay Rowdies defender Damion Lowe’s goal against Honduras in the Reggae Boyz 1-0 victory at BBVA Compass Stadium also provided a special moment for his family.
“A lot of people don’t know, but my dad scored his last goal for the national team against Honduras, so this game was really special to me,” Lowe said on Saturday night. “Going in knowing the history behind it, and after I got the goal everyone was tweeting, and it feels good. Life is good.”
Onandi Lowe was a regular for Jamaica at the turn of the past century, and represented the country in the 2002 World Cup. Damion is now getting the chance to follow in his footsteps, part of a youth movement that is providing fresh opportunities for the country’s young players, including a good contingent from the domestic Red Stripe Premier League.
Lowe said he believes the initiative that has seen players like Shamar Nicholson and Jourdaine Fletcher get opportunities over the past month has been a positive one for the squad as a whole.
“I think it’s going well so far,” Lowe said. “Back in the day those opportunities weren’t coming along that much, because there were so few players that were coming out of Jamaica and getting the experience. Now I feel like it’s a great boost for everyone, overseas-based teams get to see the players and the young players get the experience they need to become professionals.”
Now back with the Rowdies, Lowe will now have the chance to replicate another of his father’s feats as a player as he opens the new season in Tampa Bay. Onandi Lowe was part of the Rochester Rhinos side that claimed the USL A-League championship in 2000. After signing with the Rowdies last month, Lowe should be back on the field next Saturday as the Rowdies face the Montreal Impact in the Suncoast Invitational at Al Lang Stadium as he continues to get acclimated to his new surroundings.
“I’ve settled in pretty well,” Lowe said. “I know a couple of players from last year, a couple of Jamaican players on the team, also I have friends in the area so I feel good.”