Marco Vélez

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Marco Vélez
M velez.jpg
Personal information
Full name Marco Vélez
Date of birth (1980-06-26) June 26, 1980 (age 34)
Place of birth Carolina, Puerto Rico
Height 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Playing position Defender
Club information
Current team
Puerto Rico Islanders
Number 4
Youth career
1997–1999 IMG Soccer Academy
1999–2001 Barry Buccaneers
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2002 Bradenton Academics 14 (1)
2003–2004 Seattle Sounders 52 (7)
2005–2007 Puerto Rico Islanders 73 (3)
2008–2009 Toronto FC 38 (2)
2009– Puerto Rico Islanders 39 (1)
National team
2004– Puerto Rico 14 (0)
Teams managed
2012– Puerto Rico Islanders (assistant)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of September 30, 2012.

† Appearances (Goals).

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of May 16, 2012

Marco Vélez (born June 26, 1980 in Carolina) is a Puerto Rican footballer who currently plays for the Puerto Rico Islanders of the North American Soccer League.

Career[edit]

Youth and college[edit]

Vélez began playing soccer at an early age in Puerto Rico with Colegio San Jose, but moved to Nick Bollettieri's IMG Soccer Academy when in high school. He then attended Barry University from 1999 to 2001, playing on the men's soccer team. During his freshman and sophomore years he was named first team All Conference.[1]

Professional[edit]

Vélez was drafted by the MetroStars in the 2003 MLS SuperDraft, but decided to sign with the Seattle Sounders of the USL First Division instead of playing in Major League Soccer. While a defender in college, Vélez played as a forward during the 2003 season, before returning to the back line in 2004. He helped the Sounders reach the league finals in 2004.

Vélez signed with the Puerto Rico Islanders in 2005, where he scored 2 goals in 22 games playing as a defender. During the 2006 season, Vélez was instrumental in the Islanders' run to the playoffs and their qualification for the CONCACAF Champions Cup, the first time in team history they had qualified for either tournament. Vélez was selected to be the Islanders' captain during the CONCACAF Champions Cup qualifiers.

During the 2007 season, Vélez scored one goal and added one assist in twenty-seven games. His everyday play as defender was crucial to the Islanders advancing for the first time in team history to the USL Semi-Finals. Velez led the Islanders in matches and minutes played.

In July 2007, the California Cougars of Major Indoor Soccer League drafted Vélez in the sixth round (49th overall) of the league's supplemental draft.,[2] but he never played for the team.

Vélez transferred from the Puerto Rico Islanders to Toronto FC in 2008, and in doing so became the first native Puerto Rican to participate in MLS. He made his MLS debut on 29 March 2008 in a 2-0 defeat to Columbus Crew.[3] In his first season in Major League Soccer, Vélez started all the games in which he participated.[4]

Toronto FC released Marco on August 13, 2009[5] and returned to his former club Puerto Rico Islanders.[6] Vélez left Toronto with 38 appearances, 31 of those as a starter. The defender compiled 2,753 minutes and finished his time with the Club with two goals, four cautions, and two ejections.[7] In 2010 he re-signed with the Islanders.[8]

International[edit]

Vélez made his debut for the Puerto Rico national football team in 2004, and was named captain of the team by coach Colin Clarke in 2008.

Honours[edit]

Toronto FC[edit]

Puerto Rico Islanders[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]