BRADENTON, Fla. – With a heavy load of matches in a short stretch during the 2016 Super Y League North American Finals, having a versatile roster certainly bodes well for the duration.
FA Euro U18’s Rajohn Hazell-Hawkesworth is a prime example. After playing in the defense earlier in the tournament, Hawkesworth tallied two goals and an assist to lead FA Euro to a 4-0 victory against Miramar United to win Group C on Sunday at IMG Academy.
“I was playing right back, but with my pace and agility and good footwork and technical ability, they tried me at forward for the last game,” Hawkesworth said. “I just use my speed, my technical ability and powerful shot to convert two chances and help the team.”
After opening the tournament with a draw against Ironbound Blue, FA Euro has hit its stride with nine goals in the final two group matches.
Hawkesworth demonstrated his explosiveness throughout Sunday’s match. Early in the second half, it was his setup ability after fending off Miramar’s defense in the left corner. He crossed in and Luciano Cirelli finished with a side volley for a 2-0 advantage. Hawkesworth snuck in to redirect the ball in front of Miramar’s goalkeeper for a three-goal cushion. But the most impressive element of his game was his power that he showed in his opening goal, finding the upper-right corner to hit the ground running.
“I’m accustomed to scoring like that,” Hawkesworth said. “When the defender dives in, and just comes in, I can free myself, and it’s easy, breezy after that.”
FA Euro’s final tally came from Deandre Gordon, who delivered a corner kick from the right side that bent in perfectly inside the back-left post for the club’s fourth and final tally.
Hawkesworth is part of a heavy Caribbean connection of players who have been brought in, including Gordon and Tajaen Wilson-George.
“In the Caribbean, we have a lot of flair and speed, and we use that to our advantage, play a lot of balls, knock it one-two, as you saw today,” Hawkesworth said.
Long-term, Hawkesworth sees himself at outside back. For the time being, now that FA Euro is in the knockout stage of the SYL Finals, the club will gladly utilize his services anywhere on the pitch.
“If I go to the next level, I’ll probably play as a right back because I feel more comfortable there,” Hawkesworth said. “I can use my speed and surprise other teams. I’m a versatile player, and I’ll play wherever the team needs me.”