PLAYER PROFILE: OMAR HOLNESS
By: PXI STAFF (@ProspectXI)
Senior national team experience with Jamaica.
Drafted 5th overall by Real Salt Lake in 2016 MLS SuperDraft.
2013: North Carolina (NCAA – D1) – 20 games, 17 starts, 2 goals, 3 assists, 18 shots on target, 1 yellow
2014: Timbers U23 (PDL) – 5 games, 585 minutes, 1 goals, 10 total shots
2014: North Carolina (NCAA – D1) – 22 games, 22 starts, 2 goals, 6 assists, 17 shots on target, 1 yellow
2015: North Carolina (NCAA – D1) – 17 games, 16 starts, 1 goals, 1 assist
Part of the Jamaican national team set up for a number of years, including team captain of the U17 World Cup team and vice-captain on the U-20 team, Holness also made his senior debut for Jamaica against Canada on September 9th 2014. Omar played youth soccer at Wolmer’s Boy School, where he was the leading goal scorer and named the league’s most valuable player.
Omar signed with North Carolina and as a freshman in 2013, named to the ACC All-Freshman team highlighted by a goal where he ran 50 yard through Maryland’s defense to score. He was named first team All-ACC in 2014 as a sophomore and named to the NSCAA All-South Region Second Team. In two season with the Tar Heels Holness has played 42 games, starting 39 of them, he has scored four goals and added nine assists and getting 35 of his shots on target. In the summer of 2014 he played with the Portland Timber U-23 PDL team and scored one goal in five games.
Holness has exceptional speed and good dribbling ability as well as the intelligence to play in the center of the pitch. His greatest asset is when he finds the ball in space and is able to run at an opponent but also has enough control to pass in traffic. Omar had a down season in 2015, amassing only 1 goal and 1 assist in 17 games (16 starts) during the season. Even with that, he signed a Generation Adidas contract and is still considered one of the top pick in the 2016 MLS SuperDraft. Holness was ultimately drafted 5th overall by Real Salt Lake in the 2016 MLS SuperDraft, adding a young dynamic midfielder to a team known for its passing and movement.
+ Jamaica National youth team player
+ Played two seasons of NCAA Division 1 soccer with North Carolina
+ Played one season of PDL with Timbers U23
+ Made his Jamaica National Team senior debut in 2014
+ Drafted 5th overall by Real Salt Lake in 2016 MLS SuperDraft