Former Bermuda forward Khano Smith to visit island with new team
The Bermuda Football Association has struck a partnership with United Soccer League Championship expansion team Rhode Island FC, who are managed and coached by former national team forward Khano Smith.
The association announced it will host the American professional club for a pre-season training camp early in the new year, which will include practice matches between the national team and touring party.
“The Bermuda Football Association is delighted to announce that it will host Rhode Island FC from February 23 to 28, 2024, for an exciting pre-season training camp,” read a BFA press release.
“The highlight of this collaboration will be practice matches scheduled for February 24 and 27, providing a valuable opportunity for both teams to fine-tune their skills and strategies.
“This strategic initiative is part of the Bermuda Football Association’s ongoing commitment to fostering international partnerships and enhancing football development within the National Academy. The collaboration with Rhode Island FC presents a unique occasion for Bermuda’s Senior Men’s National Team to engage in rigorous training sessions and practice matches, essential in preparation for the upcoming international commitments in 2024.
“The Bermuda Football Association welcomes Rhode Island FC and looks forward to a week of intense training and friendly competition in the new year. The pre-season training camp enhances both teams’ skill sets and strengthens the bonds between football communities, fostering goodwill and camaraderie in the beautiful game.”
Commenting on the collaboration, BFA technical director Maurice Lowe expressed his delight to work with former Dandy Town and Bermuda team-mate Smith.
“This is a moment of fulfilment collaborating with my team-mate for both club and country,” Lowe said.
“Having watched Khano go from strength to strength as a professional player, his coach education pathway and now general manager and head coach, it is a pleasure to work on this mutually beneficial project by having Rhode Island FC come to Bermuda.”
Smith, who also played professionally in Major League Soccer with New England Revolution and New York Red Bulls, is looking forward to bringing his team to the island.
“I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity to bring the Rhode Island FC team to a place that shaped me into the person and professional I am today,” he said.
“Rhode Island and Bermuda are both places that care deeply about the community and have a shared love for the beautiful game.
“I know that training in Bermuda as well as participating in two practice matches while we’re there will support our players in feeling prepared and excited for our first match of the season in March of 2024.”
Rhode Island FC officially joined the USL Championship in December 2019 with Smith appointed as their head coach and general manager in March this year.
The 42-year-old holds a Uefa B coaching badge, a US Soccer professional coaching licence, a masters in Sports Management and has also spent seven years as an assistant coach in both the National Women’s Soccer League and the United Soccer League Championship.
Rhode Island FC will make their debut in the USL Championship in early March and will play their home matches at Beirne Stadium at Bryant University until their state-of-the-art soccer stadium at Tidewater Landing is completed.