Update: Merritt Paulson has made a statement on Twitter.
According to Jamaican newspaper The Gleaner, 20-year-old fullback Alvas Powell has walked out of the Jamaican National Team's camp as they prepare for the knockout stages of the Gold Cup. Whether he will be back with the Portland Timbers in time for Saturday's match against the Vancouver Whitecaps remains to be seen.
With a strongly disapproving bent, The Gleaner speculate that Powell was unhappy with his playing time: a not unreasonable assertion after Powell stayed on the bench through Jamaica's first two group stage matches before making a 20 minute substitute appearance in the team's 1-0 win over El Salvador to win the group.
The Gleaner article leans strongly on quotes from head coach Winfried Schafer, as does a less opinionated piece in the Jamaica Observer. The two pieces give Schafer's side of the story, but with no comment from Powell we really have no way of knowing just what is going on here.
One thing that is clear from the articles is that Powell is not welcome back in the Jamaican camp any time soon, with Schafer telling the Observer that he would not allow Powell to return to the squad if he repented and The Gleaner quoting him as saying that Powell is "the past".
For all this, this Timbers may just be getting back their star right fullback, an important piece of the defense that has been the team's strong point for most of this season. There is no word yet on what Powell's status will be for the match against Vancouver, something that the youngster's mental state will likely play into more than anything if he is physically on location.
In the end, we have less than one side of this story and until Powell decides to talk to the press we will just have to lean on our own estimation of his character.
Thanks for the FanShot and the FanPost up on the issue, ClayKavalier and Caleb Blatz.