Mere hours away from “D-day”, the Trinidad and Tobago national under-17 team can decide its fate with another glorious 90 minute effort against Panama as the young “Soca Warriors” close in on a spot at the 2013 United Arab Emirates FIFA Under-17 World Cup.
Once more, St Augustine Secondary and San Juan Jabloteh schoolboy Akeem Garcia is expected to be in the thick of things. His speed and tricks can be eye-catching. But his motivation is simple.
“I have always liked football, since I was small,” Garcia told Wired868.
Still in his early teens, Garcia has already proved that football is more than a hobby with an impressive array of experiences in a variety of school and club tournaments and training camps. But getting to the World Cup might make everything else fade into insignificance.
He sees that the national under-17 team as his second family.
“We are a family; one unit,” said Garcia. “On the field, even if we shout at each other (once we get) off the field, there are no hard feelings.”
His teammates agreed on the close bond between the Warriors. Tonight, host nation, Panama, is expected to throw out a daunting challenge.
Trinidad and Tobago’s close-knit band of brothers will accept it eagerly.
Name: Akeem Garcia
DOB: September 11th, 1996
Favourite Number: 10
Favourite Player: Cristiano Ronaldo
School: St. Augustine Secondary
Club: San Juan Jabloteh
Something most people don’t know: Garcia was named the MVP and leading goal scorer of the Youth awards for the 2011-2012 season in the under 16 category.
Q & A:
What motivates you?
“I want to be the best, that is what pushes me.”
Where do you see yourself in five years?
“Well I definitely want a scholarship and then I want to play football full-time. Football is what I want to do until I can’t anymore.”
Which player do you admire most and why?
(Cristiano Ronaldo) CR7 is my favourite player. I love the tricks and skills he has and it is something I want to learn myself.