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Levi Garcia on shortlist to face St Vincent; AZ teenager nears Warriors debut

Eighteen year old AZ Alkmaar winger Levi Garcia may be on course to becoming the youngest player to represent Trinidad and Tobago at a World Cup qualifier in almost three decades, after he was invited to join the “Soca Warriors” for outings against St Vincent and the Grenadines on March 25 and 29.

Photo: AZ Alkmaar winger Levi Garcia (top) hurdles an opponent during Eredivisie action in the 2015/16 season. (Copyright AZ Media)
Photo: AZ Alkmaar winger Levi Garcia (top) hurdles an opponent during Eredivisie action in the 2015/16 season.
(Copyright AZ Media)

Garcia, according to the Dutch media, was invited to represent the Warriors in the upcoming qualifiers. The Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) is yet to officially announce its squad and can still make changes.

Trinidad and Tobago head coach Stephen Hart is obliged to serve notice to all clubs in advance of international call-ups. But he can whittle down that shortlist when it is time to despatch plane tickets.

“This is customary where we have to make the official request of the players who are in contention for selection in advance during the stipulated time,” Hart told the TTFA Media. “There are a number of players who we ensure are on the list or the general pool and contact is made with the clubs before our final squad is announced.

“This is merely to ensure we have access to these players once they are required to join the team.”

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However, if Garcia does wear red, black and white strip on March 25 or 29, he will be the youngest player to do so in a World Cup qualifier since former international captain and Manchester United star Dwight Yorke.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago attacker and future Manchester United star Dwight Yorke (left) was just 17 when he came to prominence during the 1990 World Cup qualifying series.
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago attacker and future Manchester United star Dwight Yorke (left) was just 17 when he came to prominence during the 1990 World Cup qualifying series.

Yorke was 17 years old and a schoolboy at St Augustine Secondary—on transfer from Signal Hill Comprehensive—when he made his competitive debut for Trinidad and Tobago in a crucial World Cup qualifier against Honduras at the Queen’s Park Oval, Port of Spain on 30 October 1988.

Yorke, who went on to become Trinidad and Tobago’s most accomplished player, was just four days shy of his 18th birthday.

In more recent times, Trinidad and Tobago record goal scorer Stern John as well as current international players, Kenwyne Jones and Khaleem Hyland, all made their World Cup qualifying debuts at 19.

Garcia, who represented Siparia Spurs, T&TEC and Marabella Family Crisis Centre at adult level in the National Super League and Pro League, holds the record as Trinidad and Tobago’s youngest scorer in a European domestic competition. And the former Shiva Hindu College student made just his third league appearance for Netherlands top flight club, AZ, on the weekend.

Photo: AZ Alkmaar and Trinidad and Tobago winger Levi Garcia (right) in Eredivisie action against Feyenoord. (Copyright AZ Media)
Photo: AZ Alkmaar and Trinidad and Tobago winger Levi Garcia (right) in Eredivisie action against Feyenoord.
(Copyright AZ Media)

Hart selected six potential wingers—Lester Peltier, Joevin Jones, Cordell Cato, Jomal Williams, Trevin Caesar and Rundell Winchester—in his 23-man squad that lost 1-0 to Haiti in a 2016 Copa America Centenario play off contest on January 8.

If Garcia does get a senior team call-up, it suggests that one or two or even three of that six might be cut.

First, Hart must announce his squad to face Grenada in an exhibition match on March 19, which will give 20 players—almost exclusively employed within the Pro League—the chance to stake their claim to an international spot.

The Trinidad and Tobago team to tackle St Vincent and the Grenadines is expected to be announced immediately after the Grenada fixture.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago head coach Stephen Hart makes a point during a training session in Sao Paulo in June 2014. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/TTFA Media)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago head coach Stephen Hart makes a point during a training session in Sao Paulo in June 2014.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/TTFA Media)

About Lasana Liburd

Lasana Liburd
Lasana Liburd is the managing director and chief editor at Wired868.com and a journalist with over 20 years experience at several Trinidad and Tobago and international publications including Play the Game, World Soccer, UK Guardian and the Trinidad Express.

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  1. Nice bit of trivia there Nigel. I watched Primus last night for Caledonia btw. It will be a long way back to where he was. Hope he has better look with injuries for the rest of his career.

  2. Since Yorke, I think the youngest T&T player to make an appearance in a World Cup Qualifer is Robert Primus who was 18 years, 11 months, 5 days when he played the full 90 minutes in a 2-2 draw against Mexico on October 10th, 2009.

  3. Anderson from st Vincent. He plays for his country and he got pick up by a club

  4. Come on man it will benefit for the good of the country. Haiti is much poorer than us. They are benefiting more now

  5. Can u stop bring that old vibes around the youth man nah

  6. You Sir …. lack focus ….. I had a problem with an algebra equation in my Math homework in High School …… your response. …… you enrolled me in a 4 year degree program in Georgia Tech …… and proceeds to describe the entire curiculum to me. Insanity!

    • Well yuh shudda study your school work back in our sweet country eh, instead of just wanting to play the football. steeuuppss. You really good yes.

    • Yuh does gripe but yuh doh add nothing to the fix ….anybody could gripe about issues but to want to discourage a youth man from expanding his experiences because of issues 50 yrs old is irresponsible and stagnant. So you won’t be part of the solution but yet you wanna discourage participants involved in the progress? I cyah take you seriously.

    • Ah doh know where you came out from nah eh, ah trying to start some bacchanal here eh and chain up certain people eh, yuh jump in just so, just so, eh, yuh eh see Mr. Live Wire eh taking me on eh and yes I will continue to discourage participants who are now playing in real professional leagues abroad and making plenty millions of monies eh, until the TTFA knows how to treat my players on a real professional level eh, and stop exploiting them and our beautiful game.steeuupps. Them really good yes.

    • Seeetttuuupppsss like if u were in the position u would of done any different

    • malik johnson what mango is saying that footballers should think very hard about leaving their clubs and coming 2 play for tnt cause the risk of injury is very high and it could set you back at your club in many ways

    • Dion Sosa I totally understand and agree with a player not wanting to risk his career and contract by coming and playing and it doesn’t have insurance and stuff to cover him we all know that….. but my problem with that guy is the talk he talk and wht he try to portray to ppl is not wht he is about sheep in wolf clothing but want fb to feel he so care about player just fame he’s looking for…

    • Dion I get that it’s a risk every player playing for the national setup. He however us a young player I’m sure with ambitions to go further in his career so I’m sure caps will count and the possibility of a world cup. I’m saying young ambitions. ….we all know the deal with the ttfa but tim is gone as is jack …we have to be hopeful that they can improve as an organisation. But in this case this is about a talented young player he should be pushed to be exposed and developed not bogged down by the misdeeds of a retarded organisation that like it or not he still needs. My disagreement was the vibe of the discussion.

    • don’t worry levi won’t be exploited cause we will make sure that things are in place for him

    • I am just looking for fame eh, you yourself at one time represented our sweet country at youth level I think eh, and after you gave your all eh, what did you get out of it eh, not even a scholarship nor a degree eh, and because you lacked the discipline that was needed to go any further eh, like some others your football career died a very slow death in Crooklyn eh, and I am sure that you is hustling now like a few others to make ends meet eh, because you made all wrong decisions and choices with your life eh. Calvin Palos Garcia yuh really good yes.

    • First thing first yes I represented my country at youth level and am proud of that and for your information when I left home I finished school and I came here to make a better life for me not with football in mind all the football I played the man here is for recreation I never try or pushed to make football my career or my life so get your information st8 because I know and Dion Sosa knows if I had push it was good enough to make it… Secondly am work a comfortable 9-5 union job with benefits so I can make a way for my son but wht am glad for is never 1 day I had to ask ppl like u for anything….. and yes I lack discipline and respect for leaches like u…. and trust me summer is close so when am face to face with u talk all this talk because am not into all this fb back and forth see u soon leach…. Early Earl Mango Pierre

    • Not coming back to Crooklyn eh, why don’t you jump on the iron bird eh and come to our sweet country so we can meet face to face eh, that is if you can leave my second sweet country and then return eh, looser. Yuh really good yes.

    • I know u want to know my bizz but am not one to brag about my situation and your in the wrong place to b talking all this talk u probably don’t know where am from and wht can happen to u but as I said all this back and forth talk am not into that see u soon trust me u would Earl Mango Pierre

    • Steeuupss what can happen to me eh, look go and take your pills and drink some water and have a good night sleep nah eh

    • you again eh, why yuh still back and forthing so eh, and doh forget to say your prayers eh, Satan is ah lie eh.

    • Fellas allyuh cyah be serious …. a difference of opinion. ….. man not out here to start nothing. ..kill this nah!

    • The fella have plenty mental problems a very long time now eh. He really good yes.

    • easy fellas let it don’t reach 2 this you both are my good friends its a debate let’s not get personal we better than that

    • Dion Sosa I really don’t know what is that fella problem with me eh, every time I make a comment eh, he is always attacking me eh, as you and plenty others know eh I have done alot for many of our players home and abroad eh, and never did and still not looking for any fame eh, or anything in return from them, all I want to do is always help them to fulfill their dreams be it playing professionally or getting a football scholarship , and I will continue to do so, but I will never stop pounding the TTFA or anybody else if they are not doing the right thing for our footballers, our sweet country and the beautiful sport eh, and I dun talk. Them really good yes.

    • Missed all this. Thanks for cooling the temperature Dion.

  7. And furthermore we won’t be going back to any more World Cups eh, until the TTFA decides to stop doing a set of madness and put the right things in place in order to do so eh, first they have to pay all their debts starting with the 3 million that they owe Anton Corneal plus the others that monies are owed to, and just like the pro league eh, that needs to be self- sufficient eh, and stop always begging the government, the TTFA have to do the same eh. Alyuh think is just so, just so, a country does qualify for the World Cup eh, big monies have to spend eh, and meh uncle Jack Warner isn’t there to orchestrate things anymore eh, and that was the only reason why our Soca Worries qualified for the 2006 World Cup in Germany eh, and look what happened the cinderella team not only didn’t make the second round eh, they didn’t even score 1 goal eh, because our great player Russell Latapy – The Little Magician who got us to the World Cup in the first place eh, was sacked by the doh, doh, head Coach and only got a little time to play in the last game because the people couldn’t take it anymore and started to chant his name for the Coach to finally play him and just for us to be able to qualify eh, uncle Jack Warner influenced the FIFA to come up with the fourth place playoffs eh, so we cudda get the chance eh, and now there is another 5 th place eh, well we will come 6th eh, because the team is rebuilding and there are no more real boss players in order for us to do so eh, a matter of fact until we start beating up meh second sweet country the America from youth level to senior level eh, convincingly eh, it ain’t happening and last but not least eh, until there are better turnouts with respect to plenty more of the supporters attending the Pro League games and giving our local players the real support that they need in order to raise their level of their game plus raise the level of the coaches to eh it will just be the same thing over and over and I done talk. Them really good yes.

  8. We’re trying to make the world cup ….why shouldn’t he be part of something like that? The difference between youthful exuberance and cynical pessimism.

  9. All this man does talk about is money smh

  10. Steeuuppss If he knows what is good for him eh, he better stay and make plenty millions playing the real professional football in Holland eh, Dion Sosa, never forget about Cornell Glen football story about how he always got injured representing our sweet country eh, and lost some professional contracts abroad eh, the TTFA doesn’t even have insurance for the players and there is always some issue when is time to get their well deserved monies steeuuppss, Them really good yes.

  11. Boom!!… just imagine him, Molino and Pest on d same side in the future nah!(once those guys get back fit)let that marinate…

  12. congrats Levi Garcia in coach HEART say you good you have to be good he told me im a good supporter with the biggest TNT FLAG so we will see whet you have in VINCY i will be there TOTAL SUPPORT as normal normal