Home / Volley / Global Football / Archibald, Spann, Stern… and Levi! Teenaged Garcia sets another T&T record

Archibald, Spann, Stern… and Levi! Teenaged Garcia sets another T&T record

Warren Archibald, Leroy Spann, Stern John, Khaleem Hyland… and now Levi Garcia.

Photo: Eighteen year old Trinidad and Tobago winger Levi Garcia (right) celebrates his second goal with teammate Khaleem Hyland against St Vincent and the Grenadines at Arnos Vale on 25 March 2016. Trinidad and Tobago won 3-2. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/CA-images/Wired868)
Photo: Eighteen year old Trinidad and Tobago winger Levi Garcia (right) celebrates his second goal with teammate Khaleem Hyland against St Vincent and the Grenadines at Arnos Vale on 25 March 2016.
Trinidad and Tobago won 3-2.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/CA-images/Wired868)

In the Trinidad and Tobago National Team’s 3-2 win over St Vincent and the Grenadines today, Garcia wrote his name into an exclusive and illustrious list of Trinidad and Tobago standouts, as he became only the fifth teenager to score for the two-island republic in a World Cup qualifying contest.

The 18-year-old Garcia, who plays professionally for AZ Alkmaar in the Netherlands Eredivisie, came off the bench to score twice in 20 minutes at Arnos Vale to lead the “Soca Warriors” to a vital 3-2 win.

 

In the process, the former Shiva Boys Hindu College student and T&TEC winger became Trinidad and Tobago’s youngest-ever scorer in this competition.

But then Garcia has been scooping up records all year.

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)

On 24 January 2016, he eclipsed former Trinidad and Tobago legend Dwight Yorke to become his country’s youngest debutante in a top flight European competition when he made his first appearance for AZ in a 4-2 win over Feyenoord.

And, six days later, Garcia landed another milestone, as he scored in a 3-0 win over NEC to become his country’s youngest marksman in Europe.

Garcia’s performances in the Eredivisie earned him an international call up by Trinidad and Tobago head coach Stephen Hart and he did not disappoint with a match winning performance as the Warriors edged the “Vincey Heat.”

Garcia is likely to feature again on Tuesday when Trinidad and Tobago host St Vincent and the Grenadines from 7 pm at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Port of Spain.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago winger Levi Garcia (left) prepares to glide past St Vincent and the Grenadines right back Akeem Williams en route to his opening goal in Russia 2018 World Cup qualifying action at Arnos Vale on 25 March 2016. Trinidad and Tobago won 3-2. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/CA-images/Wired868)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago winger Levi Garcia (left) prepares to glide past St Vincent and the Grenadines right back Akeem Williams en route to his opening goal in Russia 2018 World Cup qualifying action at Arnos Vale on 25 March 2016.
Trinidad and Tobago won 3-2.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/CA-images/Wired868)

(Trinidad and Tobago’s teen wonders)

Warren Archibald (19):

Archibald got off the mark with a hattrick as Trinidad and Tobago stunned Haiti 4-2 in Port-au-Prince on 25 November 1968, in what turned out to be their only win of the 1970 World Cup qualifying campaign.

The quick, skilful Point Fortin attacker went on to become one of Trinidad and Tobago’s greatest players of all time. Some argue he was the greatest full stop.

Archibald’s international career ended at just 24, after he was one of a string of gifted players banned by the TTFA general secretary Jack Warner for threatening a strike for better working conditions. But he was adored as a professional in the United States.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago icon Warren Archibald (right) wrongfoots NY Cosmos defender Barry Mahy while representing the Washington Darts in the NASL during the 1970s. (Courtesy ttfootballhistory.com)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago icon Warren Archibald (right) wrongfoots NY Cosmos defender Barry Mahy while representing the Washington Darts in the NASL during the 1970s.
(Courtesy ttfootballhistory.com)

Leroy Spann (19):

Spann opened his account with a double at the King George V Park—since renamed the Nelson Mandela Park—in a 11-1 romp against Antigua and Barbuda on 10 November 1972.

The midfielder only ever scored once more for Trinidad and Tobago but he remains immortalised for perfecting a move introduced to a global audience by Brazilian wizard Rivelino. We still call it the “Spanner.”

Two of his sons, Silas, and, more famously, Silvio Spann, also represented Trinidad and Tobago on the football field.

Photo: Former Trinidad and Tobago midfield great Leroy "Spanner" Spann.
Photo: Former Trinidad and Tobago midfield great Leroy “Spanner” Spann.

Stern John (19):

John scored a record 20 World Cup qualifying goals for Trinidad and Tobago, helped the “Soca Warriors” to the Germany 2006 World Cup and will always be remembered fondly in Birmingham City and Sunderland for helping both clubs win England Premier League promotion.

The Hall of Fame striker got started with a hattrick in a 8-0 spanking of the Dominican Republic at the Hasely Crawford Stadium on 23 June 1996.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago's all-time record scorer Stern John. (Copyright AFP 2015)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago’s all-time record scorer Stern John.
(Copyright AFP 2015)

Khaleem Hyland (19):

It is fairly certain that Hyland will never be a prolific scorer for Trinidad and Tobago. When he scored his first World Cup qualifying goal against Honduras on 28 March 2009, Patrick Manning was prime minister. By the time he got his second, six years later, Dr Keith Rowley was in charge.

But the busy, barrel-chested midfielder already has more than a half century of international caps and will not be forgotten for his multitude of scraps with opponents over the years.

Or for the “Spanner” against England captain Steven Gerrard in a friendly in 2008 and sublime nutmeg on—or “brush” with—United States captain Michael Bradley last November.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago midfielder Khaleem Hyland (left) rolls the ball through the legs of United Staes captain Michael Bradley during 2018 World Cup qualifying action at the Hasely Crawford Stadium. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago midfielder Khaleem Hyland (left) rolls the ball through the legs of United Staes captain Michael Bradley during 2018 World Cup qualifying action at the Hasely Crawford Stadium.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

Levi Garcia (18):

Garcia hardly put a foot wrong in a stunning 30 minute cameo, as he blazed “Vincey Heat” with a classy double and a “Spanner” that would have made Leroy blush.

What does little Levi have for us next?

Photo: Eighteen year old Trinidad and Tobago winger Levi Garcia (right) celebrates with "Soca Warriors" fans after his double set a 3-2 World Cup qualifying win over St Vincent and the Grenadines at Arnos Vale on 25 March 2016. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/CA-images/Wired868)
Photo: Eighteen year old Trinidad and Tobago winger Levi Garcia (right) celebrates with “Soca Warriors” fans after his double set a 3-2 World Cup qualifying win over St Vincent and the Grenadines at Arnos Vale on 25 March 2016.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/CA-images/Wired868)

About Lasana Liburd

Lasana Liburd
Lasana Liburd is the CEO and 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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22 comments

  1. Hyland spanner on Gerrard is one move I’ll never forget. I remember Gerrard hacking him down after as well.

  2. Not sure what secondary school Spann attended before he went to San Fernando Technical Institute and captained the team to Intercol victories. He never play for Benedict’s.

  3. Not sure what school Leroy played for. Just pointing out the complaint we got really.
    I know Leroy De Leon was a Benedict’s man.

  4. When I look at him play he reminds me of Anthony martial

  5. Leroy Spann played for St. Benedict’s? Do you mean Leroy de Leon?

  6. Yeah and that same madness happened to Technical and Dondonald Institute I think for using over d age players eh, and they were banned from playing in the league. Them really good yes.

  7. Btw, there is some speculation as to the accuracy of birth dates for Warren Archibald and Leroy Spann, which dates back to St Benedict’s College getting into trouble for allegedly falsifying birth papers.
    All I can use is the information at my disposal though.

  8. He really played well for time he came on will like to see more or him

  9. We need to set the stage to maximise his talent. We have the raw material.

  10. Hannibal Najjar

    Hey, Warren, were you ever 19? Many say you were born at 23….. just a poke friend!

  11. Michael Pierre did you see the game eh, I guess not because we struggled to beat up St. Vincent eh, so the other players really needs to start to step up their game eh , and I don’t know what Coach Hart is still seeing in Kenwhyne “Bound Not to Score” Jones and could you imagine that he is the captain eh, and I have been asking this question but it seems that nobody cannot give me an answer, did you ever see any player on any football/sports team wearing the captain armband they and don’t have a clue what they are doing eh, in other words a real shit hound. steuuppss. Them really good yes.

  12. LEVI is a special one , I watch all his matches at AZ , He seems to gain the respect of his team mates at his Dutch team .

  13. Earl we have a bevi of talent. It will be exploited. Hoping that our coach maximizes his talents. I smelling a true crack at another world Cup extrodinaire. We “SOCA WARRIORS”!

  14. Best thing happen to Trinidad and Tobago team in years, Levi Garcia surely one to watch in the future

  15. Well done Levi Garcia and the Soca Warriors . BOOM.

  16. Having said dat he is young and wud need the assistance of the senior players. We need to sure up our defense and the mids have to work harder

  17. He has loads of ability and self confidence