In the first part of a new series, I report on how Carib Young Stars 2015 alumni are getting on in their careers since being profiled, with some players having enjoyed more success than others…
You can read profiles of the players who featured on the inaugural Carib Young Stars here.
The idea to write an update stemmed from Yaad Reviews YouTuber, Rachid Parchment, who made the suggestion to me having watched the 2016 edition of Carib Young Stars. So thank you to Rachid for that.
This is Part 1 of the ‘Where Are They Now?’ series. Hopefully you find this interesting!
Tevaughn Harriette / 21 / Antigua & Barbuda
- Transferred to Jennings Grenades FC from Parham and is continuing to score goals.
- Scored 5 goals in the first round of this year’s Caribbean Club Championship – vs Montego Bay United (2), vs Barcelona Atletico (1) and vs Elite SC (2).
- Grenades topped Group C and will play Central and Cibao in the final round later this month for a place in the 2017/18 CCL (either Phase 1 or 2).
- Harriette told FootballProfile268: “To score 5 goals was a good achievement personally but I couldn’t have done it without my teammates and the coach. Everybody kept believing in me, pushing me on, so I really couldn’t have done it without them.”
- Featured throughout his country’s Caribbean Cup qualifying campaign and scored in a 5-1 win over Grenada in the second round, as Antigua reached the final round of qualification but narrowly missed out on a place in the playoffs due to inferior Goals For compared to Haiti.
Quinton Griffith / 25 / Antigua & Barbuda
- Still an important part of the Charleston Battery team, now in his fifth season for the club that he joined four years ago.
- First choice right-back during the 2016 campaign as Battery reached the USL Eastern Conference semi-final, losing 1-0 to Louisville City. Griffith missed that game but he did play the full 90 in the quarter-final win over FC Cincinnati, 2-1.
- The new USL season kicked off in March and Battery are flying high, top of the league table with 4 wins from 6 games so far, and Griffith has started all 6.
- Griffith captained the Benna Boys against Curacao and Puerto Rico in the final round of Caribbean Cup qualifying last October in place of the unavailable Joshua Parker. He played in central midfield as opposed to his usual right-back/wing-back position, displaying good versatility.
Maykel Reyes / 24 / Cuba
- When I profiled Reyes, he had just signed a deal with Mexican club Cruz Azul, to play for their second team called Cruz Azul Premier in the Mexican third tier. This was after the Cuban FA agreed to allow Cuban players over to Mexico.
- Therefore became the first Cuban player, along with Abel Martinez, to sign a professional football contract since Fidel Castro outlawed professionalism in 1961.
- No longer in Mexico, though. Now back in his native Cuba representing defending Cuban champions, FC Villa Clara.
- Growing up, Reyes was more focused on athletics and was a talented sprinter, with former Olympic gold medallist Anier Garcia his inspiration. He brought that natural athleticism into football.
- Led the line for Cuba in their historic friendly against the United States last October – the first friendly between the two in 69 years, a game which the US won 2-0. Reyes was quiet, overshadowed by an eye-catching performance from teammate Arichel Hernandez.
- Also played in his country’s Caribbean Cup qualifiers seven months earlier, as Cuba finished bottom of a group consisting of French Guiana and Bermuda. A couple of months before, he featured in the Copa America Centenario playoff vs Panama as Cuba suffered a heavy 4-0 defeat and missed out on a place at the special event held in the US last summer.
Derrick Etienne Jr / 20 / Haiti
- Referred to as ‘The Haitian Messi’ by some…Etienne Jr has made significant progress since he was profiled. 9th November 2016: made senior debut for Haiti vs French Guiana. 13th November 2016: made first start for Haiti’s seniors. 8th January 2017: scored first international goal in a 4-3 win over Trinidad & Tobago in the Gold Cup playoffs.
- That first senior appearance was coming as he was included in Haiti’s Copa America Centenario provisional squad, but didn’t make the final cut of 23.
- On the club front, he’s been making real strides too. Made first team MLS debut last October, coming off the bench vs DC United. Won the USL Cup with New York Red Bulls 2 several weeks later, scoring and assisting in the final.
- This season he’s been with the first team on a fixed basis wearing the #7 shirt. Made cameo appearances off the bench in both legs of CCL quarter-final vs Vancouver Whitecaps. Made his first MLS start vs Columbus Crew on 11th March, up front with Bradley Wright-Phillips. Has played 7 games so far this term and started 3 of them.
Caniggia Elva / 20 / St Lucia
- Has continued his development with Stuttgart’s reserve team who play in the Regionalliga Sudwest in the fourth tier of German football, after suffering relegation last season.
- Scored his first goal for them in February 2016, a couple of months after being profiled, and finished the 2015/16 season having recorded 21 games, 1066 minutes, 1 goal.
- Last summer he appeared in a friendly game for the first team – his first professional start.
- Scored a bullet header in a friendly vs Bayern Munich reserves in February earlier this year.
- Moved to Canada when he was 11, leaving behind family and friends back home in St Lucia, and has Canadian citizenship.
- Officially made debut in the Canadian shirt for the U-23s in March, came off the bench vs Uzbekistan and scored the decisive game-winning goal. Swivelled and found the bottom corner.
Harry Panayiotou / 22 / St Kitts & Nevis
- A few months after Panayiotou was profiled, he was released by Leicester City after signing a two-year extension to his contract in July 2014.
- Had been sent on loan to Raith Rovers for a short spell in Scotland before being told of his release.
- A trial with Borussia Dortmund’s U-23s followed but he decided to sign with AFC Barrow in September last year, wanting to play men’s football instead. There he never got going and was given limited opportunities to showcase his skills. Managed a meagre 17 minutes in the National League.
- Now with Salford City on loan from Barrow…Salford are owned by Gary and Phil Neville, Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes and Nicky Butt.
- Has joined at an exciting time with the club competing in the National League North playoffs, first leg of playoff semi-finals is on Wednesday vs Halifax Town.
- An important player for St Kitts & Nevis in their Caribbean Cup qualifying campaign as they reached the final round of qualification – lost to French Guiana and Haiti.
- With 7 goals for the Sugar Boyz, he ranks second on Leicester’s all-time leading international goal scorer list, behind Riyad Mahrez (8, for Algeria). Until very recently he was ranked #1.
- Nicknamed ‘The Net Ripper’ by the SKN supporters, he said in an interview with the Daily Mail at the beginning of this year that he wants to try to break the national record, of 45 or 47 depending on which source you read, held by Keith Gumbs.
- The last year and a half or so has been action-packed for Levi Garcia, the talented teenage winger from T&T.
- Broke three records all in the month of January 2016. Made his professional debut for AZ aged 18 years and 65 days – taking over Dwight Yorke’s record as the youngest Trinbagonian player to make an appearance for a European club.
- Registered his first professional goal a week later, less than 60 seconds after coming off the bench, becoming T&T’s youngest ever scorer in Europe – beating another one of Yorke’s records. He also became AZ’s second youngest scorer in the club’s 50-year history.
- Mainly been used as an impact substitute at AZ because of his raw speed and ability to run at defenders which are useful attributes late on in games.
- Has also become a full member of the senior national team. Made debut vs St Vincent & the Grenadines in March 2016, came off bench to score 2 memorable goals, T&T won 3-2. Aged 18 and 127 days, he became his country’s youngest scorer in a WCQ. Started a week later in home tie, played full 90, T&T won 6-0.
- Continued to feature in May/June friendlies, Caribbean Cup qualifiers in October, opening Hex matches in November and latest Hex matches in March earlier this year under new manager Dennis Lawrence.
- Expected to be called up once again for upcoming Hex games vs USA and Costa Rica (both away) in June.
Michael Seaton / 21 / Jamaica
- First of all, I’d like to wish Michael Seaton a very happy birthday as he turns 21 today!
- When Seaton was profiled in 2015 by Jason Lawrence, he had not long been based at Portland Timbers with their USL affiliate side.
- He was waived by the Timbers in May last year after managing only four games in the USL, and he made the interesting move to Israel a couple of months later to sign for second tier team Hapoel Ramat Gan.
- A somewhat obscure transfer you could say, but a chance to get his career back on track in a different environment and new football culture.
- He scored 6 goals from August to January – including two braces against Hapoel Ironi Rishon Lezion and Ironi Nesher FC respectively.
- Used his time with Ramat Gan as a platform to get himself noticed in Israel, and in late January put pen to paper with Hapoel Tel Aviv on a loan deal. Tel Aviv made the Champions League group stages in 2010/11 and were UEFA Cup quarter-finalists in 2001/02.
- There he has struggled to get regular game time and is expected to return to Ramat Gan when his loan expires later this month.
- For Jamaica, he is currently out of favour and has been for a little while. The last time he was called up by the seniors was in September 2015 for the third round of 2018 World Cup qualifiers, he was on the bench for both legs vs Nicaragua. That was shortly after he had joined the Timbers.
By Nathan Carr
Thank you for reading! Feel free to leave any constructive feedback in the comments box below. Stay tuned for Parts 2 and 3 coming out soon. Meanwhile, you can get in touch with me on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.