T&T U-20 star Garcia scores first goal with AZ

After he scored in AZ Alkmaar's 3-0 win over NEC Nijmegen on January 30, 2016, Trinidad & Tobago under-20 international Levi Garcia (left) is congratulated by head coach John van den Brom . (Photo courtesy of AZ Alkmaar)

NIJMEGEN, Netherlands – A week after making his Dutch Eredivisie debut, Trinidad & Tobago under-20 international Levi Garcia scored his first goal for AZ Alkmaar in a 3-0 win over host NEC Nijmegen on Saturday.

Garcia entered the match in the 69th minute as a substitute for Iran international Alireza Jahanbakhsh and completed the scoreline three minutes later, striking off a left-sided cross by Ridgeciano Haps.

The winger signed with the club in February 2015, but had to wait until November – when he turned 18-year-old – to launch officially his career in Europe.

“This is big, big, big, big,” said Garcia, who played in four games at the CONCACAF Under-20 Championship. “I cannot explain it. I am very excited. I prayed for this goal. Every time I pray for something, it comes out.”

With the goal, it is believed that Garcia became the youngest-ever player from Trinidad & Tobago to score in a European league match. Soca Warrior legend Dwight Yorke, a UEFA Champions League champion with Manchester United in 1999, had netted for Aston Villa at the age of 19.