Soca Warrior Akeem Garcia sinks York9 in Halifax Fall Opener


By Darnel Harris

Halifax Wanderers Akeem Garcia shoots at York9 goalkeeper Nathan Ingham.

After travelling to Halifax to face Wanderers FC on July 6th, York9’s strong effort was ruined by Halifax’s leading scorer Akeem Garcia, who scored the winner in the 55th minute for the home team.

Garcia was one of four successful Trinidadians signed by the Wanderers in January 2019 in order to bring veteran guidance and skill in the midfield to a young Canadian team. Jan-Michael Williams, Elton John, Andre Rampersad and Garcia were familiar to Wanderers head coach Stephen Hart, who managed the Trinidadian national team from 2013 to 2016. Coach Hart’s investment in the four veterans has been rewarded with six goals and three shutouts so far this year.

York9 held the ball for long periods and passed well during the entire match, but every shot was aimed directly at the Wanderers keeper. While most of Halifax’s shots were blocked or were fired wide, they took advantage of a poor pass by York9 goalkeeper Nathan Ingham, to score on a rebound from six meters out.

After the match, Coach Hart praised his team, saying, “(Garcia) is very comfortable in the  striker position as well as out wide. Whatever I ask him to do, as a matter of fact all the players, they just have to do their best and that’s all you can ask of them.” York9’s Coach Brennan expressed his team’s frustration that they again missed their opportunities, adding, “We all make mistakes — it’s how you react to it.”

Nine Stripes fans will hope for a focused reaction as their team returns to York University to face Major League Soccer leaders Montreal Impact in the Canadian Championship, with a spot in the semi-finals in Vancouver or Calgary at stake.