A former youth national team captain for Trinidad and Tobago, Leston Paul is the perfect player to lead expansion Memphis 901 FC.
In life and in sports, pressure and responsibility can make or break a person or player. Thankfully for Memphis 901 FC, one of the key pieces in their inaugural season welcomes both and is ready to deliver for his new city.
Midfielder Leston Paul, sometimes known as Pauly, will be expected to control the pace of play for 901 FC. When I asked if he was ready for that responsibility, he answered, “Yeah, of course. Throughout my career, I’ve had a lot of responsibility. From the U-17 World Cup in South Korea to the U-20 World Cup in Egypt, I was the captain for Trinidad & Tobago. Then, I went to the University of South Florida where I was a co-captain. Responsibility is not a problem for me.”
He has experienced success for his club and country back home in Trinidad and Tobago. “It’s always an honor to play in your home country. I think Central FC is one of the bigger clubs in the country and in the Caribbean. They won two Caribbean Cups and they won the league back-to-back-to-back,” he says. For the national team, he played 90 minutes in an infamous match: T&T’s win over the United States to bounce them from World Cup 2018 qualification. “It was an important match because of all the talk leading up to the game,” Paul reflects. “For us, it was a historic win because the same thing happened in 1990 when we (Trinidad & Tobago) needed a point to go to the World Cup and the USA knocked us out. It was sort of revenge for the guys. It was a good win, we enjoyed it, and we move on.”
Now, Paul will play professionally for the first time in the United States. He notes that Memphis is a great city and adds about playing for 901 FC, “when it’s new, you want to leave an impact on the people. It’s always about the fans and the people. We’re here for soccer and we want to have a positive impact on the city and the people.”
“I’m an easygoing guy, fun and easy to talk to. Anyone can always reach out to me at any time and I’ll be happy to assist in any way I can.”
Paul and Memphis 901 FC will play their first-ever USL Championship match on March 9th at home against Tampa Bay Rowdies. Get tickets to the match or for the season at www.memphis901fc.com/tickets.