The old saying is that if they are young enough, they are good enough. Such a rule will apply when the 2018 Scotiabank CONCACAF League kicks off next month.
Here are five players 21-and-under to watch in the 2018 SCL.
Jonathan Murillo, MF, Arabe Unido
The role of the 20-year-old Murillo grew with each week during Arabe Unido’s first place regular season finish in the 2018 Clausura, as Murillo accumulated eight appearances. His performances in preseason suggest that a breakout is coming in the SCL, evidenced by a sensational curling right-footed strike in a 2-1 defeat to Costa Rica’s UD San Carlos. With quick, shifty movement, it’s a common sight to see Murillo draw fouls on the left flank, earning set piece chances for teammates.
Maalique Foster, FW, Portmore United
This exciting, 21-year-old striker made the most of his Jamaica Senior National Team debut by scoring a goal in a 2-2 draw versus South Korea with a powerful drive from outside the penalty area. Foster is a player primed to use the bright lights of the SCL to make a move abroad. His dazzling goal against Arnett Gardens in the 2017 Red Stripe Jamaican Premier League finals when he played a chip to himself over the head of a defender and finished with two defenders draped all over him was one to remember.
Pablo Arboine, DF, Santos De Guapiles
The 20-year-old Arboine has emerged as a regular fixture in the Santos de Guapiles back line, appearing in 30 Liga Nacional matches and two SCL matches in the Tico side’s run to the 2017 SCL final. A member of the Costa Rica Under-21 team that is participating in the 2018 Central American and Caribbean Games, Arboine has also shown his prowess up top, with five goals scored at club level.
Roberto Dominguez, DF, Santa Tecla
The 20-year-old center back already has experience in CONCACAF tournaments, having appeared in six matches Scotiabank CONCACAF League with Santa Tecla. Dominguez also boasts well over 130 first-team appearances in Salvadoran football. A tall, physical defender who anticipates well and clears at the first time of asking, the SCL could be the springboard that sends Dominguez to a bigger club.
Jack Baptiste, MF, Motagua
The son of a Haitian father, the 18-year-old Baptiste exhibits a touch and precise passing ability in midfield that are beyond his years. While he has just seven first team appearances, Baptiste plays for a coach in Diego Vazquez who is a believer in giving young players an opportunity and the SCL should be no different. In little time both with Motagua and at the youth international level with Honduras, Baptiste has shown that he can be the leader of any squad despite his young age.