Medgar Evers College freshman Nicholas Parbhudial has been selected as a qualifying player by the Guyana Football Federation for its Under-20 FIFA Soccer League – the soccer world championship for male players under the age of 20.
FIFA – the Fédération Internationale de Football Association – is the international standard-bearer of soccer which mounts the World Cup every four years. This year, the World Cup was hosted by South Africa and shall take place in Brazil in 2014. Preceding that game will be regional qualifying games and age-restricted games, such as the Under-20, that will move country teams into position for competition for the coveted international title.
“It’s an honor to play for my father’s birthplace,” said Parbhudial, a 17-year-old, forward and right mixed-field player. “Already, it’s been a great experience going to the country. I’m looking forward to going to Guatemala and Colombia.”
Through a rule that makes nationals of other countries eligible to play for their parents’ native lands, Parbhudial – an American citizen – has already played for the flag of his father’s birth as part of the Caribbean Football Union’s Under-17 qualifiers in August 2008 when he was then a 15-year-old student at Hill Crest High School in Queens. Scoring the only two goals of the game, which was held in Trinidad and Tobago, before the team succumbed to its opponent in sudden death, Parbhudial proved himself to be a contender on soccer’s world stage. He looks forward to doing his part to move Guyana’s Under-20 team toward victory at every step in the process.
As Parbhudial ponders his academic and professional career at Medgar Evers, he is like many a college freshman, still settling on a major and considering business as a possibility. But the future hopes of the teen that has played for New York’s well-regarded Blau Weiss Gottschee Soccer Club and Commack S.C. United U-17 boys travel soccer team, are far from typical. “I would like to move forward and get drafted into a professional [soccer] club,” said Parbhudial.
“[Parbhudial has] tons of soccer ability,” said Stanley Harmon, head coach of Men’s Soccer at Medgar, who has followed Parbhudial’s soccer career for several years and thinks he has the “skill to go way beyond college soccer.”
Whatever the future holds, Coach Harmon is happy to have him as a player for the College, saying: “In the years going forward, Parbhudial’s presence will attract other high profile players to Medgar Evers College.” Medgar Evers Athletic Director Roy Anderson agrees: “It’s a great honor for me and for the school to have an international player here.”
FIFA World Cup friendly and official competition games have already been played in Guyana this fall and will continue through the spring until the FIFA U-20 World Cup is held in Colombia, South America beginning on July 29, 2011. No matter the outcome, students, faculty, alumni, and friends of Medgar Evers will have an added reason to follow the games and ample reason to feel proud.