Kareem Moses is a Professional International footballer who plays for Trinidad and Tobago as a right back. He made his debut in 2012 against Canada after earlier that year having played in the U23’s in the London Olympic qualifying campaign, narrowly missing out on qualification with Mexico and Honduras winning through. Kareem’s two biggest International matches to date were the World cup qualifiers against the USA and Mexico in 2017. Domestically he played most of his career in the North American leagues with FC Edmonton and North Carolina FC. He is currently playing for FC Jaro in the Finnish league whom he signed for in 2018.
Kareem told us his first memory of playing football, was of seeing his father play at around 4 years old. From that day he began kicking a ball around with the hope of emulating him. That was one of the few memories he had of his Father, as he said he grew up with his Mother and Grandmother, with his Father not around. He told us he grew up in very difficult circumstances, growing up with 6 brothers and sisters who all lived in one room. Many times they lived not knowing where the money would come form for food and at times Kareem would go hungry, so his younger siblings could eat but even in the midst of that, his family always had faith in God, loved praying, going to church and were happy.
At around 7, Kareem’s Physical education teacher, Arnold Pierre, took on the role of a Father figure and they became very close. Kareem was determined to follow his passion and once Arnold realised this, he supported him all the way. Even to the point, that when Kareem was 12 and Arnold was offered a job coaching with a professional club, he refused to take the job unless they agreed to take a look at Kareem as part of the deal.
Things progressed from there and Kareem moved onto a bigger Professional club at 16 but still playing without payment and a contract, having left home, he was still living in poverty. He became involved with others in a similar position, often stealing things after practice including food and eventually taking a step back from football and his dream. Kareem recalled ” I had to choose, I said to myself, You’re either gonna be a footballer and starve or you’re gonna survive.” Kareem said he knew in his heart the decision was wrong and one day his choice led to him being faced down by a security guard and just like in a gangster movie, staring down the barrel of a gun.
Kareem remembers the gun going off, seeing a blue flash but miraculously not being hit and escaping with his life. He said “That was my wake up call. I looked at that, as God gave me a second chance. He gave me a talent and I’m going to use it and give football an honest shot. I’d been told before that “God without Man is still God but Man without God is nothing” and from then on that stuck with me. I knew my life had to change and my focus had to be on God and football as a way out of poverty.”
Kareem believes he’s learnt valuable lessons in his life and felt the most relevant message he could share from them in closing was this” I hope my story reaches out and grabs some one who is going through what I went through as a kid. I want you all to know, even if it’s a long shot, chase your dreams and whatever bad things have happened in your life, use it as fuel and add it to the fire, that will give you the motivation. Finally know you can trust in God, so keep on believing.
Kareem is now looking forward to The Concacaf Gold cup next year for Trinidad which will determine the champions of North America, Central America and the Caribbean. He’ll have a few friendlies leading up to that and domestically has ambitions to win the title in Finland and from there continue to go onto fulfil every ambition he has in football.