MIAMI, Florida – The first ever edition of the Concacaf Nations League has proven to be a great success, as young players far and wide have been able to showcase their talent for their respective national teams.
The group stage yielded a number of top performances, but three young players in particular stood out: Alphonso Davies of Canada, Gleofilo Vlijter of Suriname and Roberto Dominguez of El Salvador.
Davies seems to get better every time he takes the field and at the age of 18, he spearheaded Canada to a history-making win against the United States in League A. Davies scored in Canada’s 2-0 win against the U.S. last October, their first win against their North America rivals in 34 years and 17 matches.
The winner of the Best Young Player award and Golden Boot (3 goals) at the 2017 Concacaf Gold Cup in which he was also included in the tournament’s Best XI, Davies also led all players in assists (4) in CNL Qualifying.
Playing in Concacaf competition always seems to bring the best out of Davies. The Bayern Munich left winger has five goals in 17 matches with Canada, with three coming in the 2017 Gold Cup and two in the 2019-20 CNL. That is on top of his two goals in seven games in the 2016/17 Scotiabank Concacaf Champions League with the Vancouver Whitecaps.
In the Caribbean region, one would be hard-pressed to find a rising star like Suriname’s Gleofilo Vlijter. The 20-year-old FW led all players in all Leagues in scoring with 10 goals in the 2019-20 CNL and also topped all players in shots, with 24.
Thanks to Vlijter’s goal-scoring heroics, Suriname made some history by qualifying for a first ever Gold Cup with a first-place finish in Group D of League B that earned the nation promotion to League A.
Vlijter has been a fixture of Suriname national teams going back to his time with the Suriname Under-15 and Under-16 teams in a tournament held in French Guiana in 2013. His full national team debut came at the tender age of 15 in a friendly against Guyana on April 30, 2015, followed by a successful spell with the Suriname Under-20 team in 2018, with whom he scored a goal in three games.
The Central American region has had its share of great defenders, and El Salvador’s Roberto Dominguez is poised to become one of the best in Concacaf. The 22-year-old started all six of El Salvador’s matches in Group B of League B and played every single minute, contributing a goal in El Salvador’s first-place finish in the group to secure a berth in the 2021 Gold Cup and promotion to League A.
With six career SCCL appearances and three Scotiabank Concacaf League matches under his belt, plus 34 games with the El Salvador Senior National Team, fans can expect to much more of Dominguez in the years to come.