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Trinidad international Molik Jesse Khan on trial with New York Red Bulls

17-year-old midfielder one of highest-rated players to emerge from Trinidad and Tobago setup in recent years

MLS: U.S. Open-New England Revolution at New York Red Bulls Catalina Fragoso-USA TODAY Sports

The pursuit of the next potential star never ends.

According to Lasana Liburd of Wired868, Trinidadian central midfielder Molik Jesse Khan is on trial “with the academy of Major League Soccer team New York Red Bulls at present.” The 17-year-old currently plays with W Connection in the TT Pro League. Presumably, he would be considered a signing for the reserve team.

Described as a “playmaker,” Khan had a decorated youth career and won three consecutive Trinidad and Tobago National High School Championships with Naparima College. In 2019, he had a brief stint with the Länk Football Group all-star team at a tournament in Portugal. A member of the W Connection academy, his professional debut came at the age of 15. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the TT Pro League was put on a long-term hiatus, disrupting what was fairly consistent playing time for the teenager.

Khan is viewed as something of a potential star in the Trinidad set-up. The San Fernando native recently made the jump from the U-17s to the senior team, named to the 26-player roster for the upcoming CONCACAF Gold Cup playoffs. His “freshness” is expected to bring a new dimension to the program, a key member of the Project 2026 group.

“He has shown he can play at the highest level in Trinidad,” praised Soca Warriors manager Angus Eve. “If you look at him, with his physical structure he can stand up to the rigors and also his technical ability is very, very good. He is not a scrub in any way; he is not here to ride along. He is here as a part of the team, pushing for a position with the team.”

Khan possesses decent size at 6 feet and is “known for his technical ability.” Nicknamed “J-man” and “Young Williams,” he models his game after Ronaldinho, with the goals of “giving the defenders some trouble” and eventually reaching “a top five league in Europe.” Limited highlight footage shows an energetic box-to-box midfielder that is always looking to play forward, capable of holding possession and hitting a line-splitting through ball.

The New York Red Bulls have placed a priority on becoming a destination for top prospects, a tricky building process that could pay long-term dividends in the transfer market and with youth recruitment. As head of sport Kevin Thelwell recently shared, “the research around young players says that if you haven’t played senior minutes in a competitive environment by the time you’re 19 years of age, you’re probably not going to ascend to the level of which you want to ascend to.” Having experienced the professional game for several years, Khan should be somewhat inured to the responsibilities and challenges of sport, potentially avoiding the adjustment struggles faced by those attempting to move abroad.

The footballing world can move fast. Three years ago, Khan was dominating for the W Connection U-14 team. Now he’s receiving senior national team call-ups and reportedly trialing with one of the biggest clubs on the continent. Whether the Red Bulls elect to sign him or not, the 17-year-old appears to be a player on the rise.

(h/t Once a Metro editor emeritus Austin Fido)