Former Golden Grizzly earns spot on Trinidadian national team

Makesi Lewis, a 2011 Oakland graduate, has been selected to the Trinidad and Tobago national team.

“It was a dream come true. Tears came to my eyes because I knew, I earned [it],” Lewis wrote in an email. “International football is a lot faster than college/pro football, so you need to be a hard worker to be successful.”

Lewis’s favorite pro memory is recent — getting his first cap on March 19. You net a cap when you play for your national team. In that case, T&T played Grenada in a friendly match in St. George’s.

He wants to earn more national spots and qualify for the World Cup.

“Success is my biggest motivation,” Lewis wrote. “The more it comes the more I’m motivated.”

“It has been great to watch Makesi’s professional career in the Trinidad & Tobago Pro League take off at Police FC,” Oakland men’s soccer head coach Eric Pogue wrote. “He is having a break-out year in 2015/2016 for Police FC with 18 goals to top the scoring charts of the T&T Pro League, which led to call into the full national team for Trinidad & Tobago.”

Lewis concurred with Pogue and wrote that scoring 18 goals in 20 games for his club team in Trinidad and Tobago increased his chances of being selected to the national team.

Originally from Diego Martin, Trinidad, Lewis was recruited in the spring of 2007 with three of his teammates — Stefan St. Louis, Machel James and Keston Henry — Pogue, who recruited Lewis along with former head coach Gary Parsons, wrote.

“Makesi was not NCAA eligible to play Division 1 in 2007,” Pogue explained, “so we sent him to [National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics member] Madonna University for a year, and then he transferred to Oakland in 2008 and played for us in 2008-2010.”

Pogue explained that Lewis “was a dynamic attacking player with good pace, athleticism, skill and ability to score goals.”

“[Lewis] was a great teammate and person on and off the field with a great personality and good work ethic,” Pogue wrote. “He helped Oakland to three consecutive Summit League regular season titles and two NCAA Tournament appearances in his three years at Oakland.”