"So my story is quite unique and different than your average professional football player. As a kid growing up in Trinidad, the first competitive sport I ever played was actually swimming! It was something I didn't expect to enjoy as much as I did but I grew to love it so much. I am so grateful for swimming because it gave me the endurance and discipline I required to make it as a professional. Waking up at 5am for practice at the YMCA three times a week was something not every kid willingly does.
As I got older, I started to become quite competitive in swimming. I'm not sure if my record still stands for the Trinidad Youth National Team but I broke a relay record in my age group, which was pretty exciting! So now you know where my competitive nature and discipline comes from.
Fast forward to around my 11th birthday, my father was offered a job in England to help supply the Trinidad and Tobago Coast Guard with ships. Because of my father accepting this new position, I was introduced to football for the first time in England. I continued to swim and play football for about two years until my love for swimming began to fade. I am not sure what triggered the disinterest, but maybe it had to do with football being more of a team sport.
At 13 years old, I returned to Trinidad to play for a local team St Ann's Rangers. This team is whast ultimately gave my football career the push forward that it needed. I was lucky enough from my time at St Ann's Rangers to be scouted by the U-17 Trinidad Men's National Coach. At this point, with the support of my coaches and family I stopped swimming to pursue professional football.
From my time at St Ann's Rangers and the U-17 Men's National team, I was scouted by many Division 1 colleges in the US. After I narrowed down my choice, I made the decision to attend the College of Charleston for many reasons, one being that they had a local professional club in the area.
After 4 years at the College of Charleston, I was then notified about by the Charleston Battery's interest in me. It wasn't long after I graduated from the College of Charleston in 2018 that I began training with them (which eventually would lead to me signing a few weeks later).
In 3 seasons with the Charleston Battery I have worked my way up to become a consistent starter while taking a leadership role on back line as a center back."
Follow Leland's professional career on his instagram page: @Lelandarcher
Check out Leland's team the Charleston Battery play with a Kickit Pre-match!