The Philippines Football League brought to you by Qatar Airways is the latest stop to what has so far been an exhilarating journey for Kaya FC-Iloilo defender Carlyle Mitchell.
The well-traveled former Trinidad and Tobago international was signed early this year by Kaya, reuniting Mitchell with former teammate Yu Hoshide who now handles the first team.
Mitchel and Hoshide played together at Joe Public FC. And while Hoshide has spent the last few years in the Philippines, the 33-year-old Mitchel has gone on to play in Major League Soccer, Canadian Premier League, K-League 2, and the Indian Super League.
That vast experience will surely come in handy as Kaya mounts another title challenge this season.
“It’s great to be back training and looking forward for the season.” said Mitchell in the latest episode of Kaya’s online show Back of the Net.
When you talk about experience perhaps Mitchell boasts of one of the most impressive resumes in the league.
He has gone up against Argentinian superstar Lionel Messi in an international friendly in Buenos Aires six years ago. Messi failed to score, but the La Albiceleste won, 3-0, in their final warmup before the 2014 World Cup.
“We lost that game,” said Mitchell, who appeared 39 times for his country. “But it was a good experience to be in the same pitch as one of the best players in the world.”
Mitchell instantly strengthened the Kaya backline as soon as he came in joining forces with veterans Masa Omura, Simone Rota and Camelo Tacusalme.
The Iloilo club’s defensive record in the AFC Cup early this year was proof of his impact.
The club conceded only one goal in their three matches before the competition was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
With clubs returning to training under strict health protocols, Mitchell is setting his sights on a strong debut season in the PFL.
“The guys around me have experience as well, maybe we can win the league, no doubt,” he said.