‘He’s consistently scored goals’: Pacific FC sign Trinidad & Tobago international striker Reon Moore

Goalscoring has always been a central part of Pacific FC’s identity.

Over the past three Canadian Premier League regular seasons combined no club has found the back of the net more than the Tridents. It is a key reason why Pacific has reached the playoffs in each of those campaigns, winning it all in 2021.

On Friday, the club announced the signing of the latest player they hope will help to carry on that scoring tradition, Trinidad and Tobago international striker Reon Moore. The 27-year-old joins Pacific FC on a two-year deal, with a club option for the 2026 campaign.

Moore has spent the better part of the past eight years playing for Defence Force in the Trinidad and Tobago Premier Football League, with his time playing in his country’s top division briefly interrupted by a short stint with Guatemalan club Municipal in 2022. He was recently a standout player with Defence Force in the Concacaf Caribbean Cup, scoring two goals, including one against Concacaf Champions Cup side Cavalier SC, and adding an assist.

After doing the domestic double with Defence Force this past season, winning the league and the Knockout Cup, however, he felt he needed a new challenge. In pursuit of his footballing dreams, he is departing the Caribbean islands he calls home for Vancouver Island this coming season.

“I think for me it’s just a new adventure in my football career,” Moore told, later adding, “I’ve been with Defence Force for like eight years now, and have won everything two or three times now. So I think it’s time for me to move on in my football career, and I think the CPL is the right place for me at this point in time.”

The move comes after a year where not only did Moore have significant success with his club, but for his country as well. He scored four times for the Trinidad and Tobago national team in 2023, including during a stunning 2-1 victory over the United States at home back in November. Moore now has 8 goals in 25 caps for the Soca Warriors, and says he enjoys the pressure of the international audience that tunes in to national team matches. These exploits certainly caught the Tridents’ attention.

Reon Moore with the Trinidad and Tobago national team (Courtesy: Concacaf)

“He’s consistently scored goals in Trinidad,” said Pacific FC head coach James Merriman. “He’s showing that he can step up. He’s really, really humble, he’s a great character, a great personality, he’s ambitious, he still has big goals for himself because he’s always been in the military as well in Trinidad, so he’s got a really unique story. Football is his love, and what he has started to have success with. I think now he’s going to focus on that and see what he can do with football. I think we are getting him at a perfect time to come to our club.” 

As Merriman alluded to, Reon Moore’s historic club in Trinidad, Defence Force, is composed of members of the country’s army and coast guard, in which Moore served. While at times those commitments took him away from fully focusing on his football, he believes they have been critical to forming his character.

“The military, the mindset is good for me, and also I can help carry that to the team, so we can be more focused on the task at hand this season,” said Moore. 

On the pitch, Merriman says Moore is different from all of the other strikers Pacific have had. What he particularly likes is the way Moore combines a tireless work rate with a demonstrated ability to score goals. When asked about what attributes he will bring to the Island in 2024, Moore is slightly more coy.

“I think my strength is working strictly and strongly for the team, in any way possible,” said Moore, before adding with a laugh, “but I don’t want to give out too much information right now so that the opponents won’t be able to study.” 

The striker position was a key off-season need for Pacific FC, who said goodbye to Djenairo Daniels and Easton Ongaro in January. Despite scoring the second most goals in the league this past season, 42 in total, the club felt not enough of those came from the men leading the line. Those goals also dried up significantly during a tempestuous second half of the season, with Pacific scoring just 20 times in their final 17 matches of 2023, including the playoffs. Daniels and Ongaro combined for just three goals during that stretch.

“There were some difficult decisions, difficult conversations obviously,” said Merriman, “but we felt that we were consistently getting into the spaces that we needed to get into, we created the most chances in the league and at the beginning of the season we were scoring but we were scoring by committee, and everyone was chipping in. We never really had one or two players step up and hit that 10-15 goals mark which that’s what we were looking for in terms of a striker.” 

Reon Moore holds up a Pacific FC scarf at Starlight Stadium (Photo: Pacific FC)

The ambitious Moore doesn’t shy away from this target. In fact, he sets his personal standards for success even higher.

“My goals for this season, is personally for me, score about 15-20 goals and for the team it’s to win the championship, so we can qualify for Concacaf,” he said. 

No Pacific player has come close to that sort of tally since 2022 CPL Golden Boot winner Alejandro Díaz departed the club for Norway midway through that campaign. The Tridents have struggled to fill the Mexican’s goalscoring boots since, but Moore certainly believes he could be the answer.

Before he steps onto the pitch for Pacific, however, Canadian soccer fans could get a chance to see him in action on March 23 during a massive 2024 Copa America play-in match between Moore’s Trinidad and Tobago and the Canadian men’s national team. The winner in that match not only gets a spot in that tournament, but in the competition’s opening match against 2022 World Cup winners Argentina, and presumably Lionel Messi.

Moore could not be more excited for that match, and the opportunity it brings to showcase his birth nation’s talent and quality to the country he will now call his football home this season.

“I’m really happy for that, because when we go to play Canada on the 23rd everyone will be focusing on me, and there are a lot of other guys on the team who are good as well,” said Moore, “[It’s] an opportunity for other guys who are looking to making get a move [to a new team].”

The Trinidad and Tobago flag has been flown proudly in the Canadian Premier League since its inception. Be it the league’s first-ever goalscorer Ryan Telfer, a national team teammate of Moore’s who recently returned to the league to sign with the Halifax Wanderers, club captain in Halifax Andre Rampersad, Atlético Ottawa’s Malcolm Shaw, or 2020 CPL Golden Boot winner Akeem Garcia.

Now Pacific FC is banking on Reon Moore adding his name to that storied list this coming season.