Martinique was thrashed 5-0 by Panama in CONCACAF Nations League A. As 5-0 losses go, it wasn’t the worst. Martinique was severely let down by the play of Yannis Clementia in goal. At the other end, Panama’s Orlando Mosquera had a very strong game to maintain the clean sheet. Martinique played in a 4-3-1-2 and played in a very low block, ceding most of the possession to Panama. Still, Martinique did manage more shots and a similar xG to Panama (with much worse results, obviously). Panama played in a 3-1-4-2 and had pretty much the reverse strategy of Martinique.
Readers, who are unfamiliar with CONCACAF may reasonably wonder “what exactly is Martinique and how did they make it to League A?” Well, Martinique is technically part of France. It’s an island in the Caribbean, a little closer to Venezuela than the United States, right between Dominica and St Lucia. It has a population of a little under 400,000 and is a member of CONCACAF but not FIFA. Therefore Martinique is not eligible to qualify for the World Cup or play in any FIFA tournaments. They do, however, compete in CONCACAF tournaments like the Gold Cup and the Nations League. Their squad is mostly made up of French players with family connections to the island as well as players who play in their amateur domestic league. Despite their small population, the fact that anyone really good who is eligible to play for them would choose to play for France, and the fact that they are not technically a country they consistently perform better than a lot of countries that don’t have those disadvantages (hence their position in League A). The most famous footballer who developed in Martinique is probably French Women’s national team player Wendie Renard. However, on the men’s side, several players who started out playing on the island have gone on to bigger and better things as well. The most recent example is Mickael Biron who played amateur football in Martinique but is now a quite productive player in Ligue 2. With that hopefully interesting context out of the way, let’s get into the player report.
- A1 – Very good, could play higher
- A2 – Strong potential to play higher
- B1 – Good, strong player at level
- B2 – Potential to be a strong player at level
- C – Average for the level, rewatch
- D – Below average in this match
- Nationality: France/Martinique
- Age: 19
- Date of Birth: 14/04/2003
- Current Club: Olimpique Du Marin (?)
- Career: Unknown
- Position: Attacking Midfielder
- Secondary Position: Striker
- Preferred Foot: Right
I was intrigued by Sebas as soon as I saw him pull off this dribble and shot assist in Martinique’s previous game against Costa Rica:
In this match, he did not see very much of the ball but still managed to be effective when he did receive the ball. He mostly played on the outside of Martinique’s midfield three. He Showed some extremely strong dribbling skills in this match. Sebas is not the quickest player of all time but his speed does not drop off significantly with the ball at his feet. This, combined with a good first touch and agility allowed him to glide past opponents. He drew several fouls throughout the game but he did go down a bit easily. There was one very obvious dive in particular that was a little embarrassing. I think he might struggle in any league that has VAR. He was also pretty easily knocked over when defenders put their shoulders into him. He struggled a bit with any kind of physical battle in general.
I have compiled a short video showing some of his dribbles from the match. As you can see he can beat players, and he wins quite a lot of fouls, but he is also getting pushed over a bit easily.
Sebas was mostly quite good at finding open space to receive passes. There were a couple of times when he was standing still but overall it was a strong part of his game. He managed one well-struck long-range shot that almost snuck in at the far corner. His strong off-the-ball positioning was a key part of creating that shot.
Sebas showed some strong passing ability on the small number of occasions he was able to play a pass. He played one very nice progressive pass and put a teammate through on a partial break which forced a save from Mosquera. As I mentioned above, Martinique rarely had the ball. So there was not a huge number of passes on which to judge Sebas’ ability but what he showed was very strong. Here is the clip showing his through ball.
Because Martinique was on the back foot for most of the game Sebas was able to show what he could do defensively. Sadly, he could not do very much. He dutifully held his position in Martinique’s low block but he was not a very strong 1v1 defender and was easily beaten by dribblers.
Sebas’ club is listed as “unknown.” I have to assume he is playing for an amateur club in Martinique. Some google translated articles and Facebook posts seem to suggest he plays for Olympique Du Marin after an unsuccessful trial with Lorient. I think what he showed in this match, under very difficult circumstances, was very impressive. The Panamanian team mostly plays in the second or third tiers of Europe with a smattering of players in MLS. Sebas was able to give this level of opposition problems and I think that’s worthy of a look at a higher level. For obvious reasons, a lot of players from Martinique make their way to lower levels in France. That would be a reasonable step for Sebas but I think he is also exactly the type of player MLS reserve teams should be looking to fill out the international slots on their reserve teams.