From a very grassroots background, Niall Reid-Stephen is a 19 year old winger from the hurricane free Caribbean island of Barbados. He is one of the most talented youngsters from the region and currently plays for Chicago State.
Here is a scout report on the Bajan youngster.
His technique is surprisingly better than you’d expect from a player of his playing style. He’s a fast winger that eats up his side of the wing, but his passing and dribbling compliments his speed. Niall Reid-Stephen is s a quick thinking player who can also play in midfield which gives him the versatility to play as a playmaker or someone who will cut inside and take shots.
Niall’s dribbling is his best asset. He doesn’t attempt a ton of dribbles per 90 as it’s at 5.14, but he’s successful in 60% of them. He also has an xA per 90 of 0.13, which isn’t an astounding amount but it’s definitely an average number for him.
As mentioned, he can either play as a winger or as a midfielder.
Here you can see each position he’s played in at international level. He mostly plays out right, but can interchange between the left. Earlier on he also played in midfield, like he did in his UWI days.
As a winger, he can be deployed as someone who can cut inside and shoot, or someone who will put cross from out wide and reach the final third with ease.
As a midfielder, Niall Reid-Stephen is very much a box-to-box. He hasn’t played there for his national team on very many occasions, but for his club in Barbados, he managed to score 19 in the league all from the center of midfield.
This is his heat map in 2018 against St Lucia’s U20’s. He’s covered every corner of the pitch essentially, very much the roaming job of a box-to-box midfielder.
He’s also played as center forward for the Barbados national team, but it hasn’t been very effective so far for Niall. With no goals scored thus far as a forward, a low xG of 0.15 and a total of 0 average xA, it’s safe to say Reid-Stephen’s future is out wide or as a midfielder.
From a very grass roots background, Niall is a strong player who can outpace many of his opponents on the field, as he has proven at a higher standard in CONCACAF World Cup qualifying. He’s usually one of the faster players on the field.
He currently averages 0.77 progressive runs from an unfortunate small sample size, but he shows he can break the lines and beat the offside trap from out wide in order to get to the final third to either cut in or put in a cross.
He’s also proven to be hard to stop, as he suffers 2.06 fouls per game.
As mentioned, after impressing at UWI of Barbados, he has taken the leap to the college game in the United States, moving over to Chicago State. This is brilliant for him, as this gives him eligibility for the MLS Superdraft at some point. They play in the NCAA Division 1, which is what leads to the draft.
Since football doesn’t really live by a drafting system, this might be a put off for his potential. However, previous examples like Andre Blake or Cyle Larin proves he has every chance to reach a higher standard. As an early prediction, his potential is likely becoming one of the better wingers in the MLS.