Americans Abroad: Shaq Moore Shines against Barcelona

Shaq Moore, USA
Shaq Moore, USA /

The 21-year-old Shaq Moore is continuing to impress for Levante in La Liga. Moore is just the fourth American player to play professionally in Spain.

Barcelona extended their lead in La Liga with a 3-0 win against Levante UD, who could not keep pace with the Catalonians. Levante’s back line had a tough time corralling Barcelona’s World-Class playmakers. Though in Levante’s defeat, it was right-back Shaq Moore who had a stand-out performance.

Who is Shaquell Moore?

Shaq Moore
Shaq Moore, USA /

Shaquell or Shaq Moore is from Powder Springs, GA, and is the son of a former semi-professional soccer player from Trinidad and Tobago. In 2011, Moore joined the U.S. residency program and from there climbed the ladder within the U.S Soccer system. In the U.S. U-17 team from 2011-2013, Moore was the most capped player.

He played for two academies, the IMG Academy and FC Dallas Academy before going overseas to Spain. Huracan in the second division of Spain was Moore’s first club, before leaving for Real Oviedo, and most recently a free transfer to his current club, Atletico Levante UD.

Shaq Moore vs. Barcelona

Moore was dealt the task of defending Andres Iniesta and Jordi Alba in the first half. Shaq was shaky at times in the opening minutes as Iniesta and Rakitic played over the top balls to Suarez and the overlapping Alba. Eventually, he eased into the match and made key interceptions on Messi and Iniesta after Levante conceded two early goals. Off of two interceptions, Moore played driven outlet passes that split the Barcelona midfield and created attacking chances.

Shaq Moore
Barcelona’s Portuguese midfielder Andre Gomes (L) vies with Levante’s US defender Shaq Moore during the Spanish league football match FC Barcelona vs Levante UD at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona on January 7, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / Josep LAGO (Photo credit should read JOSEP LAGO/AFP/Getty Images) /

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At the start of the second half, Shaq made an interception that potentially stopped a goal from a give and go between Messi and Alba. Moore did well in the second half with his positioning as Barcelona opted to play a 4-3-3, giving the US player added responsibility. Throughtout the match Dembele and Suarez switched wings, but Shaq defended well and helped curb Barcelona’s scoring. Sadly, in the 65th minute, Moore couldn’t convert on a 1v1 to score his first goal for Levante. To his defense, Ter Stegen’s save on Moore’s shot was stupendous.

Shaq Moore finished the showdown against Barcelona with 49 touches, 14/23 passes, 1 shot, 2 clearances, 3 tackles and 7 interceptions, and 2 recoveries.