WELCOME TO THE TRINIDAD & TOBAGO ASSOCIATION OF WASHINGTON D.C., INC.
Keith Aqui - Trailblazer, Soccer Star, Attorney and Lifetime Member of TTADC
August 1945 - November 2016
Tonight the spotlight shines brightly on our beloved, Keith Aqui, a lifetime member of TTADC.
At that time, the Howard University men's soccer team was unstoppable and in 1971, the team won 15 straight games through its regular season to the NCAA Championship game. All-American forward, Keith Aqui was on that team and Howard became the first Historically Black University to win an NCAA title. Then, it was taken away.
Aqui also known as “Bronco” started that game on the bench with a fever. The fever miraculously vanished when the opponent, St. Louis University went ahead at 2-1. Enter Aqui, who had led Howard with 25 goals that season; he was an ominous threat for St. Louis. While he did not score, two of his teammates, fellow Trinidadian Alvin Henderson and Guinean, Mori Diane, did.
His coach, the legendary Lincoln Phillips from Trinidad knew the value in Aqui’s ability and allowed him to put into action “the feints, quick movements, subtle timing of the moves, the ability to suddenly not be there when the defender moves in, but to be very much there when the ball arrives.” “He was a menace, a player who unsettled defenders, who made them nervous”. It is written that when Aqui was on the field, soccer became “the beautiful game”.
Unfortunately, there were people in the college soccer fraternity who were very upset that Howard won the title in 1971, and the NCAA launched an inquiry into the allegation that Howard was using ineligible players. As a result of this inquiry, Howard was stripped of its 1971 title. However, revenge is sweet and in 1974, Coach Phillips and his team again won the NCAA Division I trophy, playing against none other than St. Louis University. This memorable win is depicted in the ESPN Films Spike Lee Lil Joint Documentary, Redemption Song.
Keith Aqui’s career will always be remembered. In 1996, Aqui was inducted into Howard University Hall of Fame and in 2014, the 1971 and 1974 teams were also inducted into the Howard University Hall of Fame. Sadly, Keith passed away too soon on November 11, 2016. For more information see:
Redemption Song-The Undefeated
Claudia and Angela
On behalf of the IMC, TTADC
P.O. Box 55833
Washington, D.C. 20040