The New York Red Bulls could be losing yet another defenseman to international duty. Andrew Jean-Baptiste has been called up to the Haiti national team.
Hearing Andrew Jean-Baptiste has been called up by the Hatian national team, but is still dealing with a hamstring injury. #RBNY— Franco Panizo (@FrancoPanizo) March 23, 2015
AJB has yet to see the field for RBNY, but had 10 appearances for Chivas USA last season.
Jean-Baptiste is a young defenseman (22) that may have to make a decision about his international playing career very quickly. If he makes an appearance for Haiti, he will be cap-tied to the Caribbean nation. He has played for the US U-18 team in the past, but under a 2004 FIFA rule, the next international appearance he would make after his 21st birthday will determine his allegiance.
He may have the ability to delay his decision if he were to decline this invitation due to his current hamstring injury. He is not featuring in pre-game coverage of Haiti's next match, and his mind appears to be more on matters RBNY than international soccer at the moment.
Any call up may have more to do with Haiti making its interest known for future fixtures. Haiti took 3rd place in the 2014 Caribbean Cup and will be one of three Caribbean teams to play in this summer's Gold Cup. That number can increase to four if French Guiana can upset Honduras this week during their Gold Cup play-off. One of Haiti's opponents during the Gold Cup will be the USMNT on Friday July 10 at Foxborough Stadium.
Les Grenadiers will travel to Changsha to face China on Friday March 27th. Incidentally, the last time these two countries played, in Florida in 2003, Haiti won - thanks in part to goals from Jean Philippe Peguero, who would play for RBNY in 2006.