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Bulls Abroad: Derrick Etienne joins Haiti squad for Caribbean Cup qualifying

A very pleasant surprise.

Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Haiti's Men's National Team is currently training in the shadow of Hurricane Matthew, but when the storm abates, Les Grenadiers will find themselves boosted by a new addition to their squad: the New York Red Bulls' Derrick Etienne, Jr. has accepted a call to the team few were aware he had received.

Etienne has long featured on the fringes on the Haiti's senior squad. In mid-September, he made yet another preliminary selection for Les Grenadiers. At the end of the month, he was once again missing from the final roster, this time for October's Caribbean Cup qualifiers.

Now, with most of Haiti concerned about the impact of Hurricane Matthew, it has been announced that Etienne will be joining the team.

Ives Galarcep seems to have got the scoop for Goal USA: Etienne was undecided about whether to commit to Haiti, or wait to see if the USA national team set-up was ever going to notice him. But the land of his birth has remained stubbornly blind to Etienne's talent, while Haiti has called him to a succession of youth national teams over the years, and has been naming him to preliminary squads for the men's national team for most of 2016.

Based on Galarcep's reporting, it would appear that Etienne's absence from Les Grenadiers' rosters has been more his choice than that of Haiti head coach Patrice Neveu.

And now Etienne is all-in for Haiti, he is a late addition to the squad that will face French Guiana on October 5 (if Hurricane Matthew permits) and Saint Kitts and Nevis on October 11.

The call-up does suggest, however, that Etienne will miss the chance to contribute to New York Red Bulls II's ongoing USL playoff campaign. The II team plays Rochester Rhinos on October 7. Unless Etienne's call-up has been negotiated to allow him to play the USL game (and potentially miss Haiti's match against French Guiana, which may have to be rescheduled anyway due to Hurricane Matthew), he won't be available for the II team on Friday.