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Bulls Abroad: Derrick Etienne makes Haiti squad for Caribbean Football Union 2017 Gold Cup playoff

RBNY's young attacking midfielder will start 2017 with some international soccer.

Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Just over a week since it named a 30-man preliminary squad for the Caribbean Football Union's 2017 Gold Cup playoff in Trinidad and Tobago, the Haitian Football Federation has announced a 20-man roster to represent Les Grenadiers in the three-team tournament.

The New York Red Bulls' Derrick Etienne is one of those selected.

Haiti will play Suriname on January 6 and Trinidad and Tobago on January 8. The winner of the group will then move on to play the fifth-placed team from the 2017 Copa Centroamericana for a lucky-loser's spot at the 2017 Gold Cup.

The 20-year-old Etienne made his debut for Haiti's men's national team in November 2016, and has two senior international caps to his name to date.

The CFU's Gold Cup playoff is taking place outside the dates specified by FIFA for international matches, meaning clubs are not obliged to release players for the tournament - which perhaps explains why the squad only includes one player attached to a team in Europe (Jean Ambrose, who recently signed with Lokomotiv Gorna in Bulgaria). As such, the January matches aren't just an opportunity for Haiti to secure a place at CONCACAF's showpiece tournament in 2017, they are also an opportunity for some of the player pool's emerging talents to advance their reputations - including RBNY's Etienne.