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Bulls Abroad: New York Red Bulls' Derrick Etienne named to Haiti squad to play Argentina Olympic team

Haiti said Etienne would get a summer call-up, and is true to its word.


As promised, the New York Red Bulls' Derrick Etienne has not been forgotten by Haiti's men's national soccer team.

Etienne was one of a small group of reserves called to training with Les Grenadiers' 23-man squad for Copa America Centenario. After hints were dropped that one or two of those reserves might make a late breakthrough to the roster for the tournament, the Haitian Football Federation announced all the back-ups were going home and head coach Patrice Neveu was sticking by the squad he had originally named. But we were told Etienne - and fellow reserves Bryan Alceus and Sebastien Thuriere - would be back.

The FHF has stuck to its word, at least as far as Etienne is concerned: he has been called to a 27-man squad that will prepare to play Argentina's men's Olympic selection on July 24 in Miami.  Alceus and Thuriere are not on the roster, which is mostly drawn from players based in Haiti.

The team is perhaps best characterized as a U-23 selection, with three over-age players (Sony Norde, Charles Herold Jr, and Fabien Vorbe) per men's Olympic soccer rules. As such, this probably won't count as a full senior national team cap.

Nonetheless, if Etienne is permitted to join the squad, he will continue his rise through the ranks of Haiti's national soccer set-up. The FHF had suggested there would be a friendly against Guatemala in early July, but this appears to have been replaced by an August 8 match against Venezuela in Caracas: there should be another shot at a senior Haiti cap this summer.

But first there is Argentina's Olympic team to think about. As one of the foreign-based players in the Haiti squad, Etienne is not expected to join the training camp (which has started) until July 14. The team will travel to Florida on July 21 for the match on July 24.

The squad also includes New England Revolution's Zachary Herivaux, former RBNY academy player Benchy Estama, and recent NYRB II trialist Christiano Francois.

Assuming Etienne does join the camp and sticks to FHF's schedule, he will be unavailable for two RBNY MLS games (the July 17 trip to Philadelphia and the July 24 home game against NYCFC). He would also miss three NYRB II matches (July 16 at Charlotte Independence, July 20 at FC Cincinnati, and the July 23 home game with Charleston Battery).

Etienne has been regular for NYRB II so far this season, contributing two goals and three assists in 13 appearances. His current mood is interpreted as content: