Haiti is not in the 2016 Men's Olympic Soccer tournament, but a U-23 selection did get the chance to test itself against a team that will be in Rio. Les Grenadiers provided Argentina with some pre-Olympic competition in a friendly at FAU Stadium in Boca Raton on July 24.
Haiti's starting lineup included several players with connections to the New York Red Bulls.
Haiti U23 XI vs Argentina U23 pic.twitter.com/cXQBVg8lc7— Haiti Futbol (@HaitiFutbol) July 24, 2016
Andrew Jean-Baptiste had a brief stint with RBNY in 2015. Shelson Dorleans has Red Bulls academy and U-23 connections. But the star of Haiti's starting XI from a Red Bulls' perspective was current RBNY player Derrick Etienne.
As he revealed after the match, Etienne is now on his way to join the MLS All-Star jamboree as a late addition to the league's Homegrown team. During the game, he provided yet another highlight to showcase the talent that will surely grace the RBNY first team in the near future.
Les Grenadiers were already two goals down when Etienne produced his latest moment of magic.
@Haititempo @HaitiFutbol @detienne_10 in the house, get him the ball and he'll make thing rolling. #GrenadyeAlaso pic.twitter.com/JpepD8MlUH— Daniel Fleury (@TDanFleury) July 24, 2016
That is Victor Cuesta - 27-year-old defender with a handful of senior Argentina caps - being bamboozled by a 19-year-old RBNY academy grad.
Here's another look:
Charles Harold Jr goal vs Argentina U23 pic.twitter.com/vzsJi9uoIy— Haiti Futbol (@HaitiFutbol) July 24, 2016
The goal Etienne set up for Charles Herold brought Haiti briefly back into contention, but Giovanni Simeone (son of Diego) restored the two-goal advantage for Argentina and effectively settled the match.
Argentina won 3-1. And the emerging generation of Haitian internationals must wait until the next senior national team roster is named to find out how successfully they made their case for a step up from the U-23 ranks.