Thanks to Steph Banatte for alerting us to the fact Haiti Men's National Team head coach Patrice Neveu has named his 30-man preliminary roster for next month's Caribbean Cup qualifiers.
And the New York Red Bulls' Derrick Etienne is on the list!
You may recall Etienne was on the preliminary roster for Haiti's September internationals. He didn't make the final cut, but nor did most of Haiti's foreign-based players - for a variety of reasons. Nonetheless, Les Grenadiers enjoyed a buoyant end to their World Cup qualifying campaign, beating Jamaica in Kingston, 2-0, and capping a number of new arrivals to the squad along the way.
Caribbean Cup is the team's route to the 2017 Gold Cup. Haiti will play French Guiana at home on October 5 and St. Kitts and Nevis in St. Kitts on October 11. The winner of the three-team group (in which the teams play each other once, with one home game and one on the road) advances to the final rounds of the Caribbean Cup, but also immediately qualifies for Gold Cup 2017.
Haiti is the group favorite, not least because the team's performances against Jamaica and Costa Rica in September's World Cup qualifiers suggested there is sufficient depth of talent in the player pool for Les Grenadiers to be competitive even without several first-choice (and even second-choice) players.
Neveu will next trim the 30-man list for Caribbean Cup to 20. If Etienne makes the cut, depending on the precise timing of Haiti's training camp, he isn't expected to miss any RBNY matches at all: the team is dormant for the October FIFA international window. He would, however, likely be unavailable for some portion of NYRB II's USL playoff campaign.
Also in the preliminary squad: Shelson Dorleans, a 'keeper who made one appearance for NYRB U-23s this season, and Andrew Jean-Baptiste, who was briefly with RBNY in 2015 and now plays his soccer in Sweden.