The Haiti Men's National Team's 2017 season has a lot riding on its next two games. Beat Nicaragua over two legs of a playoff series and Les Grenadiers are in the 2017 Gold Cup. Fail in that task, and the team is looking at spending most of the rest of the year playing friendlies.
Les 21 Grenadiers Convoqués pour le match contre le Nicaragua les 24 & 28 Mars 2017 @GoldCup @CONCACAF pic.twitter.com/9Q3gk5lNUV— F.H.F. (@fhfhaiti) March 17, 2017
Unsurprisingly, Haiti has called up a strong squad for the season-defining playoff series. Goalkeeper Johny Placide and forward Jonel Desire are perhaps the two most notable absentees; Coastal Carolina University's Frantzdy Pierrot is maybe the most surprising inclusion on the 21-man roster. But the bigger names featured on the 30-man preliminary squad list are mostly present, as well as notable success stories from the less-experienced team that was asked to get Haiti this far by winning the Caribbean Cup fifth-place playoff series in January.
Among the holdovers from the January squad are New York Red Bulls' Derrick Etienne and (formerly of RBNY) Nykopings BIS' Andrew Jean-Baptiste.
The first leg of the playoff series against Nicaragua will be played on March 24 in Haiti. The winner of the playoff will be in the USA's group at the 2017 Gold Cup, along with Panama and Martinique.