Derrick Etienne Jr was a hero of Haiti’s 2-0 win over Nicaragua in 2019-20 CONCACAF Nations League Qualifying. He was active in the build-up to the first goal, and helped settle Les Grenadiers’ concerns after having a man sent off by starting and finishing the second.
The win in Managua makes Haiti a firm favorite for both a 2019 Gold Cup berth and a spot in the top tier of next year’s CONCACAF Nations League. The hard work of this international window is done, but Les Grenadiers are staying in Central America for a friendly with El Salvador on November 20.
Haiti-Tempo reports, however, that Etienne has been allowed to return to the New York Red Bulls. RBNY is preparing for the first leg of the 2018 MLS Eastern Conference Final, which will be played in Atlanta on November 25.
National teams hold most of the power for international windows: clubs are required to release players for international duty during these periods. And it would appear RBNY expected Etienne to be with Haiti for both his country’s games during this window, since the club announced as much in its summary of players’ November national team commitments.
So count this as a sort of favor from Haiti to RBNY: recognition of the significance of the game ahead to the Red Bulls and Etienne, and a willingness to support the club’s priorities.
Thank you, Haiti - very much appreciated.