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Past & Present: Meet Haiti’s National Football (Soccer) Team

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I’m not a big soccer fan, but my interest in the Haiti National Team was sparked when my brother Saurel Broyen Olrish joined the team a few years ago. Prior to the last few months, information about the team was usually communicated  between my  brother and I  via phone calls, it was rare almost never did I see anyone posting on social networks about the Haiti National team. But log into any social network today and I guarantee you’ll scroll through numerous post from friends showing support to the team and their recent games, all of a sudden pictures and videos about the National Team are everywhere.

It’s no surprise when it comes to Haiti, Haitians are always very proud and show their support for anything or anyone who represent the country,  but I’ve been following this team for years and this is the first year I’ve seen people this enthusiastic about them. After receiving a call from my very good Haitian American friend Chris Jacques, who also noticed the increase in excitement over the team, he went into detail about how we are cheering on the team yet most Haitians probably cant name two players on the team.

“The Haitian National Soccer team has begun to re-instill a sense of pride in the community! People are paying attention to futbol, becoming excited, emotional, and engaged in our rich soccer culture and heritage. In this respect we owe it to these players who are training, practicing, and competing at the highest level to at least KNOW WHO THEY ARE. They deserve the courtesy of us knowing the identity of the brave men following their dreams and bringing back a strong sense of pride and excitement to the Haitian community.” – Chris Jacques

Like any other sport, these guys work hard, travel, and put on a great game for their country,  and like Chris said, we owe them the respect of at least knowing their names, especially the ones who are scoring the points. Thank you for the motivation conversation Chris and on behalf of  the team and its players, here is all the information I could find about the team and the players.

Haitian Fans Showing Love:

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Spain vs Haiti (Haiti scores first goal & supporters go crazy )

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Historically, in Caribbean football, the Haiti national football team have a good standing. They are one of the few smaller island nations to actually make it to a World cup finals competition. In 1974 Haiti made it to the World cup held in West-Germany after coming through a tough qualification campaign. Their group proved to be tougher still as they were drawn alongside Italy, Argentina and Poland. Haiti as a country is known worldwide for the wrong reasons. It is a country that has been deeply affected in recent history by natural disasters. In 2004 the country was hit by a hurricane and in 2008 it was decimated by four tropical storms in the space of four weeks. Unfortunately worse was still to come as in 2010 the country was hit by a magnitude 7.0 earthquake. It was the most severe earthquake to affect Haiti in 200 years. In football terms it was believed that thirty players, coaches, referee’s and medical staff with links to Haitian football lost their lives. Another twenty were feared buried in the ruins.

The Haiti national football team (Haitian Creole: Ekip foutbòl nasyonal Ayiti, French: Équipe d’Haïti de football) represents Haiti in association football and is controlled by the Fédération Haïtienne de Football, the governing body for football in Haiti. Haiti’s home ground is Stade Sylvio Cator in Port-au-Prince and their head coach is former Cuban International Israel Blake Cantero. They have made one appearance at the FIFA World Cup, in 1974, but were beaten convincingly in the opening qualifying stages by three of the pre-tournament favorites; Italy, Poland, and Argentina. Their most recent achievement was in 2007, when the national team won the 2007 Caribbean Nations Cup.

Here is a picture of Haiti National team in 1974. This is what many would call Haiti Dream Team, the 1974 World Cup team. Haiti’s coach was Antoine Tassy. He was also the team’s trainer as well as being the country’s Director of Sport.
Haiti National soccer team, 1974
Haiti National team in 1974

Haiti has one of the longest football traditions in the Caribbean and was an early participant in World Cup qualifying. Throughout the 60s, and 70s, Haiti’s footballing status in the region remained very strong, being considered the third strongest team in CONCACAF after Mexico and arguably Costa Rica. The strength of the national selection ultimately culminated in Haiti’s first ever World Cup appearance in 1974, in which they surprised the world in their opening goal against a considerably stronger Italian team. The island nation has produced many talented star players over the years. The period from the mid-1960s to mid-1970s could be considered a golden age for Haitian football. With Antoine Tessy as coach for much of this period, Haiti would emerge as one of the strongest teams in the CONCACAF zone, being pooled with other regionally strong football nations such as Mexico and Costa Rica. By 1965, players like Henri Francillon, Philippe Vorbe, Renold Jean Francois and Guy St-Vil were already playing in the team and would be stalwarts of the side in the coming years.

The team developed sufficiently to reach the final round of qualifying for 1970, where they faced El Salvador. After losing the first leg at home, Haiti pulled off a 3–0 win away but the rules of the day dictated a play-off on neutral ground which El Salvador won to secure a place in the 1970 FIFA World Cup. In the 1974 qualifiers, Haiti once again reached the final round in a qualifying tournament completely played at home. This time, with all odds on their favor, they would top the group and qualify for the 1974 World Cup. In West Germany, they would be drawn in an extremely tough group with Italy, Argentina and Poland. However, they surprised the football world in their debut game when star forward Emmanuel Sanon scored to give Haiti a lead over Italy, at the same time ending Dino Zoff‘s still standing record run of 1142 minutes without conceding a goal in international matches. They eventually lost 1–3, and would lose to Poland (0–7) and Argentina (1–4).

Haiti would reach the final rounds of 1978 and 1982 qualifiers, but failed to make the cut. The years since have seen Haiti’s footballing status decline markedly. In recent years, the political situation in the country has led to numerous defections from members of the soccer team. The team has rebuilt somewhat through the Haitian diaspora in Miami, Florida, and some Haitian home games have been played in Miami in recent years. Haiti as of recently has been rising once again as a footballing power in CONCACAF.

In the 2010 Haiti earthquake at least 30 people with ties to Haitian football perished, including players, coaches, referees and administrative and medical representatives. Twenty others with ties to Haitian football were feared to be buried in the ruins.[1][2][3]

In November 2011 Haiti was knocked out of qualification for the 2014 FIFA World Cup by Antigua and Barbuda under the leadership of Brazilian coach Edson Tavares. In 2012 Tavares was replaced by Cuban coach Israel Blake Cantero who lead the national team through the 2012 Caribbean Championship. The Haitian team finished 3rd in the Caribbean Championships warranting a spot in the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup. The following year Haiti would have a bad string of defeats against Chile, Bolivia, Oman and the Dominican Republic. In June 2013 Haiti bounced back from these shortcomings with a close 2-1 loss to reigning world champions Spain and an astonishing 2-2 draw with footballing powerhouse Italy, with goals scored by Donald Guerrier, Olrish Saurel and Jean-Philippe Peguero respectively. – SOurce

Haiti Soccer Team
Haiti National Football Team 2013
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Video & Photo Highlights From The Recent Games:

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Current Players For 2013:

0#0 Pos. Player D.O.B Caps Goals Club
GK Frandy Montrevil January 14, 1982 5 0 Haiti Valencia de Leogane
GK Julien Jospy June 3, 1983 1 0 Haiti AS Cavaly
DF Judelin Aveska October 21, 1987 30 1 Argentina Independiente Rivadavia
DF Reginal Goreux December 31, 1987 5 2 Russia Krylia Sovetov Samara
DF Jean Garry Rubin December 19, 1989 15 0 Haiti América des Cayes
DF Jean-Jacques Pierre January 23, 1981 56 5 France Caen
DF Bitielo Jean Jacques December 28, 1990 0 0 United States VSI Tampa Bay FC
DF Donald Guerrier March 31, 1989 11 1 Haiti América des Cayes
DF Kevin Lafrance January 13, 1990 8 2 Czech Republic Baník Most
DF Mechack Jerome April 21, 1990 22 0 United States Sporting Kansas City
DF Olrish Saurel September 13, 1985 18 2 Antigua and Barbuda Antigua Barracuda FC
MF Jean Sony Alcenat January 23, 1986 43 5 Romania Petrolul Ploiești
MF Constant Monuma April 1, 1982 22 4 Haiti Racing Haïtien
MF Jeff Louis August 8, 1992 6 0 France Nancy
MF Jean-Eudes Maurice June 21, 1986 10 8 France Le Mans
MF Peterson Joseph April 24, 1990 13 0 United States Sporting Kansas City
MF Yves Desmarets July 17, 1979 1 0 Portugal C.F. Os Belenenses
MF Herold Charles Junior July 23, 1990 2 0 Haiti Tempête
MF Jean Alexandre August 24, 1986 23 2 United States Orlando City
FW Kervens Belfort May 16, 1992 10 5 France Le Mans
FW Peguero Jean Philippe September 29, 1981 26 21 Haiti Don Bosco
FW Leonel Saint-Preux May 12, 1985 36 6 Malaysia FELDA United

Current Staff:

  • Men’s Coach:Cuba Israel Blake Cantero
  • Men’s Asst. Coach:Haiti Pierre Roland Saint-Jean
  • Fitness:Cuba Gregorio B. Modesto Gomez
  • Fitness:Haiti Ernst Jean-Baptiste
  • Medic:Haiti Jean-Mary Fritz Henry

2013 Schedule:

Date Location Opponent Result Competition
January 19, 2013 Concepción, Chile  Chile 0-3 Friendly
February 6, 2013 Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia  Bolivia 1-2 Friendly
March 20, 2013 Muscat, Oman  Oman 0-3 Friendly
March 24, 2013 Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic  Dominican Republic 1-3 Friendly
June 8, 2013 Miami, United States  Spain 1-2 Friendly
June 11, 2013 Rio De Janeiro, Brazil  Italy 2-2 Friendly
July 8, 2013 Harrison, United States  Honduras Gold Cup
July 12, 2013 Miami Gardens, United States  Trinidad and Tobago Gold Cup
July 15, 2013 Houston, United States  El Salvador Gold Cup1

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Saurel Broyen Olrish.

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All Players:

Name D. o. B. Position Current club M S G M S G
Montrévil, Frandy 1982-01-14 Goalkeeper Haiti Valencia Léogâne 3 0 0 0 0 0
Jean-Zéphirin, Dominique 1982-06-03 Goalkeeper England Staines Town 1 0 0 0 0 0
Romondt, Guerry 1985-08-10 Goalkeeper Haiti Tempête Saint-Marc 1 0 0 0 0 0
Guerrier, Wilde-Donald 1989-03-31 Defender Haiti América des Cayes 3 1 1 0 0 0
Rubin, Jean Garry 1989-12-19 Defender Haiti América des Cayes 3 0 0 0 0 0
Lafrance, Kévin 1990-01-13 Defender Czech Republic Baník Most 2 1 0 0 0 0
Saurel, Olrish 1985-09-13 Defender Haiti Don Bosco Pétion-Ville 2 0 0 0 0 0
Pierre, Jean-Jacques 1981-01-23 Centre Back France Stade Malherbe Caen 1 0 0 0 0 0
Aveska, Judelin 1987-10-21 Defender Argentina Independiente Rivadavia 1 0 0 0 0 0
Bertin, Frantz 1983-05-30 Defender Greece PAE Véroia 1 0 0 0 0 0
Canès, Jean-Charles 1987-03-06 Defender Puerto Rico Bayamón FC 1 0 0 0 0 0
Duverger, Mackenzie 1976-06-01 Defender Haiti Valencia Léogâne 1 0 0 0 0 0
Maurice, Jean-Dany 1993-11-27 Defender Haiti Valencia Léogâne 1 0 0 0 0 0
Raymond, Ednerson 1985-05-14 Defender Haiti Baltimore Saint-Marc 1 0 0 0 0 0
Joseph, Géraldy 1990-05-29 Defender Haiti Valencia Léogâne 0 2 0 0 0 0
Jean, Jean-Robert Defender Haiti Valencia Léogâne 0 1 0 0 0 0
Jérôme, Mechack 1990-04-21 Defender USA Sporting Kansas City 0 1 0 0 0 0
Sonthonax, Foreste 1988-01-21 Defender Haiti Cavaly Léogâne 0 1 0 0 0 0
Monuma, Constant 1982-04-01 Midfielder Haiti Racing Club Haïtien 4 0 0 0 0 0
Fucien, Brunel 1984-08-26 Midfielder Martinique L’Aiglon du Lamentin 3 0 0 0 0 0
Louis, Jeff 1992-08-08 Midfielder France AS Nancy Lorraine 3 0 0 0 0 0
Sirin, Vaniel 1989-10-26 Midfielder Haiti Tempête Saint-Marc 2 1 0 0 0 0
Hérold, Charles 1990-07-23 Midfielder Haiti Tempête Saint-Marc 2 0 1 0 0 0
Hilaire, Max 1985-12-06 Defensive Midfielder France Pau FC 2 0 0 0 0 0
Saint-Louis, Wiselet 1992-09-10 Midfielder Haiti Don Bosco Pétion-Ville 1 1 0 0 0 0
Desmarets, Yves 1979-07-19 Left Midfielder Portugal CF Os Belenenses 1 0 0 0 0 0
Alcenat, Jean-Sony 1986-01-23 Midfielder Romania Petrolul Ploieşti 1 0 0 0 0 0
Alexandre, Jean-Marc 1986-08-24 Midfielder USA Orlando City 1 0 0 0 0 0
Augusmat, Wilberne 1994-12-08 Midfielder Haiti Violette Port-au-Prince 1 0 0 0 0 0
Goreux, Réginal 1987-12-31 Midfielder Belgium Standard Liège 1 0 0 0 0 0
Horat, Luckner 1994-09-27 Midfielder Haiti Aigle Noir Port-au-Prince 1 0 0 0 0 0
Joseph, Peterson 1990-04-24 Midfielder USA Sporting Kansas City 1 0 0 0 0 0
Pierre-Louis, Kennel 1989-01-31 Attacking Midfielder France SA Thiers 0 1 0 0 0 0
Beaugé, Nicodème 1990-10-09 Midfielder Haiti Victory Port-au-Prince 0 1 0 0 0 0
Désir, Spencer 1993-12-20 Midfielder Haiti Cavaly Léogâne 0 1 0 0 0 0
Belfort, Kervens 1992-05-16 Secondary striker France Le Mans FC 3 0 1 0 0 0
Louis, Fritznel 1989-12-20 Striker Haiti Racing Club Haïtien 2 1 0 0 0 0
Milien, Pascal 1986-03-05 Striker Ireland Sligo Rovers 2 0 0 0 0 0
Maurice, Jean-Eudes 1986-06-21 Left Winger France Le Mans FC 1 1 0 0 0 0
Alexandre, Junior 1989-03-25 Striker Haiti Baltimore Saint-Marc 1 0 0 0 0 0
Peguero, Jean-Philippe 1981-09-29 Striker Haiti Don Bosco Pétion-Ville 0 2 0 0 0 0
Edmond, Pierre-Richard 1989-09-14 Striker France AS Porto-Vecchio 0 1 0 0 0 0
Pierre, Bony 1991-04-24 Striker Haiti Victory Port-au-Prince 0 1 0 0 0 0
Saint-Preux, Leonel 1985-05-12 Striker Malaysia Felda United 0 1 0 0 0 0

CONCACAF Championship record:

Year Round GP W D L GS GA
El Salvador 1963 Did not qualify
Guatemala 1965 Sixth Place 5 0 1 4 3 13
Honduras 1967 Fifth Place 5 1 0 4 5 9
Costa Rica 1969 Disqualified
Trinidad and Tobago 1971 Second Place 5 2 3 0 9 1
Haiti 1973 Champions 5 4 0 1 8 3
Mexico 1977 Second Place 5 3 1 1 6 6
Honduras 1981 Sixth Place 5 0 2 3 2 9
1985 Round 1 4 0 0 4 0 9
1989 Did not enter
Total 1 Title 34 10 7 17 33 50
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