In the Haiti preview for this summer’s Copa America Centenario, we review the squad roster, look ahead to the upcoming schedule of games as well as sharing our thoughts on how we think Haiti will do in the tournament.
Manager: Patrice Neveu
Captain: Johnny Placide
Haiti preview: Squad:
GOALKEEPERS (3): Steward Ceus (Minnesota United FC, USA), Luis Valendi Odelus (Aigle Noir, HAI), Johny Placide (Reims, FRA)
DEFENDERS (8): Jean Sony Alcénat (Voluntari, ROM), Judelin Aveska (Atlético Uruguay, ARG), Alex Christian (Vila Real, POR), Romain Genevois (Nice, FRA), Reginal Goreux (Standard Liège, BEL), Kim Jaggy (Aarau, SUI), Mechack Jerome (Jacksonville Armada, USA), Stéphane Lambese (Paris Saint-Germain, FRA)
MIDFIELDERS (7): Jean Marc Alexandre (Fort Lauderdale Strikers, USA), Max Hilaire (Cholet, FRA), Kevin Lafrance (Chrobry Głogów, POL), James Marcelin (Carolina RailHawks, USA), Pascal Millien (Jacksonville Armada, USA), Soni Mustivar (Sporting Kansas City, USA), Sony Norde (Mohun Bagan, IND)
FORWARDS (5): Kervens Belfort (1461 Trabzon, TUR), Wilde-Donald Guerrier (Wisła Kraków, POL), Jeff Louis (Caen, FRA), Jean-Eudes Maurice (Hà Nội T&T, VIE), Duckens Nazon (Laval, FRA)
Haiti preview: Overview:
Haiti will be featuring in a Copa America tournament for the first time in the nation’s history this summer and that’s a burgeoning excitement surrounding this squad as they get set to take on some illustrious opposition.
Neveu has a dynamic group of footballers to call upon and a pool of players which seems to be growing in quality year upon year. They tend to sit in and seek to counter-attack sides by utilising their pace in advanced areas, and while holding firm under pressure remains an issue, Haiti are well capable of putting together some thrilling pieces of attacking play.
Their performances are on the rise too, having made it to the knockout stages of last summer’s Gold Cup, when they finished in second place in a difficult group containing the Panama, the United States, and Honduras. They drew with the former and beat the latter, making it into the quarter-finals for the first time since 2009.
The challenge will be replicating that precarious blueprint against the South American sides in their group. Neveu’s have shown an increased defensive urgency in their most recent outings and that should bode well for when they try to contain men like Willian, Philippe Coutinho and Antonio Valencia. But that’s come at a cost, with just one goal scored in their last five matches.
The tools are there for these determined players to spring a possible shock in the group stages. But it’s an occasion you suspect Neveu will encourage his players to cherish given the widespread rebuilding the nation undertook following the catastrophic earthquake which hit the Caribbean country in 2010.
Still, there is quality in this group, with players from the top flight in France, Belgium, Turkey and the United States. It’ll be fascinating to see how Les Grenadiers fare in their upcoming friendly against Colombia and what kind of template the manager puts in place for this historic tournament.
Haiti preview: Group Fixtures:
Saturday, June 4
Wednesday, June 8
Sunday, June 12
Haiti preview: Key Player:
Jeff Louis – If Haiti are going to be a persistent threat on the counter-attack throughout this tournament, they will need the an outlet to carry the ball into advanced areas and take pressure of the defense. It’s a role which Louis is capable of fulfilling at his best.
The Caen midfielder can operate off a centre-forward, but is at his most effective on the flanks. Like any wide man he can be infuriating at times, with decision-making often erratic in the final third. The 23-year-old can also be scintillating with the ball at his feet and Neveu will be looking for him to lead the team’s sharp forays forward.
Haiti preview: Verdict:
Group Stage Elimination – It would be wonderful to see Haiti spring some kind of surprise in this competition as arguably the Centenario’s biggest underdog. But it is very difficult to see them retaining their defensive focus for long spells when they’re pinned back. Expect plenty of industry, although not quite enough intricacy to qualify.
Haiti home jersey
The official 2016 Haiti Home Jersey from Saeta.
Find out how to order the Haiti home jersey today.
Read all of the Copa America team previews
• Argentina team preview
• Bolivia team preview
• Brazil team preview
• Chile team preview
• Colombia team preview
• Costa Rica team preview
• Ecuador team preview
• Haiti team preview
• Jamaica team preview
• Mexico team preview
• Panama team preview
• Paraguay team preview
• Peru team preview
• United States team preview
• Uruguay team preview
• Venezuela team preview
If you have any questions about the Haiti preview, let us know in the comments section below.
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