Thursday, 05 October 2017 20:05

A look at the new faces of the national team

After a shock elimination from the Gold Cup qualifiers, Haiti calls up 7 new and young players from abroad to face Japan in a friendly on 10 October. The new faces are Jean Ambrose, Jems Geffrard, Bryan Alceus, Zachary Herivaux, Renald Metelus, Jimmy Sannon, and Richelor Sprangers. What do we know about those players and do they all deserve to join the national team? We  look at each player background and performance at club level to determine whether a player receives the call on merit or not. Because all 7 players are under 25, we do not pretend that a player we deem undeserving of the call-up is unqualified for future selection. We understand that some players do improve the quality of their game as they become older.

Bryan Alceus - Technically, Alceus is not a new face since he has already represented Haiti in a friendly game versus Columbia  in 2016. However, his contribution was so insignificant in the game that everyone agreed he was not ready for the national team. Is he ready now? The short answer is NO. For the past 3 years, Bryan Alceus has been bouncing between the 4th and the 5th divisions in France which is largely an amateur environment. Bryan Alceus is by no means the most talented attacking midfielder who can lead the team even with the assumption the FHF really does not want to make the most obvious and logical choice of using Charles Herold Junior. Although playing an offensive position, Bryan is very often buried in the center-field and as a result of his lack of attacking instinct, he has yet to score a single goal in his career as a footballer.

Other players with stronger claims to the midfield position include 23 year old Benchy Estama and 20 year old Roberto Louima. Those two young players are home-baked and would have been given priority over Alceus in every other federation except the FHF where Foreign-born players are more valuable than the Haiti ones.

HAITI SPORTS SCORE: Thumb Down ↓

Jean Ambrose: This is a 6 ft. 3 in. tall 24 year old defender with a decent resume. Born in France like many others on the list, this player is a serious competitor in comparison to the like of Genevois, Jean Sony Alcenat, Ricardo Ade, and Jerome Mechack. 

However, Ambrose does not come without a package. The France-born player did play at a high level in France and Bulgaria but he is currently without a club. The player is apparently being sued by his last Bulgarian club Lokomotiv for leaving without permission before the end of the 2017 season. Should we take this as a warning of poor discipline?

HAITI SPORTS SCORE: Thumb Up 

Jems Geffrard - The 23 year old Haitian-Canadian defender is probably the most qualified player of the group with CONCACAF football experience. He has represented FC Montreal 14 times between 2015 and 2016. Another reason why capping Geffrad is a smart move is because the player is also eligible to play for fellow CONCACAF rival Canada.

Jems Geffrard currently plays for second division Finnish club Ikenas IF since 2016.

HAITI SPORTS SCORE: Thumb Up ↑

Zachary Herivaux - Like Bryan Alceus whom he had met at the U-20 two years ago, Herivaux is well-known among Haitian football fans as the Haitian-Japanese player of NE Revolution since he represented Haiti at the 2015 U-20 CONCACAF Qualifying toournament. The defender is worthy of the call to the national team. He is a career-oriented young man who takes his football-playing profession seriously. We have watched him transitioned from an alumnus to a full-grown player at the Revolution, although currently on loan at San Antonio FC.

By capping Herivaux, Haiti secures the services of a potentially strong defender that either USA or Japan may one day regret since the player was also eligible to represent either one of those two other countries. The 21 year old player is a good call.

HAITI SPORTS SCORE: Thumb Up ↑

Renald Metelus - This 24 year old player of French third division club US Avranches is a decent player who could have received an invitation for tryouts from CONCACAF national teams where players are selected based on merit. In other words, he is not unworthy of this call-up because far worse players have been selected by the FHF before. That being said, the absence of Ricardo Ade on the list makes Renald Metellus' presence very suspect.

HAITI SPORTS SCORE - Neutral →

Jimmy Sanon - He bears the historic last name that will probably get the attention of the foreign media every time they saw him with the national team and just like his predecessor he can nail a goalkeeper several yards away. Surprisingly, the talented player of the U-20 team was a late addition to the list! Like Geffrard, Sanon is really a big 'panzou' Haiti has given Canada and the North Americans will certainly realized their mistake the next time they face Haiti.

No other player on the  list deserves to be capped more than Sanon. The Canadian-Haitian forward has several years of experience in CONCACAF football despite his young age. 

HAITI SPORTS SCORE - Thumb Up ↑

Richelor Sprangers - This relatively tall 19 year old player born in Haiti but raised in the Netherlands is a welcoming addition to a team that clearly lacks world-class finishers. Richelor played well at the U-20 and we feel strongly that he does deserve the call-up based on merit only considering his age and potential to grow with the team.

However, just like in the case of Alceus, there were other locally-based players who shine brighter than Sprangers at the U-20 who have not been called up. It is this lack of consistency and fairness that rob players like Sprangers the satisfaction of knowing that they were called up because of their efforts and not their status of players from abroad.

HAITI SPORTS SCORE: Thumb Up ↑ 

 

 

 

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