He is at the prime age of 27 and has under his belt many years of experience playing in various foreign leagues yet to many supporters something is not right with the former U-17 player that once made many Haitian hopeful that by this time we would have at least one truly great striker in our senior team. Unfortunately, this dream never materialize. What went wrong?
Fabien was the Vorbe family's latest contribution to Haitian football and as expected he did not disappoint as the promising young player led his U-17 team to a world cup appearance in 2007. His physical presence, skills, and eagerness for victories made him a dangerous striker for his opponents. The player did not betray the trust of the Haitian people who had become accustomed to seeing excellent football players from the Vorbe family.
Unfortunately, up to now Fabien has been capped less than 10 times with the national team and his latest appearance last year was considered a pay-back for his uncle Philippe Vorbe's public support of Yves Jean-Bart's administration and the then controversial coach Patrice Neveu. As you may know, Fabien is now a defender but Fabien-The-Defender is a tough sale to a public who expected him to be their next great striker!
Fabien was not expected to become a defender or even a midfielder. That was not him. He was never compared to the like of Jean Sony Alcenat, Peterson Joseph, Judelin Aveska, or Sony Norde. His vocation was different. He was a pure striker who outmuscled or outsmarted defenses. Everyone expected him to take over the national team as Jean-Philippe Peguero became to fade. It was not to be.
After the U-17 World Cup, Fabien joined the US college system playing for Furman Paladins. The youngster returned to Haiti where he joined Tempete FC scoring 2 goals in 6 matches for the St-Marc's club that was at the time the strongest club in the country. in 2012, Fabien signed with NASL club Edmonton FC where he was mostly used as a left-back. From there the player entered a transformation that would make him quite unrecognizable to the Haitian supporters. Unable to compete against the more rounded defenders and midfielders, Fabien slowly faded out.
Fabien's demise was not totally his fault. In fact, he did not have much control over it. It happened so fast and the player was still very young. It is unlikely that he made his own choice to become a defender. At the national team level the new changes did not help him either. Around 2013, there had been some new developments at the national team. New defenders like Donald Guerrier, Jean Sony Alcenat, Reginald Goreux, Kevin Lafrance and even Stephane Lambese blocked Fabien's way to the national team as they become regular starters at the national team. These players fit better the Europe-centric approach of the FHF that effectively relegated to second choice status anyone who plays in a different region regardless of talent, skills, or name recognition.
Fabien did eventually play in Europe but by then the competition for a spot as a defender or a midfielder had become too strong for a player whose natural instincts are truly those of a striker. His tendency to return to the national league in Haiti between foreign contracts did not help him either since the FHF has made it a rule not to allow local players in the national team. The Haiti of his ancestors no longer exists. Playing in the national league of Haiti is now considered a sin at the FHF and Fabien has committed this transgression many times.
Fabien's career is not over as the player is still seeking redemption in foreign leagues. For this 2017 season, he has bounced back in NEROCA FC in the Indian I-League. The once celebrated prodige of Haitian football still has many years ahead of him. However, will he make a final comeback to the national team? Time will tell.
To me, after high school if a player has skills and there are interests at a high level in the player it is more important to go for the football career than going to college unless it is possible to do both. You are not going to tell Manchester to wait. College can wait because if you do make it big you probably won't need a college degree for work. You already have a few millions saved, hopefully. What do Ronaldo and Messi need college for?