Rating 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 any 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 realize 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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Discuss this article in the forums (15 replies).

Haiti-Goal's Avatar
Haiti-Goal replied the topic: #195 1 month 5 days ago
I think a lot of guys performed well and Herivaux especially looked good. I am however more impressed with The Duck. If this kid can keep going like that I can see him at Wolves sooner than later this season.
Exfootballer07 's Avatar
Exfootballer07 replied the topic: #190 1 month 1 week ago
I’m happy the coach didn’t put him in he it would have been a disaster like trump would have said.
capois's Avatar
capois replied the topic: #182 1 month 1 week ago
Well I think only Alceus and Valendi did not get a chance to play.
Exfootballer07 's Avatar
Exfootballer07 replied the topic: #169 1 month 1 week ago
Well on Facebook people are talking about this kid Bryan Alceus from what havé seeing from him in the u20and the game vs Columbia this kid doesn’t have it I think we have way better players in Haiti that could have taken his place.
Haiti-Goal's Avatar
Haiti-Goal replied the topic: #168 1 month 2 weeks ago
That being said, we will lose big probably 4-0 or 4-1. Too many new players with almost no time to help them come together. But I won't be surprise if the margin is wider.

That being also, I like some of the players in the list especially Sanon.
Haiti-Goal's Avatar
Haiti-Goal replied the topic: #167 1 month 2 weeks ago
Good analysis, you guys. I believe the truth is Nicaragua made the mistake of trying to play defense to keep the score tied. They gave us too much respect hearing the names of all the big superstars in our team. The second half, they took it to us and I was saying to myself why were they so shy in the first half. I do not know if you guys recalled but I came back here to say we might lose in Managua. However, I was thinking 1-0, 2-1 something like that BUT NOT A WHOPPING 3-0!!!!!

The one thing we need to understand guys is that certain players we consider big superstars actually weaken the team because they are really not good.

It is not a coincidence that since CH came back Haiti won nearly every match he played in as the main distributor while Haiti lost all the games where he is benched or not called up. Also, notice that is true for certain other players like Etienne, Alex etc. Why? Because the players we consider better than those guys are actually not.

To me, our problems are 1) we play the wrong players and we stubbornly refuse to acknowledge that those players we consider better are actually the ones who are hurting the team; 2) for some reason, we keep believing that we are defense only team; 3) the coaches we hire are all bidons and they are too grateful for getting a job to actually stand to fhf when the bozos want to destroy the team.
Tini_man's Avatar
Tini_man replied the topic: #166 1 month 2 weeks ago
I agree with every thing you say here and taking in consideration the choices of players and positions on the filed.., I still think we had a superior team and could have still advance...because these same players did win convincingly in Haiti.. and could have easily beaten Nica 4-1 or 3-0 in Haiti..
Boubounay 's Avatar
Boubounay replied the topic: #165 1 month 2 weeks ago
The team that lost to Nica was a typical collat formation with 4 defenders, 2 middle defensives and 4 guys in the front and neither knew what his true role was because like in collat's team those guys had to stay put waiting for a lucky pass to reach them. The distributor Herold was replaced by Jeff who thought he was a striker, the tricky Etienne that frustrated the Trinidadians were replaced by Donald who also thought he was a striker and never passed the ball. Christian who was freed to move up and down the wing knowing that Aristide was strong behind him was pushed back and Kervens was assigned to be left winger. Kervens also thought he was the striker. So, you have a bunch of less capable players in the field while the good ones sit on the bench or position where they could not impact the game. I mean why would you bench Andrew after his great performance in the previous two games? Mind blowing!
Boubounay 's Avatar
Boubounay replied the topic: #164 1 month 2 weeks ago
Versus Trinidad and Surinam, the team had 3 mobile defenders: Pompe, Andrew, Aristide (only Mechack is a sedentary def)

One rover as a mid-def: Thurierre

One good tactician in the middle: Herold

Two versatile and highly offensive wingers: Christian, Etienne

And two forwards: Belfort, Desire

As you could see, that team would strike back on every failed offensive from the opponents. That was a team built to outscore the opponents. Even Belfort found his groove because of the good support he received from his teammates.

Out of nowhere and for no apparent reasons, Haiti brought a totally different team versus Nica with players who are sedentary in their positions. That was why we lost.
Tini_man's Avatar
Tini_man replied the topic: #163 1 month 2 weeks ago
I really don't blame this one on the coaching staff...I just thought our players stop/quit playing and allow Nicaragua to score 3 goals in 10 minutes..They even refer to this game as the most exciting 10 minutes in Nicaraguan soccer story..,....courtesy of Haiti. They never had any thing to cheer for in the past 100 years..after Haiti's goal was disallowed.. players failed to realize that they're playing against the Referee plus Nicaragua and stopped trying to win and played defensive since they needed a tie and or a 1 goal lost to advance..I blame that one on our players solely...
Boubounay 's Avatar
Boubounay replied the topic: #162 1 month 2 weeks ago
@Tini, you play football to win and that is the huge problem with Collat who plays football not to get blown away. If you pack 5 defenders and 2 defensive midfielders in your own half of course other teams will find it hard to score but most will eventually score once or twice. Since you do not have the manpower to strike back, you are likely to lose!

Do you play for 'honorable losses' or 'ties'? That is what Collat does. We know it because we all witnessed it for three years.

As for losing to Nicaragua, the fault was not on the style of football we played but on who we have in the team. We all know what was coming the moment we saw the list of players selected for the Nica games.

With Collat, Haiti would have still be eliminated because he would have done the same thing leaving out the better players for the ones FHF preferred just like Josaphat did. The only difference is that Collat's team wouldn't have won in Port-au-Prince. The team would likely tied Nicaragua 0-0 or 1-1 then played to another tie in Managua. That is Collat.
Tini_man's Avatar
Tini_man replied the topic: #161 1 month 2 weeks ago
Even though I really would love to see a team like the one who defeated T&T and Surinam to earn the play-off against Nicaragua, I would say this in favor of Collat, his team was more competitive playing at the higher level and really never got blown away by any other teams who were supposes to be better on paper than us..Im referring to the like of US, Panama, Honduras and.. Jamaica in that previous GC.. and I bet you a Collat's team wouldn't have been blown away by a team like Nicaragua .. His style, although not very offensive or aggressive seem to keep the team in all games..Im picking Haiti to lose by no more than 2 goals..like a 1-0, 2-1, 3 -1, 2-0 lost..
Boubounay 's Avatar
Boubounay replied the topic: #160 1 month 2 weeks ago
@Nah, mwen pa panse nou ap pedi 5-0 devan Japon paske Japon se yon ekip ki rate anpil gol e mwen pa kwe yo ap jwenn anpil okazyon gol. Men, mwen pa kwe nou ap make okenn gol eksepte si yon boul chans tonbe nan pye yon atakan ayisyen devan kan Japon an. Nou pap fe anpil atak paske pa gen mitan teren pou kontwole boul la.

M panse 2-0 oubyen 3-0 posib avek anpil dominasyon. Jan ou di a, prepare pou ping-pong ak neg ki pral vini di w se fot abit la si nou pran 3-0 nan dada nou.
Boubounay 's Avatar
Boubounay replied the topic: #159 1 month 2 weeks ago
Yipe! The majority of the players he calls up are defenders. How do you win when all you do is waiting in the back for the ball then throw it back up front hoping that on a lucky day one of your forwards will get to the ball first and miraculously scores! Haiti rarely scored during Collat's first stint because we always had Kervens and Nazon in the front, nobody really in the midfield, and 6 or 7 guys in the back throwing the ball back to the front.

Collat's style is anti-football. It is a sitting duck posture that teams like USA, Mexico, Costa Rica will always welcome.

Remember that it was under a lot of pressure that Collat reluctantly agreed to relax his rigid defensive style to play a more fluid football. The first time he actually made use of the midfield and allowed the players to move the ball around instead of throwing it back was versus China and the result was obvious. Everybody could see an improvement. Under pressure, he took the team to the gold cup but reverted back to his old fashion. The consequence was that the team always played for a tie unless the opponents were unlucky enough not to score in which case we likely lost.

In nearly 3 years, Haiti only managed to score 4 goals versus non-CFU teams! We lost or tied all our games versus non-CFU teams except one against an experimental Honduras team.

Collat left the national team because of failures. I have no idea why we are having him back. I have little doubt Collat will again pack the back with 5 standing defenders with 2 additional defensive midfielders in front of them. Even the wingers he will make sure they are more defenders than attackers. Basically, we will have 8 or 9 defenders and 1 or 2 strikers.
Nahoum's Avatar
Nahoum replied the topic: #158 1 month 2 weeks ago
I think collat doesn't care about midfield he only plays pingpong long passes from defenders to forwards it was that style collat was forced to reject because he could not win any games. Alceus or not the midfield will be non-existing.
5-0 japan and hopefully president bananne jovenel seizes the fhf and orders the club owners to elect a new president.

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