Red Bulls midfielder-forward Derrick Etienne, Jr. and his Haitian teammates will be watching the Gold Cup on TV. (Michael Lewis/ Photo)

MANAGUA, Nicaragua – It just wasn’t never met to be for Red Bulls midfielder-forward Derrick Etienne, Jr. and his Haiti teammates.

After taking a 2-0 lead in the opening leg at home, the Haitians fell to Nicaragua, 3-0, on three late goals in the aggregate goals series to clinch the 12th and final berth at this summer’s CONCACAF Gold Cup at Estadio Nacional Tuesday night.

The Central Americans won the series, 3-2.

Juan Barrera scored three goals in the final eight minutes to boost the Nicaraguans to the shocking and dramatic result. He connected in the 82nd minute, scoring again four minutes later before lifting the hosts with his third goal in the 99th minute.

Nicaragua will play in Group B against Martinique (July 8), Panama (July 12) and the United States (July 15) in the Gold Cup.

Front Row Soccer editor Michael Lewis has covered 13 World Cups (eight men, five women), seven Olympics and 25 MLS Cups. He has written about New York City FC, New York Cosmos, the New York Red Bulls and both U.S. national teams for Newsday and has penned a soccer history column for the Lewis, who has been honored by the Press Club of Long Island and National Soccer Coaches Association of America, is the former editor of He has written seven books about the beautiful game and has published ALIVE AND KICKING The incredible but true story of the Rochester Lancers. It is available at