Here are some interesting facts and figures about Haiti, which means the U.S. men’s national team in the first game for both sides in the Concacaf Gold Cup in Kansas City, Kansas Sunday night.
* Haiti earned its berth to the 2021 Gold Cup as one of three preliminary qualifiers. Prior to the tournament proper, 12 teams gathered in Ft. Lauderdale and played out three four-team brackets to determine the competition’s final three entrants.
The top seed in the Gold Cup prelims, Haiti topped Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 6-1 in its opening match with Duckens Nazon bagging a brace.
* In the Gold Cup berth-clinching match vs. Bermuda, Les Grenadiers used a first-half hat trick from Frantzdy Pierrot to win 4-1 and advance to its eighth confederation championship.
* Nazon (26 goals) and Pierrot (14 goals) are the leading scorers on the roster and have combined for 13 goals this year. Nazon’s 49 caps also lead the team.
* Haiti had an impressive showing at the 2019 Gold Cup, reaching the tournament semifinals for its highest finish. The Haitians topped their group with three straight victories and came from behind to beat Canada in the quarterfinals before losing to Mexico on a penalty in extra time.
* Haiti is 8-11-5 all-time at the Gold Cup. The Carribean nation has advanced past the group stage in four of seven previous appearances.
* Former Haiti defender Jean-Jacques Pierre became Haiti’s head coach at the start of 2021 and has led the team to a 5-2-0 record entering the Gold Cup. It’s his first major coaching job after a long playing career across Argentina, France, Greece, Haiti and Uruguay.
* Five players are based in the USA, highlighted by Columbus Crew midfielder Derrick Etienne Jr., a teammate of U.S. forward Gyasi Zardes. Goalkeeper Bryan Sylvestre (Miami FC), midfielder Zachary Herivaux (Birmingham Legion) and forward Ronaldo Damus (Orange County SC) play in the USL Championship, while defender Francois Dulysse plays in USL League One at New England Revolution II.
Haiti has players based in 11 different countries. In addition to three in Haiti, Les Grenadiers ply their trade in France (seven), the U.S. (five), Armenia, Belgium, Canada, Cyprus, Denmark, Ecuador, Kazakhstan and Portugal (one each).