Often overlooked in the CONCACAF scheme of things, Haiti has slowly been improving in recent years. They are the surprise participant at the 2016 Copa America, their first.
- Kervens Belfort (1461 Trabzon/Turkey) – The young striker often brings his best when the pressure is on, but does not have much experience against high-level opposition. Belfort can play anywhere along the front line, runs well and displays good patience around the box.
- Johnny Placide (Stade de Reims/France) – The team captain is a solid all-around netminder. Placide is a good athlete who is not shy to come off his line.
- Romain Genevois (OGC Nice/France) – Like Placide, Genevois earns his paychecks in Ligue 1. He's a big tackling defender that is very physical for his size. He has good mobility and excels in the air.
Patrice Neveu – Haiti are the fifth national team managed by the Frenchman, who previously led African nations Niger, Guinea, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Mauritania. He was named manager of Les Grenadiers last December and engineered a 1-0 upset of Trinidad & Tobago on his Haiti debut to steer them to their first Copa America.
Copa America Group B Schedule
June 4 vs. Peru (7:30 pm ET, CenturyLink Field – Seattle, Wa.)
June 8 vs. Brazil (7:30 pm ET, Camping World Stadium – Orlando, Fl.)
June 12 vs. Equador (6:30 pm ET, MetLife Stadium - East Rutherford, NJ.)
Copa America Squad
Goalkeepers (3): Steward Ceus, Luis Valendi Odelus, Johnny Placide
Defenders (8): Jean Sony Alcenat, Judelin Aveska, Alex Junior Christian, Romain Genevois, Reginal Goreux, Kim Jaggy, Mechack Jerome, Stephane Lambese
Midfielders (7): Jean Alexandre, Max Hilaire, Kevin Lafrance, James Marcelin, Pascal Millien, Soni Mustivar, Sony Norde
Forwards (5): Kervens Belfort, Wilde-Donald Guerrier, Jeff Louis, Jean-Eudes Maurica, Duckens Nazon
Starting XI (5-4-1)
- GK: Johnny Placide (Reims)
- RB: Reginal Goreaux (Standard Liege)
- CB: Kevin Lafrance (Chobry Glogow)
- CB: Romain Genevois (Nice)
- CB: Mechack Jerome (Jacksonville Armada)
- LB: Kim Jaggy (Aarau)
- RM: Jean Sony Alcenat (Steaua Bucharest)
- CM: Jean Alexandre (Negeri Sembilan)
- CM: Soni Mustivar (Sporting KC)
- LM: Jean-Eudes Maurice (Ha Noi)
- FW: Kervens Belfort (1461 Trabzon)
Style of play
Because they are almost always over-matched from a talent standpoint, Haiti will try to play smart and use their athletic abilities to keep games as short and as tight as possible. More than any other team in the field, they will rely on a bunker defense and try to take rare chances when they come. As antiquated as this approach is, it seems to be working to a decent extent. Excepting an early round World Cup qualifying sweep of lowly Grenada, their last six competitive games have featured but a single goal.
How they qualified
Haiti qualified by edging out Trinidad & Tobago in a Copa America Centenario qualifying playoff in January on a late lone goal by Belfort.
Copa America history
The small island nation will be making their first Copa America appearance.
Haiti's biggest tourney triumph came when they won the Caribbean Cup in 2007. Their only World Cup appearance ended with three straight losses in 1974. This adventure came during their regional heyday, when they sandwiched a pair of silver medal finishes around their lone CONCACAF Championship triumph in 1973.
United States vs Haiti
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Three Haitians are on active MLS rosters, but only Sporting KC midfielder Sony Mustivar has seen action. Jean-Philippe Peguero has been the most successful of the 12 MLS players to have come out of Haiti thus far, bagging 21 goals for Colorado and New York.