Zachary Herivaux and Derrick Etienne Jr.
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Heritage of Haitian Homegrowns building pride on and off the field

  • Heritage of Haitian Homegrowns building pride on and off the field
  • Cabrera brothers waiting in the wings to join father in Houston
  • MLS academy products fueling U.S. Youth National Teams
  • Three-time U.S. Open Cup finalist Philadelphia looks to break through
 
Heritage of Haitian Homegrowns building pride on and off the field
After an undefeated run through Concacaf Nations League qualifying, the Haiti National Team is entering its seventh Gold Cup tournament with the two MLS Homegrowns that helped them get there: New York Red Bulls forward Derrick Etienne Jr. and New England Revolution midfielder Zachary Herivaux.
 
Etienne, now in his fourth MLS season, notched a goal and assist during that qualifying campaign, as he follows in the footsteps of his namesake father who also starred for the Haiti National Team. For club last season, the 22-year-old earned 30 regular season appearances with the Supporters’ Shield-winning Red Bulls, and his rise through the MLS ranks dates all the way back to 2009, when he initially joined the New York Red Bulls Academy.
 
Herivaux, the 23-year-old who also earned minutes in Concacaf National League qualifying, has eight caps for Haiti and became the third academy player in New England Revolution history to sign an MLS Homegrown player contract. Now well-known in Haiti for the charitable work he and his father have done, the young midfielder is making his mark on the field, while a mural dedicated in his honor proves that he is making a lasting impression in the community as well.
 
With an opportunity for both of these young stars to shine in Gold Cup, could this international experience earn them even more MLS minutes?
 
Cabrera brothers waiting in the wings to join father in Houston
Father’s Day is quickly approaching, and in the realm of North American professional soccer lineage, the Cabrera family is taking over south Texas. Houston Dynamo head coach Wilmer Cabrera has already brought up a number of successful players who shined at the club’s USL Championship side Rio Grande Valley FC, and potentially down the line this list could include two sons.
 
Wilmer Andres Cabrera Jr., 18, who debuted for RGV in June of 2018, has regularly started for RGV in 2019, playing in all but one match this season while tallying two goals. David Cabrera, 24, made his USL debut in August of 2018 and is on this year’s roster. They continue to ply their professional trade for the Toros who are based in Edinburg, Texas, a 5 ½-hour drive from Houston. Wilmer Cabrera Sr., who coached RGV during their inaugural 2016 USL season, has benefited from the Toros’ talent, including this year’s breakout MLS season by Memo Rodriguez.
 
Father/son, manager/player combinations are a rarity. Adrian Heath coached Harrison Heath during Minnesota United FC’s inaugural 2018 MLS season. Los Angeles Football Club head coach Bob Bradley coached Toronto FC midfielder Michael Bradley on the U.S. Men’s National Team. But never have two sons been coached by a father manager in the history of MLS or the U.S. MNT.
 
Time will tell if the Cabreras branch into an MLS family tree in the near future.
 
MLS academy products fueling U.S. Youth National Teams
MLS academy products are shining for the various U.S. Youth National Teams, guiding them to historic levels across various competitions. The United States became the only team to advance to the quarterfinals in each of the last three FIFA U-20 World Cups, with this year’s squad featuring 18 MLS academy products such as FC Dallas midfielder Paxton Pomykal and leading team scorer and Real Salt Lake academy product Sebastian Soto.
 
The United States will also participate in the 2019 FIFA U-17 World Cup in Brazil from October 26 to November 17 after a strong performance in the 2019 Concacaf U-17 Championship. A total of 18 MLS academy products helped the U.S. qualify to the U-17 World Cup including young Homegrowns such as Sporting Kansas City’s Gianluca Busio and Seattle Sounders FC midfielder Danny Leyva, who last week became the third youngest player to appear in an MLS regular season match.
 
This week the U.S. also announced its U-23 camp roster, including 15 MLS academy products in preparation for qualification to the 2020 Summer Olympics. The U.S. will attempt to become one of two teams from the region to qualify for the 2020 Summer Olympics when participating in the 2019 Concacaf Men’s Olympic Qualifying Championship in October. Included in this week’s camp are standouts such as Philadelphia 18-year-old midfielder Brenden Aaronson and Seattle Sounders FC 17-year-old forward Alfonso Ocampo-Chavez.
 
 
Three-time U.S. Open Cup finalist Philadelphia looks to break through
The Philadelphia Union are atop the Eastern Conference standings and will now put their focus toward reaching the summit of the 2019 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. The fourth round kicks off this Tuesday and Wednesday for MLS clubs, and Philadelphia has reached the final for three of the past five tournaments; yet the Union have fallen short of capturing an Open Cup crown.
 
The Union visit East rivals D.C. United on Wednesday (7 p.m. ET / ESPN+) at Audi Field. With Jamaican goalkeeper Andre Blake away for national team duty for the Concacaf Gold Cup, they will need their youth and depth to break on through against D.C.
First-year MLS side FC Cincinnati, the Cinderella Story during the 2017 U.S. Open Cup, hosts former United Soccer League foes Louisville City FC on Wednesday at Nippert Stadium (7:30 p.m. ET / ESPN+). Cincinnati had a memorable Open Cup run two years ago with wins over the Chicago Fire and Columbus Crew SC, ultimately bowing out against the New York Red Bulls in the semifinals.
 
Seattle Sounders FC host Pacific Northwest rivals the Portland Timbers on Wednesday (10:30 p.m. ET / ESPN+). Seattle is one of three MLS clubs to win four Open Cups (the others being the Chicago Fire and Sporting Kansas City).
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