Olympic qualifying is an odd beast. The US women’s national team is the unquestioned juggernaut of Concacaf, and there are going to be some uncomfortably lopsided scores over the next few games. There’s room to both celebrate the excellence of the USWNT and remember that it’s not a level playing field across the region. With that in mind, here’s a preview and how to watch for the first US game of qualifying against Haiti.
Haiti recently tied Texas A&M 1-1 in a friendly as part of their Olympic prep. They also tied Canada 1-1 in an earlier friendly through this nicely direct goal (with an assist from a literal defensive slip).
Ann gade ansanm GÒL #MIKERLINE nan pou peyi nou kont CANADA nan match amikal pou preparasyon dènye faz ELIMINATOIRES JO 2020 yo #Medamyo Pi Gwo Test! Pou monte PI WO NIVO #FHF2020 #kiteboullaWoule⚽ pic.twitter.com/S3sKXn8e1V— Fédération Haïtienne de Football (@fhfhaiti) January 21, 2020
There’s not as high a chance that they’ll be able to split US defenders like this, but you never know. Haiti has several players coming from D1F in France as well as a lot of youth players stepping up together from the U-20 level and together, they may be able to exploit a high line or a defensive lapse. Forward Nerilia Mondesir certainly taught the United States U-20s something about keeping an eye on clever balls over and runs behind.
That doesn’t necessarily mean they can hang with the senior US team for all 90, though. The oldest players on their roster were born in 1996, making their veteran players all of 23 and 24 years old. Their youngest player is goalkeeper Madelina Fleuriot at just 16.
GOALKEEPERS (3): 1-Jonie Gabriel (As Tigresses), 12-Kerly Theus (Aigle Brillant), 18-Madelina Fleuriot (Exafoot)
DEFENDERS (7): 2-Soveline Beaubrun (As Tigresses), 3-Chelsea Surpris (Unattached), 4-Ruthny Mathurin (As Tigresses), 5-Tabita Joseph (As Tigresses), 13-Emeline Charles (Aigle Brillant), 15-Johane Laforte (Anacaona SC), 20-Kethna Louis (Le Havre AC, FRA)
MIDFIELDERS (5): 6-Melchie Dumonay (As Tigresses), 8-Dany Etienne (Fordham University, USA), 9-Sherly Jeudy (Anacaona SC), 14-Phiseline Michel (As Tigresses), 19-Angeline Gustave (As Tigresses)
FORWARDS (5): 7-Batcheba Louis (FF Issy Les Moulineaux, FRA), 10-Nerilia Mondesir (Montpellier HS, FRA), 11-Roseline Eloissaint (As Tigresses), 16-Abaina Louis (As Tigresses SC), 17-Mikerline Saint Felix (Montauban FC, FRA)
Time and TV schedule
USA vs Haiti
Tuesday, January 28
8:30 PM ET / 5:30 PM PT