Haiti Player Profiles

By Sports Desk July 17, 2023
Haiti's star player Melchie Dumornay Haiti's star player Melchie Dumornay

With the 2023 staging of the FIFA Women's World Cup set to kick off in a few days, Sportsmax.tv will be featuring Player Profiles and Team Guides for three of the CONCACAF nations set to represent at the global showpiece in Australia and New Zealand. Today, we start with Haiti.

Written by Pierre Richard Midy

GOALKEEPERS: 

Name: Kerly Théus 

Date of birth: 7 January 1999 (Haiti) 

Club: FC Miami City (USA) 

Position: Goalkeeper 

The Miami City goalkeeper was the only member of the squad who had the chance to get her hands on the Women’s World Cup trophy when it visited Port-au-Prince in April. “I have no words to express how happy I am,” said Théus. “It is a big thing that we achieved [with qualification] and we plan to move forward.” That was not the only recognition she has received since helping Haiti to qualify for the first time: in May as part of Haitian Heritage Month, the mayor of North Miami, Alix Desulmé, presented her with a plaque of honour. Théus was previously a member of the Haiti Under-20 national team, appearing for them in all three matches of the 2018 Under-20 Women's World Cup - the team's first ever major women's international tournament. 

Name: Lara-Sofia Larco 

Date of birth: 27 November 2002 (USA) 

Club: Georgetown University (USA) 

Position: Goalkeeper 

Born in Haiti, the 20-year-old comes from a family of athletes. Her father played college football in the USA and Puerto Rico, and her mother tennis. In 2006 when she was only four, Larco's family moved with her to Florida, and it was from there that she got her start in the sports field. She is one of the most recent call-ups by the Grenadières and is studying International Business at Georgetown University.

Name: Gabrielle Marie Emilien 

Date of birth: 31 May 1996 (Canada) 

Club: Gee-Gees Ottawa University (Canada) 

Position: Goalkeeper 

“Many of my teammates had an exam to write within two or three days of our return home,” Emilien said of her experiences at the first ever FISU Women’s University World Cup of Football in 2019 that was held in China. “While it is a challenge, the team works together to motivate each other in school.” Her football career has gone from strength to strength since then, with the 27-year-old having established herself as a dependable choice in goal for the coach, Nicolas Delépine.

DEFENDERS: 

Name: Amandine Pierre-Louis 

Date of birth: 18 February 1995 (Canada) 

Club: Rodez AF (France) 

Position: Defender 

The daughter of former Haiti basketball player Emerson Pierre-Louis, she grew up in Canada and is a new addition to the national squad. Only five years old when she started competing in gymnastics and playing football, Pierre-Louis made her debut for Canada’s youth team in 2011 and made a cameo appearance in the “Colourful Canada” video that was produced to help unveil the Women’s World Cup Canada 2015 official emblem in December 2012. She also represented Canada at the Under-17 Women’s World Cup in Azerbaijan that year and was called up to a senior squad training camp in 2017 before switching allegiances to Haiti before this tournament. 

Name: Bétina Petit-Frère 

Date of birth: 1 august 2003 (Haiti) 

Club: Stade Brestois 29 (France) 

Position: Defender 

Petit-Frère is known for her versatility: for her club Stade Brestois in France, she plays as a striker but, for her country, she is a defender. She had trials with Bordeaux before moving to Brittany along with former Haiti Under-20 team-mate Tabita Dougenie-Joseph last year. “We are here to fulfil our dream,” she said. “We really wanted to come to France.” She will celebrate her 20th birthday on the same day that Haiti takes on Denmark at the World Cup.

Name: Chelsea Surpris 

Date of birth: 20 December 1996 (USA) 

Club: Grenoble Foot 38 (France) 

Position: Defender 

A graduate of the University of Texas with a degree in Human Dimensions of Organization and a minor in business. Born to Haitian parents in the United States, the right-back known for her speed started playing football at the age of six. Early in her football career, she also competed as a track and field athlete. Surpris was appointed as an assistant coach for the Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns women's team in October 2019. The player from Grenoble Foot 38 in France is the most reserved and disciplined Grenadière on and off the football field.

Name: Estericove Joseph 

Date of birth: 5 February 2003 (Haiti) 

Club: Exafoot (Haiti) 

Position: Defender 

Having begun her career at Goals club from the age of six, Joseph joined Haiti’s Fifa Goal Centre and rose through the ranks of the junior age groups before making her senior debut last year. The Under-20 captain was only 18 when she won the Haitian league with her club. She comes from a family of six children and has two sisters and three brothers. Joseph has big ambitions on the pitch and has predicted that Haiti will one day win an international trophy. Off the pitch, she has plans to become a stylist.

Name: Kethna Louis 

Date of birth: 5 August 1996 (Haiti) 

Club: Montpellier HSC (France) 

Position: Defender 

Having started out playing against boys, nothing fazes the quick and versatile left-sided defender who can also play further forward. Louis actually says her favourite position is on the right wing, although she has been mainly used as a defender in the national team and played a major part in qualifying for the World Cup. She recently left Le Havre to sign for Montpellier and admitted the opportunity to play with Haiti-teammate Nérilia Mondésir was an important part of her decision. “I get along very well with her, and I really like her way of playing,” she says. “Before meeting here, we have a great goal together which is to lead our national team as far as possible during the World Cup this summer.” Last year she asked Alex Morgan for her shirt after a game and was shocked and delighted when the US star wanted her’s in return. 

Name: Milan Raquel Pierre-Jérôme 

Date of birth: 23 April 2002 (USA) 

Club: George Mason University (USA) 

Position: Defender 

The daughter of Réginald Pierre-Jérôme, who is a former goalkeeper for the Haitian Olympic team and senior men’s team in the early 1990s. Unlike her father, however, Pierre-Jérôme is a fearless defender who says she felt great pride when played for Haiti at the Under-20 World Cup in France having been born and raised in the United States. “It's irritating because people judge books by the cover,” she says of negative attitudes towards the country. “There is dance, there is food, there is language. To be able to bring this light to the name 'Haiti' is all I wanted to do.” Pierre-Jérôme, who has studied kinesiology and wants to become a sports doctor, did not miss a match during qualifying and says that she takes inspiration from the sacrifices made by both of her parents.

Name: Ruthny Mathurin 

Date of birth: 14 January 2001 (Haiti) 

Club: Mississippi State Soccer (USA) 

Position: Defender 

Born in Port-au-Prince, Mathurin was identified by scouts at the age of 12 and moved to the training centre of the Haitian Football Federation. She represented Haiti at various youth levels and made her senior debut in 2019, before moving to the United States two years later. Always smiling, very open to speaking up and renowned for her honesty, she joined Mississippi State Soccer in May and says unity is the secret of Haiti’s success. “We've been together since 12-years-old, like babies,” she said, “so we know each other and that helps us on the field.” Her dream is to open an academy in Haiti. “One of the things that makes our team go forward is to remember where we come from,” adds Mathurin. “We talk about the hard times ... and the good times ... that we have faced. In every important competition we have to play, it's always that motivation.” 

Name: Dougenie Tabita Kerbie Joseph 

Date of birth: 13 September 2003 (Haiti) 

Club: Stade Brestois 29 (France) 

Position: Defender 

Still only 19, she is one of the best hopes for women's football in the country. Known as Tabita to her friends, her composure and her ability to read the opponent's game make Joseph a real gem of a player. She has an individual technical mastery which reinforces all the expectations placed on her in the national team. Joseph is good friends with Betina Petit-Frère, and they have both enjoyed a successful first year in France. “I already knew them, I had seen them play with the Under-20 team,” said Stade Brestois coach Yacine Guesmia when they joined. “They are players with great potential, we had to seize the opportunity.”

MIDFIELDERS: 

Name: Melchie Daelle Dumornay (Corventina) 

Date of birth: 17 August 2003 (Haiti) 

Club: Olympique Lyon (France) 

Position: Midfielder 

‘Corventina’ - a nickname given to her by her older brother, and which has been adopted by the Haitian people - is the main star of the Haitian team. She scored the two goals in Haiti's victory in the play-offs against Chile that secured qualification for the World Cup. “I knew I had a lot of responsibilities, even though I’m still only young,” Dumornay says. “I had no problem in shouldering them and I made the difference on the pitch. I wanted to help my teammates when the going got tough and I stood up and did it.” Comfortable with both feet, she scored an incredible 25 goals in nine matches when she was 15 to help Tigresses win the Haitian title. That and her performances at the Under-20 World Cup earned her a move to Reims in France, where she has emerged as one of the best young players in the league and named ‘Revelation of the season’. In January 2023, she was courted by many European and American clubs but opted to sign for three years at Lyon.

Name: Sherly Jeudy 

Date of birth: 13 October 1998 (Haiti) 

Club: Grenoble Foot 38 (France) 

Position: Midfielder 

One of an incredible nine players from Haiti’s golden generation who also played at the Under-20 World Cup before progressing to the senior squad, Jeudy is also one of the most talented. She scored the only goal against Canada in 2018 that booked their qualification to the World Cup in France the following year. “I'm very happy I was able to score the goal, but I'm even happier for Haiti as a country,” she said. Jeudy made her debut for the senior team at the age of 17 and her superb goal from a free kick in the qualifying match against Mexico was nominated for the Concacaf's "most beautiful goal of the year" trophy.  

Name: Danielle Monique Etienne 

Date of birth: 16 January 2001 (USA) 

Club: Fordham Rams (USA) 

Position: Midfielder 

You could say that football is in Etienne’s blood. The midfielder is the daughter of former Haitian forward Derrick Etienne and the younger sister of Haitian winger Derrick Etienne Jr, who plays for MLS side Atlanta United. She participated in Haiti's qualification for the World Cup less than three months after giving birth to a baby. She started playing football at the age of four with her father, her brothers and sisters. Born in Virginia after her father had moved to the United States to play professionally, she knew from a young age that she wanted to play for Haiti.  “It's more than just football,” she says. “It's making strides in football, but also helping lift our country during such a hard time.”

Name: Dayana Pierre-Louis 

Date of birth: 24 September 2003 (Haiti) 

Club: GPSO 92 ISSY (France) 

Position: Midfielder 

The second youngest player in the Haitian squad dreams of one day wearing the colours of Real Madrid. Pierre-Louis, who moved to France last season and hopes to follow the example of her team-mate Dumornay, is a goalscoring midfielder who believes that hard work is the key to success. "You have to rely on discipline and always set the bar very high," she says. “If I had one message to give to young people like me who play football in Haiti, it would be to never give up. Hard work and discipline are the keys to success. Take them. And you will make your dreams come true like me.”

Name: Jennyfer Limage 

Date of birth: 20 December 1997 (Haiti) 

Club: Grenoble Foot 38 (France) 

Position: Midfielder 

Sometimes midfielder, sometimes in central or left side defence, Limage is undoubtedly the most underrated player of the Haitian team. In the shadow of Nérilia Mondésir, Dumornay or even Batcheba Louis, she imposes herself in her own way in any assiduous defensive task. Limage started her career as a senior at left-back but quickly stood out later as a midfielder. With the arrival of coach Délépine, she proved to be an excellent recuperator at the heart of the game, always ready to break the rhythm despite her small size. “I never doubted myself,” she says of her move to Grenoble in 2021. “I said, ‘Come on, let’s go to Europe’. Now my aim is to play in the first division because I know I’m good enough.”

Name: Maudeline Moryl 

Date of birth: 24 January 2003 (Haiti) 

Club: Grenoble Foot 38 (France) 

Position: Midfielder 

Like many of her teammates, Moryl’s strength is her versatility. In the national team she plays as a midfielder while for her club, Grenoble Foot 38 in France, she is a central defender. Patient on the field, she has technical finesse and ability to pick out difficult passes, especially with long assists during transition phases. Trained at the FIFA Goal Centre, she has thrived in France after being brought over by the Haiti national team coach, Nicolas Delépine, who is also coach of Grenoble. Very hardworking.

Name: Noa Olivia Ganthier 

Date of birth: 13 October 2002 (USA) 

Club: Weston FC (USA) 

Position: Midfielder 

It's been barely a year and a few months since the Florida-born midfielder joined the Haitian senior women's squad, but she has made a great start. Ganthier, whose father Don is from Haiti, studies business finance at Lipscomb University in Tennessee and participated in the Grenadières’ qualification for the World Cup. Says she is extremely motivated and impatient to be able to play for Haiti at the World Cup. “I feel very blessed and honoured to be part of this squad,” she says. “I’ve learned so much since being called up and it was a very surreal feeling to qualify. We’re going to show everybody what Haiti is about and that we have a lot of quality.”   

FORWARDS: 

Name: Roselord Borgella 

Date of birth: 1 April 1993 (Haiti) 

Club: Dijon FCO (France) 

Position: Forward 

“Roselord is in charge of the atmosphere! Sometimes Melchie. Or Kethna Louis,” says Jennyfer Limage. “But mostly Roselord. Because even if she’s a bit stressed, she can always create a good feeling.” The top scorer in the Concacaf qualifiers returned to the national team in 2022 and has scored 13 goals in just eight games. She was one of the great architects of the qualification for the World Cup, in particular thanks to her magnificent double in the play-offs against Senegal (4-0). The Dijon striker is the oldest and most experienced player in Haiti’s squad for the 2023 World Cup and has two Chilean championship titles after her spell with the  Santiago Morning club. 

Name: Batcheba Louis 

Date of birth: 15 June 1997 (Haiti) 

Club: FC Fleury 91 (France) 

Position: Forward 

The striker who was born and raised in Haiti enjoyed one of her best seasons yet as she finished among the top 10 top scorers in the French top flight with eight goals. Goals have followed her throughout her career: she finished as top scorer three times at her first club Tigresses before moving to Europe and making her debut for the national team in 2014. Finally reaching the World Cup for the first time in Haiti’s history was the culmination of a long journey for the talented striker. “It's a dream come true, after so many years of work,” she says. “We accomplished our mission – the group went through very difficult times. Now we can learn from those experiences and go forward with confidence.” 

Name: Nérilia Mondésir 

Date of birth: 17 January 1999 (Haiti) 

Club: Montpellier HSC (France) 

Position: Forward 

‘Nérigol’ is the captain and vocal leader of the Haitian team but almost decided to turn her back on football as a child to concentrate on judo. But after missing out on being selected by the national team, she decided to return to her first passion. It was then that she joined the national school of sports talents (ENTS) of the Haitian Football Federation and made a strong impression from the very beginning before moving to France in 2017, where she is now an established star. She always leads by example and believes Haiti will prove a few doubters wrong at the World Cup. “Even when we lose, we don't give up. We are fighters,” she says. “This is our greatest quality. We fight to the end even if the opponent, on paper, is stronger than us.”

Name: Florsie Love Darlina Joseph 

Date of birth: 15 December 2003 (Haiti) 

Club: Grenoble Foot 38 (France) 

Position: Forward 

The youngest player in the Haiti squad, she is considered in her country as one of the most talented  footballers of her generation. She grew up far from her parents in Cap-Haitian, the second largest city of Haiti. “I learned to play football as a child among the older boys but I was never afraid to face them,” she recalls. Joseph has been learning her trade at Grenoble, scoring five goals in just 10 appearances in the second division and is tipped to make an impact as a substitute at the World Cup.

Name: Roseline Eloissaint 

Date of birth: 21 February 1999 (Haiti) 

Club: FC Nantes ( France) 

Position: Forward 

Another member of the  golden generation of the Grenadières who also participated in the Under-20 World Cup in 2018, the Nantes striker is comfortable with both feet and has excellent positioning with a great ability to play as a pivot or as a target. She was unable to prevent Nantes from being relegated to the third tier of French football after missing part of the season because of injury but is now determined to make up for that at the World Cup by ensuring Haiti reach the knockout stages. “It was a difficult season. If I weren't injured, I could help my club maintain a place in the French women's second division,” she says. “I am ready to help my country; I am aiming for the first two places in the group. Afterwards we will see what will happen for the rest of the competition.”

Name: Shwendesky Macélus Joseph 

Date of birth: 18 November 1997 (Haiti) 

Club: Zenit St Petersburg (Russia) 

Position: Forward 

‘Kiki’ is known for her speed and composure in front of goal. She mainly operates as a striker. After missing the two intercontinental play-off matches with Haiti against Senegal and Chile, she was called up for the World Cup squad having been able to fully focus on football. Joseph obtained a degree in civil engineering while attending university in Russia and now plays for Zenit St Petersburg. “It was not easy to manage football and studies but everything ended as planned,” she says. 

 

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