To term Haiti’s task in the 2015 Gold Cup as “challenging” would most certainly be an understatement. In Group A play, it will face 2013 champion/2014 World Cup participant United States, 2013 runner-up Panama, as well as Honduras, another 2014 World Cup contestant.
Those teams, though, should not take Les Grenadiers lightly. Perhaps no other Gold Cup qualifier has as many players stationed with clubs around the globe than Haiti. With an ability to select a roster from a pool of competitors plying their trade in countries as close as the U.S. and as far away as Argentina, Malaysia and Russia, head coach Marc Collat is not lacking for choice.
The Haitians scored two or more goals in five of their seven 2014 Caribbean Cup games, including a 2-1 victory over Cuba in the match for third place. Kervens Belfort netted a team-best five goals in the regional competition and appears ready to take a more prominent role in the side. The 23-year-old, who plays for Ethnikos Achnas in Cyprus, has scored four times in just six all-time World Cup Qualifying games.
Belfort’s performances earned him a place in the Caribbean Cup’s Best XI along with teammate Kim Jaggy. The left-back, 32, was born in Switzerland and has spent his entire club career in Europe. This will be his second Gold Cup and, possibly, his contributions will prove pivotal in Haiti’s bid to join the CONCACAF elite.
Trinidad & Tobago
PPL Park, a state-of-the-art 18,500-seat Major League Soccer (MLS) stadium, serves as home to Philadelphia Union. Since opening its doors on June 27, 2010, it has hosted numerous events for multiple sports. In October 2014, the CONCACAF Women’s Championship finals were held there as the United States, Costa Rica and Mexico earned berths to the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup. Two years earlier, the MLS All-Stars squared off against English-power Chelsea before a crowd of 19,236. PPL Park has been recognized on multiple occasions, winning awards from Mid Atlantic Construction Magazine for “Best Sports/Recreation Project of the Year,” the Delaware County Planning Commission for outstanding land projects in the County and the NCS4 Facility Achievement Award that honors venues that excel in safety and security operations.
City: Chester, Pennsylvania
Past Gold Cups:first-time venue
Field Size: 120 x 75