MIAMI, Florida – At age 16, Haiti MF Melchie Dumornay has already achieved more than many other players accomplish in their careers.
Dumornay finished the 2020 Concacaf Women’s Under-20 Championship as the Golden Boot winner with 14 goals, giving her a total of 15 CU20W goals in her young career. She also had a goal and an assist in the 2020 Concacaf Women’s Olympic Qualifying Championship and featured for Haiti in the 2018 FIFA Under-20 Women’s World Cup, among many other distinctions.
While her exploits at the 2020 CU20W garnered her fair share of praise, the ever-humble Dumornay’s focus was more on Haiti narrowly failing to qualify for a second straight World Cup after falling to Mexico in the semifinals.
“The personal and individual aspect was less important because the main objective for me as for all the girls of the team was to qualify the country and mostly give all the Haitians a reason to rejoice. This title is, therefore, for me as for all the girls on the team and the academy a simple consolation; our teammates are still affected by the shock and disappointment of having failed so close to our goal; it is very sad because these are years of hard work that could not have a happy ending,” said Dumornay in an exclusive interview with Concacaf.com.
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank all those in the country who helped us overcome this enormous disappointment. I have a special thought for the former captain of the national team, Philippe Vorbe, who had kind words and great advice that really comforted me. We worked like madmen even when the country was paralysed for several weeks. We remained confined at the FIFA Goal Center working with the other young boys and girls of the academy. This semi-final against Mexico will remain a nightmare. I thank my colleagues for having accompanied me in this satisfaction because it is all of them, the little ones of 11-12 years old and the seniors, who have won this distinction,” added Dumornay.
The Golden Boot winning performance for Dumornay at the CU20W was nothing new, as she earned Golden Ball honors at the 2018 Concacaf Under-17 Women’s Championship. Suffice to say, there is just something about Concacaf competition that brings out the best in Dumornay.
“It is a determination to be the pride of our country and to shine. I would also say this desire to push the women’s soccer to a higher level. Because of our glorious past, the Haitians whenever they enter an international competition, they want to carry their torch and the flag up high. There is also this desire to make something of Haiti, which was one of the first countries to be a pioneer in women's soccer 50 years ago, but which has long been set back in international competitions. There is this determination to show proudly the Haitian woman and the Haitian female soccer player. All generations of women soccer players arriving at our training camp “CAMP NOUS” are inspired by the same spirit; this is almost part of the culture that we develop. The Haitian soccer fans give us back this love and passion for excellence,” said Dumornay.
At the 2020 WCOQ, Haiti went toe-to-toe with the reigning FIFA Women’s World Cup champions United States for 60 minutes before the U.S. finally broke through with a goal in a 4-0 victory. Still, it showed that with enough work and commitment, Haiti can become one of the top teams in Concacaf.
“Since we joined FHF Traning Center and academy, the leadership staff, the coaches and all the support staff never ceased to encourage and support us and to reinforce that their goal is to turn Haiti into a super power. In the center, we have two priorities: we are enrolled in school, and we train/ practice to reach the top level at the international level. Even life is extremely difficult in Haiti, the leadership staff motivate us to give the best of ourselves and to train us to think that we can change our future, and the future of our nation with the sport of soccer. Already, women soccer players are as passionate as their male counterparts. Haitian soccer fans have truly supported women players and expect the best of us. In the last few years, there have been serious and major improvements in the support of the teams with better coaches, technical staff, equipment and supplies etc…
“Personally, I give my all also to honor my mother who made the sacrifice when I was 11 years old (when she moved to the U.S.) to leave me in Haiti and enrolled me in the center because my talent was recognized by one of the coaches. I had to work harder to thank my mom for the sacrifice she made. My mother and my family are overjoyed when Haiti wins and that their daughter has also contributed to the success,” said Dumornay.
There will assuredly be many World Cups in Dumornay’s future, but it is easy to see that the 2018 U20 World Cup is a memory that she will forever cherish.
“It is was an unforgettable event. I would like to thank FIFA who accepted the request of FHF supported by Concacaf to allow four players who were under the age guidelines to play in U-20 category. This decision made it possible to spend three fantastic months in intensive training and play good games while supported by cheerful fans. I will never forget the games against China, Nigeria and especially Germany. Our Haitian fans were truly phenomenal! Visits by special dignitaries in our locker rooms will forever be in our memories,” said Dumornay.
Even at such a young age, Dumornay’s constant presence within Haiti’s youth and senior national teams has already made her a fan favorite, and she draws inspiration from the young girls who like to watch her play.
“Our success and the love of our fans are all sources of motivation for the younger female players. In the center, we are all family and we live like family, we have fun, but also we are concerned about our country, and we are fearful that our center - like many successful initiatives Haiti - may come to end. We all push ourselves very hard knowing that Haitian Women Soccer’s survival is heavily centered on our overall success professionally and personally. All of us, older and younger, dream to be become professional soccer players -- to move overseas and sign up with good clubs to help our families, and help our National Soccer Team to become more successful,” concluded Dumornay.