Haiti's Ronaldo Damus (pictured) scored eight goals in Caribbean qualifying for the 2017 CONCACAF Under-20 Championship. (Photo: David Heykoop)
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti – In its rich footballing history, Haiti has competed in the finals of two FIFA events: the 1974 World Cup and the 2007 U-17 World Cup.
The Grenadiers would like to add an appearance in the U-20 World Cup to that collection. The process of making that happen will continue on Saturday, when they open play in CONCACAF Under-20 Championship against St. Kitts & Nevis in Costa Rica.
Forward Ronaldo Damus, who scored eight goals in Caribbean qualifying, is fully focused completing a unique triple of feats.
“We are the champions of the Caribbean for a reason,” said the 17-year-old. “I felt that the way we played was extremely positive and we have momentum on our side as we prepare in Costa Rica. It is a tough group, but I am confident we can finish in the top two and advance to not only the second round of the competition but also to the U-20 FIFA World Cup in South Korea later this year.”
Damus has previous CONCACAF-tournament experience, netting four goals in the before as in 2015 CONCACAF Under-17 Championship.
“Playing in my first CONCACAF tournament two years ago was a learning experience for me,” he finished. “I had to get in the routine of playing a game every two or three days, so it was an adjustment. However, going into the U-20 Championship now, I am confident I can manage this transition and I am focused on helping my country qualify for the U-20 World Cup.
“Our U-17’s went to the U-17 FIFA World Cup in South Korea in 2007, now 10 years later we want to go back to Korea this time at the U-20 level.”
After taking on St. Kitts & Nevis, the Haitians will also face the United States (February 21) and Panama (February 24) in Group B play.