Derrick Etienne
(AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

New York Red Bulls midfielder Derrick Etienne Jr. was named on Haiti’s 2019 Gold Cup preliminary roster.

The Haitian Messi is just one list away from participating in his first actual tournament with his national team. New York Red Bulls midfielder Derrick Etienne Jr. was selected in Haiti’s 40-men preliminary Gold Cup roster on Thursday.

The youngster was listed as a forward in the roster, however, his primary position is midfield. That’s where he mainly played for Haiti.

If Etienne does make the final roster, it will be the first time the 22-year-old will play in a tournament with Haiti. Etienne racked up 10 appearances for Haiti in two years and six months with them. But all his outings with Les Grenadiers were in qualifications and friendlies.

The winger scored three goals in his 10 outings with Haiti. Last time he played for the Caribbean side was on Nov. 18, 2018, in a CONCACAF Nations League Qualification match against Nicaragua.

However, Etienne missed Haiti’s last two matches, a friendly versus El Salvador on Nov. 21 and a Nations League qualifier against Cuba on March 24.

The Haitian-American hasn’t been a number one option for Chris Armas in New York until recently.

He started RBNY’s last match against F.C. Dallas on Sunday after coming off the bench in the club’s previous two outings. Etienne only played in five of New York’s 11 league matches this season, notching one goal, a winner against the Los Angeles Galaxy.

The Gold Cup will start on June 15 and end on July 7. The midfielder could miss up to three Red Bulls games if he does make Haiti’s final roster.

Three more RBNY players could also participate in the Gold Cup: Kemar Lawrence (Jamaica), Aaron Long (USA) and Michael Murillo (Panama). But their respective countries have yet to announce their preliminary rosters. Although Murillo did make the preliminary roster of Panama’s upcoming friendlies.

Originally from Haiti, Ralph 'Onz' Chery started his writing career as a City College of New York student with The Campus. He also wrote for First Touch, the Cosmopolitan Soccer League and other local leagues. After graduating, Onz started covering the New York Red Bulls for ESNY and joined Haitian Times.