Unable to practice in Port-au-Prince since the Jan. 12 earthquake that killed as many as 250,000 people, the Haitian national team is in Texas training for its May 5 friendly at Argentina. “I eat well here. I sleep well,” forward Charles Herold Jr. said. “But I cannot help but think of my friends and family who don’t have that. I can’t get that off my mind.”
The nonprofit group San Antonio Sports organized the Texas trip, providing the training getaway in the rural town of New Braunfels for the devastated Haitian soccer federation. Haiti will play FC Dallas in a charity exhibition on Friday. Players who've slept in the streets for the past three months have been feted with brisket and trips to shopping malls. After one meal Coach Jairo Rios asked for a favor: Tents. As many as they could haul back to Haiti.
Forward Eliphene Cadet, 29, escaped from his house in Port-au-Prince after the roof caved on him and two children. Leaving Haiti meant leaving his family in a tent in a field, near where his house once stood. Other players left their families in similar conditions.
“In Haiti, people say ask when we’re going to play Argentina. People think you’re going to do something good for the country,” said defender Peter Germain. “If we win against Argentina, the people are finally going to be happy. We can do something positive for this country.”