Americans reach out to opponents

[HAITI] Besides her soccer gear and personal items, each member of the U.S. under-17 women's national team traveling to the Concacaf championship in Costa Rica brought with her a backpack full of basic and fun items. They are among the gifts for the USA's opening-game opponents from Haiti, who are playing despite the earthquake that devastated the island in January.

The U.S. women also donated large duffel bags full of used cleats and new Nike casual gear to the Haiti players, while Nike sent a bushel of new soccer shoes to be passed on to the USA’s Haitian counterparts.

Each U.S. player wrote a note of support for the Haitian players and put it inside the bag she brought.

Haiti's under-17 women's national team is carrying on despite the loss of its coach, Jean Yves Labaze, killed when the Haitian soccer federation's headquarters collapsed during the earthquake. More than 30 officials of Haiti’s soccer federation died.

The Haitian star is Roselord Bordella, who scored eight goals -- four in four minutes -- in a 24-0 win over the British Virgin Islands in Caribbean qualifying. Bordella and her teammates moved to the Dominican Republic capital of Santo Domingo, where they trained for the Concacaf tournament.

“Sports have the power to unite people and the fact that Haiti was still able to assemble their team and come to the CONCACAF championships is a testament to the great spirit of their players and administrators,” said U.S. coach Kazbek Tambi. “So many people lost their lives and it’s likely that every player on their team had relatives or friends that passed away. It’s a traumatic situation and the fact that they have mustered the character to come here is pretty amazing.”

Haiti U-17 Roster:
GOALKEEPERS (2): 1-Alexandra Coby, 30-Madeline Delice;
DEFENDERS (5): 3-Sobonie Derosin, 4-Marie-Carmelle Jeudi, 5-Roseline Yacinthe, 8-Gerthrude Saint-Jacques, 17-Nahomie Francois
MIDFIELDERS (10): 2-Belise Casseus, 6-Jean-Baptiste Dieunise, 9-Sindy Jeune, 10-Hayana Jean-Francois, 11-Clorene Rateau, 12-Elucie Breneus, 14-Melissa Peirre-Louis, 16-Rosemonde Rejoui, 18-Roselord Borgella, 20-Clarette Rateau
FORWARDS (3): 13-Yvrose Gervil, 15-Yves-Laure Jean, 21-Yolande Merone

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