While many soccer fans in San Antonio anxiously awaited to see who the United States Mens National Team would be playing in Copa America this June, San Antonio FC midfielder Sebastien Thuriere’s eyes were on who Haiti would be facing first in the tournament.
The 26 year old was called up to Haiti’s national team for last year’s Gold Cup run, where he made appearances in several games including a face-off against the USMNT in Foxboro, MA . Though born in Florida, Sebastien is eligible to compete for Haiti because his mother is from the island nation.
When asked about Haiti’s draw in Copa America, which put them in Group B with powerhouse Brazil, Ecuador, and Peru, Seba seemed excited about the challenge. On Brazil specifically, he said “We’re really excited to be able to play such a big team, but obviously it will be a difficult game. But its a game we’re very motivated for.”
When it comes to the other two teams in the group, Seba made clear that he respects them, but that Haiti is looking to advance in the tournament. “In no way do I think its going to be easy, but I think its teams that we’ll be able to compete with and definitely fight for the first or second spot in the group.”
On preparation for international matches, even a player who gives his all in pre-season club training admitted that there is something different when representing a country.
“Finding out the draw has already motivated me now. Between club and international, its two completely different things. But it just pushes me to go harder and play better for my club and I can hopefully get the call-up and be able to represent my country at the highest stage. So its definitely helping me focus and getting me motivated to play.”
While we won’t know if he gets the call up for a few more weeks at the earliest, the motivation Seba is feeling is only going to help the club as they continue their pre-season training and move towards April’s season opener. Pitch Black wishes Sebastien the best on his continued international aspirations, both this summer and beyond.