The Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League is currently underway and filled with drama. Not just with scorelines but with politics and immigration. Following Austin FC’s embarrassing loss, 3-0, to Haitian side Violette AC it began to look as though the return leg in Texas wouldn’t happen.
Violette’s technical director admitted not long after his team’s first-leg win that the Carribean club was struggling to get visas for the players approved for the trip. It’s a situation that has become common in recent Concacaf competitions. Last year Haitian side Cavaly AS forfeited their Round of 16 series against the New England Revolution because they were unable to travel for the match.
Late last week, Austin Chronicle reporter Eric Goodman followed up by saying the federation had been assured the team had enough visas for the team to compete in Austin. However, that information was incomplete. Another report last weekend went on to state that Violette was enlisting the help of former team talent who are already based in the United States.
This brings us to the local amateur soccer scene. On Monday morning, local semi-pro outfit FC Motown (Morristown, New Jersey) announced on social media that one of their own would be playing in the match. Left-back Mardoché Samuel Pompée will be included in the Haitian team’s roster for the second leg.
Pompée helped Motown win the National Premier Soccer League (NPSL) national championship last season. Additionally, he helped Violette win the 2020–21 Ligue Haïtienne title, which eventually earned the team a spot in the 2023 SCCL.
Hudson River Blue can also confirm a second FC Motown player will be making up the Violette ranks in Austin. Left-wing Maudwindo Germain, who previously played with the Haiti national under-17 team, is en route to Austin for the match. His previous professional career also includes stops with Violette. More impressively, the midfielder made two caps with the youth national team during the 2019 FIFA U-17 World Cup.
Germain got his first play with Motown last month in the team’s preseason friendly against NYCFC II. In that match, his ability to get around New York City’s midfield and defense was a key reason why the New Jersey outfit ended the game with a 2-2 draw.
HRB has confirmed both Pompée and Germain are listed and registered to play for Motown in this month’s US Open Cup first round against Manhattan SC. This jump to Violette will almost certainly nullify that.
Reports from within Motown indicate understanding but frustration at the situation. The organization, including head coach and former international Gideon Baah, knows both players seizing the opportunity to play in a large-scale match is justified. However, with the deadline to register players looming it means adjusting entire game plans ahead of the US Open Cup.
Motown plans to bring in multiple former professionals to compensate. This includes Marcello Borges (New Jersey Red Bulls II) and William Opoku Mensah (Sporting Kansas City) among others. Former Red Bull and San Antonio FC midfielder Chris Lema will also be rostered for Motown in a few weeks.
UPDATE: Outfield writer Paul Harvey noted that Pompée, Germain, and a number of US-based players were already named to Violette’s preliminary CONCACAF CCL roster, presumably in anticipation of the visa issues that are preventing members of the team from entering the country.