Haiti's Duckens Nazon (blue jersey) has scored two goals in the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup. (Photo: Mexsport)
BALTIMORE, Maryland -- Within a span of only seven days, Duckens Nazon has gone from being a little known-substitute to a vital member of the Haiti national team.
The 21-year-old striker has scored both goals for Les Grenadiers in the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup and is a major reason they will meet Jamaica in the quarterfinals at M&T Bank Stadium on Saturday.
Last year, head coach Marc Collat heard about a French player with Haitian heritage, who had tallied 10 goals in 13 games for Olympique Saint-Quentin, an amateur club. Nazon has since joined Laval in Ligue 2.
"I think he's a very good player," Collat said. "He showed quality in his first matches, of course. I think he is a player who is still progressing, still coming along as a player. He's got some years to go. But over the next years, I think he will become a very important player for the Haitian national team."
In the Gold Cup, Nazon has become one already.
Only five minutes after coming on as a substitute, Nazon connected for the equalizer in a 1-1 draw with Panama and the game-winner in a 1-0 victory over Honduras.
His said that his most memorable moments came in a game he did not score, a 1-0 loss to the United States.
"Scoring a goal was a good experience for me, but against the USA, when I came into the game I was shaking a little bit because I never thought that I would be starting," Nazon said through an interpreter. "I'm having a lot of fun, especially for the first time playing against the USA. I never played in front of that many people."
There is little doubt that Nazon's stock is rising and there probably will be interest from some larger clubs in the future, though he wasn't ready to leave Laval, at least not yet.
"I just signed for a team in France," he said. "I'm going to have to work hard to earn my spot. These two goals are a bonus for me."
And for Haiti as well.