Earlier this month Boston City FC’s Ralph Angrand had a chance to play with Haiti’s Olympic Team, and the opportunity to represent his home country was one which Angrand cherished.
“It was an unforgettable moment when I got the call,” Angrand said. ‘To practice, play, and start for (Haiti)… it was the best feeling in my career yet.”
Angrand’s start with the Haiti Olympic Team ended in a 2-2 draw with Boston University on September 3rd. The defender is now hoping to move up to the U-23 squad and someday, a chance with the senior national team. For now, however, Angrand’s appearance with the Olympic squad was proof that his hard work has started to pay off.
“The national team call-up brings me confidence,” Angrand said. “It tells me I have to keep pushing, that there aren’t any challenges I can’t overcome, and I’m going to keep going.”
The call-up has also led to an uptick in support from Haiti, as Angrand’s Facebook account got flooded with friend requests and his phone was busy with texts and calls. The outpouring of support meant a lot to Angrand, who has been in the United States since 2008, and was happy to be able to represent the Caribbean nation for the first time since he played with their U-17 squad.
“I grew up in the Haitian Academy, then I moved to the United States,” Angrand said. “To play for them again…it was unforgettable.”
Leading up to his first chance with the Olympic team, Angrand spent the 2016 and 2017 seasons with Boston City FC. In his time with the Lions, Angrand made eight appearances, including starts in important wins over Seacoast United Mariners and Greater Lowell United. Angrand proved to be a flexible defender in the squad, appearing at both center back and right back. The experience of playing in the NPSL helped Angrand stay ready for opportunities such as what he had with Haiti.
“Boston City is one of the best clubs in Massachusetts,” Angrand said. “It’s one of the programs which gives opportunities to local players and I’m grateful to be a part of it.”
Boston City FC Head Coach Jorge Ferreira da Silva, better known as Palhinha, praised Angrand’s time with Boston City FC and knows that Angrand has the physical and mental tools that will make him successful at any level.
“Ralph is a very devoted athlete, interested in improving, not giving up and never liking to lose,” Palhinha said. “I know he will always be ready to get on the pitch and do his best for the club and for his country.”
Angrand went to Hyde Park High School where he was the captain of the varsity team and was twice named Player of the Year. The center back has played with the Global Premier Soccer academy team, New England Rush, and even had tryouts with Malaga in Spain.
Angrand is now under a close inspection from the Haitian National Team for possible future involvement. Regardless of what the future holds however, Angrand is thankful for the opportunity.
“It’s an honor to be considered,” Angrand said. “It tells me that there’s more for me, it tells me not to give up, I just have to be patient and once my time comes, I have to go get it.”