ATLANTA – Earlier this week Zach Herivaux learned that he’d been called up to the Haiti National Team for a critical 2019/20 CONCACAF Nations League qualifier against Saint Lucia, marking his third call-up to the senior team this season.
But before departing on international duty Herivaux had some business to attend to with the New England Revolution, as the 22-year-old Homegrown midfielder made his first MLS start in Saturday afternoon’s 2-1 loss to Atlanta United FC.
Herivaux played a slightly advanced role in New England’s three-man central midfield setup, alongside Luis Caicedo and in front of Wilfried Zahibo, who was tasked with shielding the Revolution’s backline.
“We wanted Zach in there with his energy and play right in front of Wil and alongside Luis, and to try to go out and pressure their back three, but also be able to come back in for the second hole,” said head coach Brad Friedel. “We’ll watch the video and see exactly how he did, but I thought he did okay today.”
“I’ve been working for many years to get this opportunity,” said Herivaux, who prior to Saturday had played just 63 MLS minutes in eight substitute appearances since signing in 2015. “Unfortunately, we weren’t able to get the result. Hopefully next time I get this opportunity, we’re able to.”
In addition to his brief MLS minutes Herivaux has featured in U.S. Open Cup matches for the Revs, on the international stage for Haiti, and in loan appearances for USL side San Antonio FC.
Saturday’s 69-minute appearance at Mercedes-Benz Stadium – which ended with Herivaux being replaced by Diego Fagundez after cramping – was another important step for the youngster, who needs opportunities with the first team to continue his development as a player.
“As time goes and as more minutes are given to me on the field, I think I’ll be able to develop a lot quicker,” Herivaux said. “I’m thankful for the opportunity and hopefully more come.”
Herivaux’s next opportunity to play could come next Saturday, although it won’t be with the Revs, who’ll be at Gillette Stadium to face Orlando City SC. Herivaux will instead be in Saint Lucia as Haiti fights for a spot in next summer’s CONCACAF Gold Cup.
“It’s a big match for us,” Herivaux said. “We need to win every game, so we’re going to go in there with a fresh mentality, knowing that we have to take care of business once we step on the field.”