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Former Spartan Pascal Millien Earns Spot On Haitian National Team

Published: November 01, 2010

Athletes from all over the world dream of one day donning their nation's colors and representing their country against world-class competition. However, this is not an easy feat by any means as the limited numbers of spots in international play make this a rare and honorable accomplishment.

Pascal Millien, former University of Tampa standout, can now consider himself among the select few to wear the native colors of blue and red as a member of the Haitian Senior National Team.

The UT alumnus is coming off his first professional season with FC Tampa Bay. While with FC Tampa Bay, Millien saw a lot of action on the pitch, as he became one of seven USSF D-2 Professional League players to play in all 30 matches this season. In recognition for his play, the FC Tampa Bay supporters selected Millien as their most valuable player for the season at the conclusion of the 2010 campaign.

The FC Tampa Bay forward credits much of his success to his time spent at The University of Tampa where he excelled. Millien became the only back-to-back all-American in NCAA Division II history. This was all accomplished with a little help along the way as Millien described the coaching that he received from UT a "blessing," and credited the players he played alongside.

"The level of competition in the Sunshine State Conference prepared me for the intense level of professional play," added Millien.

The former All-American certainly is not breaking stride. Upon completion of the 2010 season, he traveled to Brazil for the Haitian national team's training camp. For Millien, traveling has been an incredible opportunity.

"It's been a phenomenal experience so far. I've never been to this part of the world before, but I've always wanted to travel here, and to get a chance to train in one of the world's most prolific soccer countries," Millien said.

With the tragic earthquakes affecting Haiti last year, it is important for the nation to come together and Millien can help do that.

"There is a lot of heart on this team, especially after everything last winter, and I know we will be successful," Millien said. "It's a great feeling to be playing for my country and with such a talented group."

Millien and his fellow Haitian national team members are busy preparing for the 2010 Caribbean Championship. The Caribbean Championship brings together the national teams of the Caribbean region of the CONCACAF confederation. The top four teams of the championship receive an invitation to participate in the Gold Cup, a major step towards a World Cup selection.

The FC Tampa Bay superstar has noted a few differences from what he is normally accustomed to.

"The style of play is definitely different from playing back in Tampa just because of the kind of players we have. We are also very young compared to other national teams, and we do need to work hard over the next few weeks," added Millien.

Millien has demonstrated his versatility and knowledge of the game by adapting and making a smooth transition. Pascal has already developed a strong relationship with head coach, Edson Tavares. The Haitian head coach has put Millien in at midfield where he has been excelling the most over the past couple of weeks.

The midfielder and the rest of the Haitian national team will travel to Trinidad and Tobago to begin group play on Nov. 2. If all goes well for the team, they will continue play and hope to bring home the Caribbean Championship to Haiti on Dec. 5. 

By Steven Fidura 

University of Tampa Athletics