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W League alums help Haiti, Panama advance to 2023 Women’s World Cup

By Staff, 02/23/23, 9:30AM EST


Haiti’s Theus, Constant, Panama’s Tanner play starting roles as countries reach WWC for first time in their histories

Haiti celebrates qualifying for 2023 Women's World Cup

Last summer, Haiti’s Kerly Theus and Claire Constant and Panama’s Riley Tanner were competing in the USL W League’s inaugural season.

This summer, the trio could be in action on the biggest stage in international soccer.

Both Haiti and Panama qualified the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup this week, advancing in the Intercontinental Playoff held in host nations New Zealand and Australia over the past two nights.

On Tuesday, Theus – who had made three appearances for FC Miami City, posting two shutouts during the 2022 W League season – and Constant – who made four appearances for McLean Soccer – both started for Haiti, with Theus recording one save in the side’s 2-1 victory against Chile to earn Le Rouge et Bleu their first berth at the Women’s World Cup. Both players had previously started in the side’s 4-0 victory in the playoff semifinals against Senegal, with Theus recording a pair of saves in the victory.

Then on Wednesday, Tanner – who had recorded seven assists in five appearances for Midwest United FC during the 2022 W League season – played the full 90 minutes as Panama claimed a 1-0 victory against Paraguay to advance to its first Women’s World Cup. Selected with the No. 30 pick in the 2023 National Women’s Soccer League Draft by the Washington Spirit, Tanner helped Panama advance to the playoff final with a superb individual goal in the side’s 2-0 victory against Papua New Guinea.

Both teams are now set to return Down Under this summer, with Haiti placed in Group D alongside current UEFA European Championship holder England, China and Denmark. Panama, meanwhile, will square off with France, Jamaica and Brazil in Group F.

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