Saturday, March 14, 2015

CONCACAF U-17 Championship review


                The CONCACAF Final will be moved to Morazan. The Final will be host Honduras vs CONCACAF Titans Mexico. Morazan was chosen by officials " the interest of facilitating access for the legions of fans, who have flocked to that downtown stadium to this point." IT seems like this stadium will be near capacity will Honduras fans. This stadium holds about 26,000 and it came close to capacity against the USA. 


         The CONCACAF Championship in Honduras is progressing nicely, no one was murdered. The elite at the senior level mirror the success of the underage level. In Group A Honduras emerged to the top on the final on the last group match by beating regional rival Guatemala 2-1 and also have the USA lose to Jamaica 0-1.  This is great news for CONCACAF officials to have a large attendance with the host (Honduras) playing in it. Honduras will automatically qualify for the FIFA U-17 Championship Chile later this year.

   CONCACAF is awarded 4 spots in this competition. All World Cup bring great exposure to the game and promotes the sport in your country. Every nations wants to participate. The CONCACAF tournament will have the 2nd and 3rd place teams to be seeded into a playoff for the last 2 spots. The USA is the top seed and they will play Jamaica for one of the 2 spots. Jamaica is the only team to beat the USA and will be confident they can slay the giant again.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Upcoming CONCACAF events....to look forward to

Upcoming Events
Upcoming Events
1
2015
CONCACAF U-17  Championship, Honduras
2
2015
FIFA U-20 World Cup New Zealand
3
2015
FIFA Womans World Cup, Canada
4
2015
CONCACAF’s Gold Cup


2016
1

Caribbean Cup
2

Central American Cup
3

Copa America Centenario USA

               
                Ok the U-20 CONCACAF Championship is over. Panama beat out the USA and th title further cementing their place as the best youth programs in the CONCACAF region.
Guatemala in their Group. Panama went on to the final for the first time in history. Panama met 13 time Champion Mexico and lost in a shootout. Panama program has come a long way since their senior team busted onto the scene reaching the finals of the 2005 Gold Cup.  The USA and host, Honduras won their playoff games for the 4 world Cup slots.  The Azteck’s  won their record 13





Feb27th - March 15th      2015 CONCACAF U-17 Championship

Honduras
                Next up is the 2015 U-17 Championship. This tournament will be played in Honduras.
U-17 CONCACAF Championship
Year
Host
Champion
2003
Canada/Guatemala
Costa Rica/ USA
2005
Costa Rica/ Mexico
Mexico/USA
2007
Honduras/Jamaica
Haiti Costa Rica
2009
Mexico
None
2011
Jamaica
USA
2013
Panama
Mexico
2015
Honduras
--
CONCACAF moves both the U-20 and U17 Championship throughout the CONCACAF region. The Gold Cup will always be played in the states so these other countries need a chance to host an event. The next championship I believe will go to a Caribbean Nation that has the ability to host like Trinidad andTobago. Anyway….Honduras the murder capitol of the Western hemisphere will be hosting out young players and I pray they all stay safe and it is a successful tournament.





May 30-June 20th              FIFA U-20 World Cup New Zealand
                The USA has a great draw group in with the host, an asian team and Ukraine.
  Mexico Honduras and Panama also qualified.








FIFA 2015 Woman’s World Cup which will be hosted in a CONCACAF nation of Canada.
CONCACAF had a chance to place 5 nations in this 24 team tournament which would have been great. 5 since CANADA automatically qualified since they are the host. USA, Mexico and Costa Rica qualified. Trinidad and Tobago had to go to a playoff against Ecuador. The tied Ecuador 0-0 in Ecuador but then lost at home in extra time 0-1. To bad Trinidad and Tobago has a good team only losing the the states 0-1, then losing in a shootout to Costa Rica in the knockout rounds.






The Gold Cup 2015….my favorite tournament by far…I enjoy this tournament better than the World Cup.  The USA team usually has it offense on display against these lesser sides. however it is nice to see just how far some of these nations have come. Costa Rica is the top team in CONCACAF presently. Panama is making strides at both the youth and senior level. Guatemala finally has a good senior club that reached the Central American Cup final in 2014. No longer do Belize and Nicaragua get
slaughtered in the Central American Cup.

Jamaica and T&T are both excellent Caribbean teams and could beat anyone in CONCACAF. Martinique and Guadeloupe add depht with their excellent structure. Haiti and Cuba are established nations. Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico...whith there large population and interest in the sport should start producing very competative teams.......



Saturday, February 14, 2015

Canada should play in the Central American Cup...


Good for the Central American Nations

Central American Cup
Group A
Group B
Costa Rica
Panama
Guatemala
Honduras
Canada
El Salvador
Nicaragua
Belize

2014 Copa Centroamericana.png            The Central American Cup is lacking since it only has 7 nations playing and this creates an odd group of only 3 nations. The group needs a 4th team to complete the group. I believe they should invite Canada to participate. This would finally complete the odd group and not give the advantage anymore to the winner of the 3 team group. This group always played one less game than the other group. This would also give Central America Cup 5 guaranteed slots to the Gold Cup if Canada offered their slot as bait. The tournament could have the top 2 teams in each group earn 4 slots for the Gold Cup. They would play in a knockout round for the Central American Championship. The bottom 4 teams would also play in a 4 team knockout round for the last guaranteed (Canada’s old slot) Gold Cup slot. The arrangement would guarantee at least 4 competitive games for every nation which is badly needed in CONCACAF. The 6th place team would still enter into a play-off against the 5th place Caribbean Cup finisher for the last Gold Cup slot. The Caribbean nations would not be slighted since they could still place 5 teams in the Gold Cup, just as it is now.   

Good for Canada 

            First of all Canada badly needs competitive national team games. They just do not get enough. Playing in another tournament to warm up for the Gold Cup is a great idea. Playing against teams that are about your equal is even better. The Central American Cup is a perfect tournament that Canada should play in. These teams are great with the soccer ball at their feet. They do not panic with the ball and are skilful dribblers. Canada was bigger, faster and more athletic however need this type of competition to sharpen their skills. This tournament would provide 4 to 5 very competitive games that mean something. Friendlies against Iceland, Moldova and Bulgaria are just not the same.   

Shirt badge/Association crest            As for the Gold Cup, Canada shouldn’t just get an automatic bid, they should have to qualify for it. Entering the CA Cup would solve this issue. Canada did not advance out of the group stage in the 2011, or 2013 Gold Cup. This left Canada with only 3 competitive games for the year, for their national team. The 2009 Gold Cup was only one better they advanced but lost in the opening game of the knockout round, thus playing in only 4 competitive games. This give the Canadian faithful an empty feeling after only watching your national team play only 3 games. We are trying to promote the sport not kill it.  Playing the CA Cup would guarantee at least 4 to 5 very competitive games the year before the Gold Cup.

            I think Canada should offer their guaranteed slot to the Central American Cup to entice the nations (tournament) to invite them.  As for those of you who say this is crazy, why miss out on the Gold Cup….I say if Canada cannot get at least 5th place in the CA Cup then they don’t deserve to go anyway. Canada would still have a chance to make the Gold Cup if they lose the final of the knockout round (in the consolation bracket). They would be playing the 5th place Caribbean Cup nation. 
Canada soccer

            If this was the case and Canada played the CA Cup, went to the consolation bracket and lost the final. Then had last chance to play the 5th place Caribbean Cup participant (French Guiana) I say this would be better for Canada. Why …well they would have played in 5 competitive, meaningful games of the CA Cup and 2 more playoff games against a Caribbean nation. This would have given Canada 7 competitive games to develop the national team. 7 games are much better than only 3 games in the Gold Cup. And if Canada didn’t make the Gold Cup…then they don’t  deserve to be there in the first place.