Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic dissapoints!


Disappointment in the big Caribbean Nations

The big disappointment for me so far in the Caribbean Cup is the elimination of Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic. These big populous nations of Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic have 3.97 Million people and 10.090 Million respectively. I am very displeased since neither one of these countries will participant in the Gold Cup. If there is any chance that the Gold Cup will expand to 16 nations the big populous nations like these 2 have to produce quality teams.
The only way CONCACAF officials will expand is if countries have fan support. Warner will not expand just for the sake of expansion. It would lessen the tournament if Barbados - Antigua & Barbuda with Canada played Grenada as a double header and only 3,000 fans showed at a 60,000 stadium. Presently Mexico carries the Gold Cup with attendance. El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and the USA are a distant second in fan support. Then there is a huge drop off. Costa Rica, Panama, Haiti, Canada, Trinidad and Tobago and Jamaica are good teams but only a fraction of the fan support of the other nations.

Since these big Caribbean Populous nations have been knocked out Warner is glad he did not expand the Gold Cup to 16 teams this year. Warner and Gold Cup officials want a packed house to support them team. Officials want to Gold Cup to match the South American Cup. In order to do that these big populous nations of Dominican Republic 10 million, Haiti – 10 Million, Puerto Rico 3.9 million have to produce quality teams. Not only do they have to have quality team they also have to be one of the best 8 in the Caribbean. I believe if expansion comes the Caribbean has to get these big nations to make it to the final 8 year in and year out.

Of the final 8 Caribbean nations in the Caribbean Cup, only 2 nations (Jamaica, Cuba) have more than 1 Million of population. All the other participants have less than a million population. Some of these smaller island nations may have good teams but no one will watch them. They do not have a support club that travels with the team, they do not have fans dressing up in the nations colors and waving the nations flag. All of this pomp and pageantry adds to the Gold Cup just as it adds to the World Cup. There are just not enough fans in the states to support their nation during the Gold Cup.

I had high hopes for The Dominican Republic. Haiti usually puts out a quality team every tournament. The Dominican Republic is on the same small island in the Caribbean. Their populations are roughly the same. Why can’t the Dominican Republic field a quality team like Haiti? The Dominican Republic did not even advance to Stage 2. They were beat at home by tiny Dominica. It is hard for me to imagine how a nation (Dominican Republic) that has a population of slightly over 10 Million can lose to a nation (Dominica) that only has 72,600 people. That is more than 100 times the amount of players to draw from. The Dominican Republic should be a main player in the Caribbean. The Dominican Republic should be competing in the Final 8 every tournament based on population. The Dominican Republic has as many immigrants in the USA as many of the Central American countries. I believe they would be a tremendous asset to the Gold Cup if they could field a competitive team.

I thought that this would be the year the Dominican Republic steps into the fray of the Caribbean. The problem with this country is that not many people care for soccer. They do not care because their national team stinks. Everyone wants a winner and to have a team to be proud of. You can not be proud of your team when they lose at home to Dominica. They want a star on their team they can cheer for that is as good as or better than their opponents. The Dominican Republic has neither. After waiting 4 years for this country to succeed I was very disappointed.
I do not want to leave on a sour note about this country. Soccer is evolving very slowly. The top league is called premier division. This top tier league only has 8 teams for the 2010 season. Barcelona has bought a team Club Barcelona Atlético that plays in this Premier league. Hopefully this team can set the bar and elevate the entire league. The Dominican also has a good federation with a good web site so us fans can monitor the progress this nation makes. The best part of the league is over 90% of the players are Dominican. I guess I will have to wait another 2 years before I can judge the nation again..ugggg.

Puerto Rico (3.97 Million)

Puerto Rico has the 4th largest population of all the Caribbean. It also has one of the best economies. Puerto Rico is also one of the biggest islands in the Caribbean. Since 20087 when Colin Clake (N Ireland) took over the national team, they shot up the rankings. This fooled me since they had not had a coach since 2004. I thought Puerto Rico would be a force in the Caribbean and the Gold Cup on the level of Guadeloupe. I was wrong. Puerto Rico failed for a completely different reason. Clake also coaches the Puerto Rico Islanders. The Islanders have many of the top players on the national team. The Islanders just started the playoff just when the second round (Stage 2) of the Caribbean Cup started. The top players traveled with Clarke and the national team did not win in Stage 2. After dominating it’s opponents at home the Puerto Rico national team could not advance with a substitute coach and their B team against Grenada at home, a well organized Guadeloupe team and St Kitts in the last game. The Islanders went on to win the Champion of the USSF D-2 in the 2010. They beat the Rochester Rhino’s (#1 seed), the Vancouver Whitecaps (who will be a MLS team in 2011) and the Carolina Railhowks for the Championship.
I love national teams however you can make a case for promoting the sport by winning a Championship. Did Clarke do the right thing…time will tell. However us who like the national teams, we will have to wait another 2 teams for this nation and see how they improve. Uggggg I am not getting younger and I hate waiting.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Why these venues.....


2011 CONCACAF Gold cup 2011
Group A (Mexico’s Group)
Dallas. TX (80k)
Charlotte NC (73.7k)
Chicago, Ill (61.5k)

Group B (Canada’s group)
Carson HDC (27k)
FUI, Miami (23.5k)
Red Bull Arena, NY (25.2k)

Group C (USA’s group)
Detroit, Mi (65.5k)
RJS Tampa, Fla. (68.8k)
KC Soccer (18.5k)

Quarter Finals
New Meadowlands Stadium (82.5k)
RFK, Washington D.C (45.5k)

Semi
Reliant Stadium, Houston (71.5k)

Finals
Rose Bowl, Pasadena (91.1k)



Ok the venues are set. Pasadena is going to host the final and I would say this is an excellent pick. The last time the Gold Cup final was hosted in the Rose Bowl was 2002. My yanks beat Costa Rica in front of only 14,432. However the L.A. Coliseum has hosted 4 previous Gold Cup Title games. When Mexico was in the final (1996, 1998) there were 88k and 91k spectators making them the top 2 attendance games in the Gold Cup history. It is as much as whom you play as compared to where you play. The Gold Cup final has not been to the West Coast since 2002 and this will be a good chance.


The semi-finals will be played in Houston. The reason is because Houston did well in 2009, spectacular in the 2007 and 2005 knockout games. What do you do to a cash cow….milk it and Warner is. Houston's reliant stadium has been just that...reliable to bring in the big soccer crowds.

The quarter finals games I have to say are also good picks. Washington D.C and NY. NY put on a fine performance hosting the Final last year. So much so that Warner wants to get Mexico back to the Big Apple where there are numerous Mexican fans will pack New Meadowland Stadium again. Watch Group A #1 will play Group B#2. Mexico should win group A to male sure they get back to NY.
Washington D.C is also a good pick since it will be played in the nation’s capitol and more than likely will have the yanks play there. RFK capacity is 45, 500 which is very obtainable if the yanks make the knock out phase. Since these games will be a double headers I envision a close to capacity crowd in D.C. The playing field is natural grass in D.C.

Now getting to the group venues.


Group A will be Mexico’s group. This group has the 3 huge capacity stadiums. There were 82k spectators to watch Mexico in Dallas in 2009. Cash cows are meant to be milked…Mexico goes back to Dallas. Dallas was about 4 times the capacity of all the other group games in the last event. Charlotte, NC is a big surprise to me. SUM marketing usually promotes MLS teams and their cities. Charlotte does not have a MLS team or past experience hosting Gold Cup games. I believe Mexican supporters will travel here, the question is how many will show in charlotte….hopefully they will be playing a quality opponent. Chicago also has many Mexican and Central American immigrants that support soccer in that city. i will always remember Honduras fans far out numbering USA fans in the all important World Cup Qualifying game. Blue Shirts were everywhere. Chicago hosted the final there with great success in 2007. Chicago the #3 market again gets a Gold Cup game. So group A gets 2 proven cities and one new one to bring new excitement.

Group B is Canada’s group. I am assigning a “north” (USA, Mexico, and Canada) North American to each group. I believe CONCACAF officials will do this to give each group a good mix. The Caribbean Cup and Central Cup would have just been played so no one wants to see the same opponents again. This group has the smallest venues and officials want to have capacity crowds. Since the Home Depot Center and Red Bull arena are the biggest soccer specific stadiums is a good reason. These newer sss are also in the #1 and #2 markets in the states. They should get close to a capacity crowd while hosting at 2 MLS clubs. This will not only benefit the clubs but MLS in general to show off 2 of their nicer stadiums. Lastly, LA and NY City have great soccer fans who will no doubt come out to these venues even without USA or Mexico.

Miami has been the only city to host games, 8 consecutive tournaments. Thats right 8 in a row. No other city has the combination of Central American and Caribbean immigrants that Miami does. It is unique. FUI stadium also is a new venue with capacity of 23.5k which is perfect for this group. It is cozy.

Group C is the yanks group. In 2009 the yanks has 2 good attended games and one bad group game attendance wise. Well there are 2 big capacity stadiums and one small one (KC). Also US soccer likes to move the national team around the country and these venues indicate that. Detroit, Tampa and Kansas City will all be new to the national team and new to theGold Cup. All of these venues are surprises to me. Detroit is the big union car making city which should back the yanks in Detroit. The question is how many will show in Detroit with it's terrible economy. Tampa has FC Tampa Bay plays in the second tier of US soccer. Could MLS and SUM be testing the waters for a return of a MLS team in Florida? Is SUM marketing just looking for another City like Miami for consistent fans. Kansas City just finished the newest soccer specific stadium KC Soccer Stadium at a cost of $160 Million. This is a beauty of a stadium and MLS wants to show off their new stadiums. This game will probable be against a Caribbean nation who does not have a big following. (Remember USA v Grendada w/ only 15k @ Seattle). Also Sam’s Army has been lacking in their desire to attend non competitive games. This stadium should bring in the fans just as Dallas did in it inaugural event. Even though it will be under 20k I envision a capacity, racous crowd here.

The question I have is what about marketing the new MLS franchises. Portland, Vancouver and Montreal all were passed over. Well Portland plays in a baseball field and that would be an eye sore. Vancouver will play in BC Palace but the $450 Million renovations w/ retractable roof will not be ready until after Gold Cup. Montreal has the new but very small Saputo Stadium at 13,000. This is just too small to host a Gold Cup game and does not have natural grass. New England has proven adequate attendance, has a MLS team (Revs), the 6th largest TV market,hosted 4 years in a row and was also passed over. Philly another big city, with a new MLS club in Philly Union was passed over but they had the USA national team play there in 2010 and it was not sold out.

In all I have to say this looks like a pretty good tournament with the cities and venues. The nations will travel all over the country in the group games. Then the knockout rounds will start at the East coast, move to Houston that has been a great City that supports soccer. The Gold Cup will end in the Rose Bowl on the West Coast. This will make it a national event. LA use to be the Gold Cups bread and butter in the first 5 title games held in the USA. I am sure the Rose Bowl will put on a good show and make this the highest attended Gold Cup to date held in the USA.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The Lie


Look at big fat chuck Blazer trying to get out of this lie. Everyone there knows he is lying. Look at Gullati eyes...They say"you are lying to my face"

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

4 Caribbean nations are determined


There will be only one new team from the Caribbean in next years Gold Cup. That nation will be Cuba. Cuba did qualify for the 2009 Gold Cup but decided not to participate. Haiti won it's spot. Jamaica, Guadeloupe and Grenada all participated in the 2009 event and will all be participating again.
Since will we have 5 nations from Central America I believe we will again see
Costa Rica, Panama, Honduras, El Salvador as repeat participants. It will be a big surprise if Nicaragua can qualify again. I believe Guatemala will be the new Central American participant.

In total there will only be 2 new nations (Cuba, Guatemala) if the Central American Cup play out with the favorites winning.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Gold Cup 2011


2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup

Team Titles
Mexico 8
USA 4
Costa Rica 3
Canada 2
Honduras 1
Guatemala 1
Haiti 1


The 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup will be the 11th edition of the CONCACAF Gold Cup competition and 20th CONCACAF regional championship overall. Of the past Championships Mexico has 8 Titles. That is more than double any other country. The USA is next with 4 Championships. It should be notes that the USA has hosted 8 titles games and won ½ of them. To its credit the USA only came onto the soccer map in 1990. Costa Rica has 3 Championships. The last coming in 1989 when there was no host. Many tico fans believe they would have a few more in the Championship was not always hosted in the states. Canada has 2 titles to its credit. The 2000 Gold Cup title won against Columbia and in 1985 when there was no host or tournamnet. Honduras won it’s title in 1981 when it hosted to tournament. Guatemala also won the Championship back in 1967. This was the Golden years for Guatemala. The Los Chapines were runner-up in 1965 and 1969. Haiti is the only Caribbean nation to win the Championship. Los Grenadiers last won in 1973 when they hosted the tournament. There was much controversy surrounding that tournament with the officiating.
The 2011 tournament will have all 3 North American countried automatically qualifying. CONCACAF officials want the tournament to be successful so the 3 biggest populous nations automatically get in. There will be 5 representatives from Central American that also will qualify. They will qualify thought the Central American Cup 2011. The Central American Cup will be hosted in Panama. The 2 non favorites will be Belize and Nicaragua. The other 5 should make the Gold Cup.
That will leave 4 spots open for the Caribbean Region. Presently the Caribbean Cup in going on. The top 4 teams will qualify for the Gold Cup. Jamaica and Cuba have punched their ticket so for. There are 2 remaining spots to fulfill.
There has been no official announcement as to the number of teams invited to the Gold Cup however 12 seems like the correct number. Concacaf officials want the Gold Cup to have full stadiums. Most of the stadiums in the States are over 60,000 or under 30,000. Mexico usually can pack the house however the other nations do not have the following Mexico does.

The venues
There were 13 venues last year. Every venue was a double header except the final. Some venues were much more successful that others. I believe the successful venues will again be in place while the low attended stadiums/cities will be passed over for a new location.

The shoe-ins (6)
The big sussess stadiums were Giants Stadium/NY, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, LA and Miami. I believe the 5 stadiums will be shoe in’s for the next Gold Cup.

On the bubble (4)
New England/ Gillette, Seattle, Philly, Washington D.C, Oakland, have been very successful in the past and officials can expect about 20,000 to 25,000 at each venue. Officials would be very happy with this number so I see most of thse venues to host again in 2011.

Looking for last 2 slots
Columbus was a failure with only 7,059 fans in attendance in 2009. I do not see the Gold Cup going back to Columbus. Seattle had the second lowest attendance with 15,387 spectators. Qwaet field even had the host (USA) play there. This number is not good enough. Glendale Arizona did have 23,876 fans however Mexico would sell out at other cities. Arizons gets the boot next year.
The new venues that we could see the Gold Cup appear would be Portland. Portland has a newly refurbished stadium. Portland also will have a new team in MLS next year. This would be a good way to kick off the soccer atmosphere.
I would guess Canada would finally host a Gold Cup group match however Toronto just hosted the MLS Final. I could see Vancouver or Montreal stepping up and hosting a group. Vancouver will also be adding a new team in MLS next year.
Atlanta is also a huge market to test for MLS and the Gold Cup. Atlanta has a brand new stadium on the outskirts of the City in Keenesaw, Ga. The stadium was just complete in May 2010 at a cost of $16.5 Million. The stadium holds 8,318 for a soccer match. This could be a little small however there is always one group that should play in the smaller venues. The stadium has natural grass.

The winner of the tournament will qualify for the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup in Brazil. The United States will be the host nation; the final will be played at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California on June 25, 2011

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Cuba vs Panama (friendly in Panama)

Panama is committed to continue their good run in friendly matches, when tomorrow will face Cuba, with a view to preparing for a regional football Cup in January.
The selection of Panama, headed by former striker Julio Cesar Dely Valdes, has two straight wins at home against El Salvador and Peru, with a score of 1-0 in two friendly matches.
The local squad is prepared under the direction of the Panamanian Julio Cesar Dely Valdes to host the Soccer American Cup, to be held in January 2011.
Meanwhile, the selection of Cuba, which is scheduled to arrive in this capital, is training for the second phase of the Caribbean Cup to be held from 10 to 14 November in Antigua and Barbuda.
The match between Panama and Cuba will be held tomorrow at 20.30 local time (30.01 GMT Wednesday) at Rommel Fernandez Stadium in Panama City.
Possible lineups:
Panama: Jose Calderon, Luis Moreno, Carlos Rivera, Eduardo Dasent and Joel Solanilla, Gabriel Torres, Juan Ramon Solis, Rolando Escobar, Armando Cooper, Edwin Aguilar, Luis Rentería.Seleccionador: Julio Cesar Dely Valdes.
Cuba: Vismel Castellanos, Yenier Marquez, Alexander Fernandez, Jorge Luis Clavel, Aliannis Urgellés, Carlos Domingo Francisco, Reysander Fernandez, Marcel Hernandez, Leonel Duarte, Roberto Linares, Armando Coroneaux.Seleccionador: Raul Gonzalez Triana.
Referee: to be appointed.
Stadium: Rommel Fernandez of Panama City.
Time: 20.30 am (30.01 GMT, Wednesday).

Friday, October 22, 2010

Guadeloupe 2: 1 Saint Kitts




Guadeloupe is off to another strong start. Here is a picture of the national team before the 2:1 victory over Saint Kitts, in St George Grenada.

Caribbean Cup Group E




Group E kicks off tonight at the "Police Grounds" also called Grenada National Stadium. The National Stadium is next to the big ckicket National stadium in Grenada. The soccer stadium holds about 9,000 spectators. If there is a time to support Grenada soccer ...it is now.
Guadeleloupe
The games start with Group B surprise winner Saint Kitts and Nevis taking on Guadeloupe. Guadeloupe has made the last 2 Gold Cups.
Kansas City Wizards vice captain and defensive dynamo Stephane Auvray this weekend, as he's joined the Guadeloupe this weekend. He will bring professionalism and skill to the Guadeloupe defense.
play a well organize, tactical game. They are a favorite to go through based on the last 5 year of consistent play.
Saint Kitts are riding the emotional wave. Kitts has 3 games under their belt to prepare. I believe Guadeloupe will prevail.

Grenada

The night cap will feature the host Grenada against Puerto Rico. Grenada will have the confidence of last Caribbean Cup behind them. The made it all the way to the final game and lost to the host (Jamaica). Jamaica scored on 2 penalty kicks. A sour way to lose any game. Grenada will be prepared to show the fans they can beat anyone in the Caribbean.
Puerto Rico
The Puerto Rico national team is preparing for it’s goal to reach the Gold Cup 2011. They arrived on Grenada Wednesday with out their skipper and some key players. Colin Clark their coach also coaches the Islanders. The Islanders are getting ready to play the Carolina RailHawks Sunday, so Clarke is with his club team. Adrian Whitbread will be in charge of the national team as they get ready to play the host.

Also missing from the Puerto Rico national team will be their star goal keeper Terry Boss. They will be missing FW Josh Hansen who had great service in the box on all 3 games. Midfielder Noah Delgado is leave a big hole to fill. DF Richard Martinez will also be missed on defense.
This leaves plenty of opportunity for younger players to step up. The group still feels confident they can advance. This from their assistant coach.

"We have a very good chance to qualify with the group we have right now in Granada," said Stefanowski




















Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Caribbean Cup Stage 1 review



Caribbean Cup 2010

Group A Puerto Rico

There were not that many surprises for me in this group. Puerto Rico dominated the other nations.. They scored 7 and conceded only 1. The Blue Hurricanes attacked down the flank with consistency each game. They had service into the box dominated possession. They were solid at all positions and had a nice flow. They will be a force in Grenada (Stage 2) What was disappointed in was the lack of attendance and the playing field. Attendance was pitiful at a few thousand at each double header. Total attendance for 3 games was 7,650. I was thinking there would be close to 10,000. The weather reeked havoc on the field. There were puddles the ball would just stop in. However both teams had to adjust and it was the Blue hurricanes that adjusted. (This is the reason why the Gold Cup will not be rotated to the Caribbean any time soon). Cayman Island draw against Saint Martin is what prevented them from advancing.



Group B St Vincent and the Grenadines.

There was some controversy and confusion after all the games were played. Everyone did not know who won the group. I thought St Vincent had won. I did not read the tie breaker rules and neither did a lot of people. St Kitts, Barbados and St Vincent all registered 5 points for a win and 2 ties. Saint Kitts was declared the winner since they scored more goals against their tie breaking opponents. Saint Kitts avoids the Group of Death that formed in Trinidad. Saint Kitts will go to Grenada at Group B winner and play Puerto Rico, Grenada and Guadeloupe. St Vincent is heading to Trinidad & Tobago. This group is the hardest by far with Haiti and Guyana. Barbados is in shock. They did not lose a game and they will be going home..
Montserrat was scored on 16 times and did not score a goal. They were cannon fodder. This St Vincent group had the most attendance with 14,420 spectators. However this is quite controversial. The stadium is said to only hold 3,500 but attendance was recorded at 4,000, 5000 and 5,420. How can this be?




Group C Suriname

This is the South American Group. These games were played in Paramaribo, Suriname. Guyana recorded a perfect slate winning all 3 games. The Golden Jaguars scored 6 goals and conceded only 2. Like all host Suriname played well enough to get 6 points. They knew they were already in before the final game against Guyana. Could they have layed down and taken the runner up spot and avoid the Group of Death? At any rate they will now travel to Antigua and Barbuda and confront Cuba and Dominica.
The Netherland Antilles scored 5 goals but could not come up with a victory this tournament. Saint Lucia also played tight games but could not register a vistory. Both are out.
Total attendance was recorded at 4,350 which is respectable.



Group D Dominican Republic

This group only has 3 nations in Dominican Republic, Dominica and the British Virgin Islands. Only one team would advance and that would be the winner. Dominican Republic stomped on the British Virgin Islands 17-0. This is a Dominican Republic Record and a CONCACAF record. Then Dominica beat BVI 10-0. The showdown came down to DR v D. Dominica recorded a 1-0 victory. Dominica progresses to the second stage for the first time in their history. What else can CONCACAF do for the Dominican Republic? They placed them in the easiest group. They even let them host this group and they lose to Dominica. UGGGGGGGG. I waited for 2 years for the Dominican Republic to show me how much they progress and they blew it! They have to really help their domestic grow if they want to be a player in the Caribbean.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Someone is not telling the truth







Wikipedia is pretty good with basic facts that you can look up. For example where do the New England Patriots play and how big is Gilette Stadium. These are basic facts that are usually very accurate. Same goes for St Vincent and the Grenadines. They play at Victoria Park. Victoria Park has the capacity of 3,500. It is a nice stadium. There is even a picture from the St Vincent vs. Barbados game. This pic is from the St vincent vs. Barbados game.

However the digicel link claims that 5,420 attended this game. Who is lying. The Caribbean reports have always been inaccurate. The web site ofter states mis information. Who are we to believe. The capacity of Victoria Park of the information Dicicel football provides. Is there anyone out there who know something about Victoria Park, the game itself, attendance...???

Could anyone comment?

http://dcc.digicelfootball.com/en/news/22-dcc-game-12-st-vincent-0-barbados-0

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Dominicar Republic 17-0 British Virgin Island





Well it is about time for the Dominican Republic wakes up and take its spot among the competative teams in the Caribbean. They have been a doormat for to long. This game was played in Estadio Panamericano, San Cristóbal. This stadium only holds 2,800 spectators and was built in 2003.
I am still waiting for the report on who scored and attendance. Lets see if this lights a fire with the fans of the Dominican Republic. This is the time to to it. They were placed in the easiest Stage 1 group. They are playing on their home pitch. The will have 2 days rest compared to 1 against Dominica for the top spot in the Group. The final game will be Sunday.
The winner of Group D will then be placed in the easiest phase 2 group in antigua and barduda. This Group F will have Cuba but it will also get the 2nd runner up.

Caribbean Cup update


Thursday, October 14, 2010

Caribbean Cup 2010

Group A review

There were not that many surprises for me for this group. Puerto Rico dominated the 3 nations. I expected them to get 9 points and they did. They scored 7 goals They scores at least 2 goals each game. (3 against Anguilla). The Blue Hurricanes attacked down the flank with 2 good wingers. They had service into the box in each of the 3 games. They had possession all 3 games and attacked with regularity. They were solid at all positions and had a nice flow. They were only scored on once. What I was disappointed in was the lack of attendance and the playing field. Attendance was pitiful at a few thousand at each double header. I was thinking there would be close to 10,000 so I was very disappointed at a few thousand at each of the 3 games. The weather and the competition is what probably keep most fans away. (This is the reason why the Gold Cup will not be rotated to the Caribbean any time soon). Cayman Island came in second will likely NOT advance with only 4 points.

Group B in St Vincent and the Grenadines.

Saint Kitts and Nevis is the surprise so far this tournament since they topped their group. They scored in each game and put 4 past lowly Montserrat. The new tie breaker had everyone confused. Since St Kitts scored more goals head to head against St Vincent and Barbados they wound up group Champions.
St Vincent did not lose a game however they did have 2 ties. The host nation should have performed better on their home pitch. They end up with 5 point which should be enough to get them through as the 1st or second runner up spot.
Barbados with 5 points is the big disappointment. They make the Final 8 in the last 4 tournaments. They placed in the Final 8 in 2008, 2007, 2005 and the 2001 tournaments. They had a strong team. They were as surprised as everyone else that they were bounced from the tournament. Montserrat was cannon fodder.

Group C
This is the South American Group. Both Guyana and Suriname are in this group. Neither has ever participated in the Gold Cup. These nations are the favorites to advance in this group. Suriname made the final 12 in World Cup Qualifying .

Group D
This group only has 3 nations in Dominican Republic, Dominica and the British Virgin Islands. The giant nation of the Dominican Republic has slightly over 10 Million people. They are bigger (population) that all Central American countries (Except Guatemala). CONCACAF wants this nation to have soccer catch on here. The Dominican Republic just played the weakest team British Virgin Island. They just recorded their biggest victory ever over an opponent 17-0. This may also be a FIFA record. They then will play Dominica. Dominica will only have 1 days rest when they face the Dominican Republic. This will be an advantage for the Dominican Republic. The DR also will be playing on their home pitch which is a huge advantage. It looks like the Dominican Republic if finally fielding a very competitive team that could advance deep into this Cup.

Group E
Group E is now set with the 2 seeded teams in Grenada and Guadeloupe. Group a winner Puerto Rico and Group B winner St Kitts and Nevis will round out this group. These games will be played in Grenada. Grenada got to host this group since they made the final 8 in the last Caribbean Cup. Grenada actually came in runner up to host Jamaica. I said it before and I will say it again, the host has a big advantage. Grenada will be playing on their home turf. They catch a break and play St Kitts in the 1st game. St Kitts will be the lowest ranked team. Guadeloupe has had great success in recent Caribbean Cups. This makes the Gwada Boys hard to break down and score on. Guadeloupe will be a favorite to advance. They play a very organized game are rarely out of shape (on the field). Guadeloupe has made 2 Gold Cups in a row and wants the party to continue. Puerto Rico has been building for 4 years for this point. The cruised through the first phase playing on their home pitch. These 3 games may prove to be a very valuable experience for this team. They have not played any friendlies since the 2008 World Cup qualifiers against Honduras. I will be hoping for Puerto Rico mostly because they would potentially have the most fans if they make the Gold Cup 2011. Puerto Rico is the largest nation at 3.9 Million. None of the other contenders in group E even has 1 million. My prediction is Puerto Rico and Guadeloupe advance.

USA vs. Ireland (Ireland by a mile)







The USA is lacking in quality games as apposed to our European counterparts. Since I follow the Republic of Ireland (typical European team) I want to compare the 2 teams. Following the World Cup the USA has had 3 pathetic friendlies. Yes pathetic since they are friendlies. The game is an experiment for Bradley to see who can play when the important games come. More on the “important game later”. Ireland on the other hand has played 4 meaningful and competitive games. Ireland will play another 6 meaningful 2012 Euro 2012 qualifiers in 2011. The USA will play the Gold Cup in 2011. The games are only competitive in the knockout rounds. So if the USA makes the final they will play 3 so called competitive games.
To further examine the competition Ireland will be playing 4 games against superior nations. They will play Russia and Slovakia in home/away series. The 3 other nations (Macedonia, Armenia, Andorra) will severely test Ireland. These so called lesser teams have quality players. Andorra for example has 7 players playing in the Spanish league. Imagine if Guatemala had 7 players in the Spanish league. They would probably be Central American champs and be a real threat to win the Gold Cup. The yanks will play NO ONE ranked higher then themselves. Every nation in CONCACAF is ranked much lower than my yanks.
To take this a step further all of the so called competitive games the yanks will play will be on home soil. That right….my Yanks will be playing the Gold Cup on their home surface which gives them a HUGE advantage. Ireland has to play at 5 hostile venues against better competition.
This has hurt the development of US soccer. The interest is just not there even when the USA played Columbia the other night. There was under 10,000 in attendance. The game was hard to watch in the first half. The USA had no scoring chances. They looked like misfits in the 1st half. Ireland could not experiment with such games or they would be eliminated from Euro 2012. There was absolutely no flow to the game. I bet if the Yanks played Ireland with that pathetic display we would have lost by multiple goals.
I am here to state I think that Ireland, a middle of the road team in Europe, has a much better team than my yanks. I know the FIFA rankings claim that the yanks are 18th and Ireland is 33rd but ranking are garbage.
Imagine if someday my yanks had their players playing in the English premier league. Not just the bottom teams but the top teams like Manchester United, Manchester City and Everton. These players are not just on the team but are starters for the English Premier League teams. I am not just talking the USA 11 starters but imagine the entire 22 man squad playing in the English Premier league. Wow…now that would be a team that could beat most European nations. Actually we would be Ireland. That is Irelands team and they are only a middle of the pack European team.
My yanks can keep playing friendlies while the rest of Europe plays competitive game against much better competition.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Carling Nations Cup should expand …..





My yanks are in CONCACAF which is one of the weakest confederations. The problem is the lack of quality teams within CONCACAF. This has hurt the image and the development of all the teams. The main problem is the lack of competitive matched the top teams play. The top team in particular USA, Mexico and Canada. Yes I will group Canada in there because they do not qualify for the Caribbean Cup or the Central American Cup.


Presently Costa Rica plays very competitive games against Panama, Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador. Costa Rica is always placed in the most difficult group year after year in the Caribbean Cup which is good for them. The Caribbean Cup lets the lesser team play against each other before the Stage 2 round starts. All Stage 2 games are now all competitive. The Caribbean nations now can compete and beat Trinidad and Tobago and Jamaica in this tournament. The problem is a tournament for the big 3 populous nations.


Canada, Mexico and the Yanks just do not have a North American tournament. Greenland just started a goal program. Maybe they could be the 4th team in a small competitive North American tournament. Greenland could be filled with Denmark's B team which could challenge the 3 big teams. Bermuda is in North America but just cannot compete. They are actually a weak Caribbean Club.


Maybe the 3 big teams (Canada, Mexico and USA) could join a mini tournament like the Carling Nations Cup. The Carling Nations Cup has Ireland, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland playing very competitive matches. Each of these nations are looking for competitive games this time of year. The tournament would also have nice exposure to the national team.


England might join the tournament since it would get exposure from other federations. This was the reason England does not participate now.


This is good for the CONCACAF teams to get competitive games in. It would also get them in a tournament instead of friendlies. It would pit the teams against top European nations in a competitive tournament in Europe. If the yanks of Mexico wants to win a World Cup they have to win on European soil. This would be a great start. This would also give the yanks and Mexico a neutral site to play their grudge match.


The Celtic nations might like this since it would give them great exposure in the states. This would also greatly enhance the image of this tournament to have the 3 CONCACAF teams join the competition. The teams are presently playing 3 games total. The new 8 nation tournament would be 5 games most for any 2 teams.


Presently none of the countries could host the European Championship so this tournament would be ideal to host for them. Ireland did but a bid into host Euro 2012 however they did not have enough stadiums that met the requirements.

Greenland gripped by football fever

Congratulations to the Greenlanders. Well here is my hope. Greenland starts a competative domestic league soon. They join CONCACAF. Greenlanders fill their roster with Denmarks B national team. Now Concacaf will have 4 north american teams to anchor each group of a 16 team Gold Cup.

USA, Mexico and Costa Rica was in dier need of quality teams to play while not in WCQ years. Presently European teams have already had 6 competative matched to qualify for Euro 2012. This month will be a few more. The yanks and Mexico play friendlies.....

Inaugural Goal Project for Anguilla

This island only has about 13000 inhabitants. They will not be a soccer power in CONCACAF. However they could field some competative teams in the Caribbean Cup. The field now has flood lights, dressing rooms and stands for fans. It also has offices where Anguilla can have an official office for soccer.

Saint Martin 1:1 Cayman Island 1

nm

Caribbean Cup is under way





Puerto Rico has gotten off to a dominating start. They dominated possession and the 3-1 result did not indicate the total control Puerto Rico displayed over Antigua. What surprised me was that their skipper, (Colin Clarke) was not present. Clarke was traveling with the Islanders. He must have though his troops would win without him….he was correct. These games are not the most astatically pleasing games to watch because of the lack of flow. The problem is that these poor Caribbean nations do not have the money to house and train their team for weeks before a tournament. These teams are thrown together and try to develop as the tournament goes. This is the idea for the Puerto Rico. They have a pretty easy group and I believe they will win the group with easy. They are also playing at home. The next game is tonight at 8:00pm EST. That is only one day rest for the 4 nations of Group A.


I was also disappointed with the condition of the pitch. It was waterlogged. There were giant puddles that stopped the fast moving ball in it tracks. This was surprising since the Islanders are a Division 2 USA team and they are presently still in the Champions League. The field must be Fifa qualified...


Another disappointment was the sparse crowd. I thought they would pack the stadium however only a few hundred showed for the game. There is no official count which makes me believe that it was small.




Saint Martin tied the Cayman Island 1-1. This does not bold well for either team. These teams need a win against each other to advance to Stage 2. The 4 group winners advance along with the 1st and 2nd runner ups. Group B kicks off Wednesday with Barbados and host St Vincent and the Grenadines the favorites to advance.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

New Biriche Sportrs Complex in Honduras


This is a pic of a new stadium proposal in Honduras. This is to relieve the many games played at Morazon. The club team (Real C.D Espana) play in Estadio Fransisco Morazan did not want so many games on their field. The Stadium will be located in San Pedro Sula.

"It is an ambitious project by members of the Commission's project will become reality.
The authorities of the Autonomous National Soccer Federation, currently being investigated intensively for the redevelopment of the stadium the "Birichiche" ranging from new structures, bleachers, artificial lighting and synthetic turf installation.

It is an ambitious project desired by the capital city today thanks to the members that make up the Projects Committee will become a reality, together with Pro Sports Facilities Commission through the Seed of the Future Project.

The road construction and remodeling has begun making plans for, with the main idea and certainly is the view of the Executive Committee provide football activities in Francisco Morazán, who is currently in a high load of games in all categories.

The project itself consists of a construction area of about 11.932 m2, which will get the benefit of a court with the minimum measures 105 x 64 meters with a capacity for 3,500 fans.

The range on Birichiche Sports Complex is a distributed and based on the requirements needed for different sporting events from fans including minor leagues to national team tournaments worldwide.

The main factor which took into account the mobility and security in the best way to solve access, evacuation, internal circulation and public services.

Overall Birichiche Stadium meets the needs most important to have in soccer central, so the next step is the swap will be completed as initially mentioned Seed Project resources of the future and the Football Federation , reaching a figure of about 8 million Lempiras .


Friday, September 10, 2010

Caribbean Cup prediction


The 2010 Caribbean Championship an international soccer tournament for the Caribbean. This years edition will have 23 nations participating. The final stage will be hosted by Martinique. Martinique won the right to host over Guadeloupe and Barbados, who had also put in bids. All groups have changed from the original draw. Cuba and Antigua and Barbuda will get a bye to the second round at the expense of Guyana and the Netherlands Antilles who now have to qualify for Stage 2. The hosts in Stage 1 are Puerto Rico (Group A), St Vincent and the Grenadines (Group B), Suriname (Group C) and Dominican Republic (Group D). The final round of 8 has the host Martinique along with current Champion Jamaica. The top 4 teams automatically qualify for Gold Cup 2011. The winner of the Gold Cup 2011 will represent CONCACAF in FIFA Confederations Cup 2013 Brazil. This Caribbean Cup is interesting to me for a few reasons. I have been waiting for the “big” populous nations of Puerto Rico (3.9 Million) and the Dominican Republic (10 Million) to propel them selves into the thick of CONCACAF. If there is a chance that the Gold Cup will expand to 16 nations soon it will be up to these nations. These nations have a huge immigrant population throughout the states. They could support their nation like Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala. The Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico did not participate in the last Cup. (PR missed the last 2 Caribbean Cups.) These countries are also hosting stage one games. In my eyes both will be favorites to advance to Stage 2. We will see how far each of these nations has progressed in 4 years. I am hoping a lot. The championship game is again moved to a new host country. Unlike the Gold Cup this makes for an exciting tournament where any number of teams can knock the host out. This will be the 4th different host in a row which makes every tournament exciting.
Stage 1 will have 15 teams fighting for 6 spots. All the group winners will advance along with the 1st and 2nd runner ups. The host nation always seems to have the advantage and this tournament is not different. I see Puerto Rico, Barbados and Suriname all advancing. The Dominican Republic Group D only has 3 teams so the winner of the Dominican Republic- Dominica game will advance. Stage Two also has the advantage go to the host nations however this is where I have my upsets changing the perspective of power in the Caribbean. The Favorites right now are the 2 teams that have already qualified for the final 8 (Jamaica and the host Martinique along with perennial power Trinidad &Tobago who are hosting a Stage 2 group). Cuba qualified for the Gold Cup the last 5 times so they have a legitimate shot, Haiti and Guadeloupe also field strong teams. Could we finally see a South American team in the Gold Cup (Surname- Guyana). Both have very competitive teams.


Group Stage One
Group A
Saint-Martin
Cayman Islands
Puerto Rico
Anguilla


Group A will be played in Juan Ramon Stadium, Puerto Rico. Puerto Rico has not has much international success however the sport has grown on this Caribbean Island. Colin Clarke (No. Ireland) coaches both the Islanders and the PR national team. I think they will have the most fans of any group in the entire tournament. The have fans have supported the Islanders and hopefully will they support their national team. There were over 12,000 Puerto Ricans who turned out to support the Islanders game Aug 4th, 2001 against the LA Galaxy. Puerto Rico recently started a soccer league in 2008 and currently has 10 teams for the 2010 seasons. I think Puerto Rico will win this group and advance to Stage 2. The play Oct 2nd, 4th and 6th.
Group B
Barbados
Saint Vincent
Saint Kitts & Nevis
Montserrat


Group B will now be played in St Vincent and the Grenadines. Barbados was one of the last 8 teams standing last Caribbean Cup because they have a good team. Barbados best result was 2005 when they placed 4th. They also advanced to the final 8 in both the 2007 and 2008 Caribbean Cups. They (Barbados) have the best team in the group which should be enough for the Bajan Pride to advance to Stage 2. St Vincent, playing at home will have the advantage, of advancing as one of the 6 nations. They should get enough points here. Saint Kitts will provide the test. Montserrat will provide cannon fodder. (
Group C
Suriname
Guyana
Saint Lucia
Netherlands Antilles


Suriname will be the favorite at home. They were one of the last 12 standing in World Cup Qualifying which the true test of any national team. Suriname has over 150 Surinese playing in the various Dutch leagues. Guyana is the arch rival of Suriname and a fellow South American nation. Surname knocked Guyana out of WCQ. This game will be a great battle. The Netherland Antilles are ranked higher that every team in Group A and group D. The Netherland Antilles only lost to Haiti 1-0 in World Cup Qualifying. This makes Group C the most talented group to advance. St Lucia does not have a chance. Played in Suriname from October 13–17. (Prediction Suriname 1st w/Guyana getting 2nd runner up spot.)
Group D
Dominica
Dominican Republic
British Virgin Islands


The Dominican Republic is the 2nd most populous nation in the Caribbean at about 9.8 Million. CONCACAF wants to ignite the passion for soccer here so the Dominican will host and has the easiest group to advance. Games will be played in Estadio Panamericano (2800) San Cristobal. The DR from October 13th , 17th 10. Prediction Dominican Republic wins their first ever significant game and finally advance to Stage 2.

Group Stage Two
Stage 2 has 6 seeded teams in Grenada (host) with Guadeloupe, T&T (host of course) with Haiti, Cuba and Antigua and Barbuda (host). 6 teams from Stage 2 will advance to the Final round. All the host nations have a great advantage. The most difficult will be Group E in Grenada while the easiest Group will be G in Antigua and Barbuda
Group E
Grenada
Guadeloupe
Winner Group A Puerto Rico
Winner Group B Barbados

Grenada advanced in the 2008 Cup by playing stingy defense and scoring when they had to. They will again have to play well defensively to advance out of this formidable group. The Gwada Boys of Guadeloupe made the finals in both the 2007 and 2008 tournament. They also qualified for Gold Cup 2007 and 2009. The Gwada Boys will be determined to make the Final 8 against the arch-rival Martinique. We will all see just how far Colin Clarke boys (Puerto Rico) have come in this group. They have not played since 2008. Barbados has advanced to the Final 8 the last 2 Cups. I see upsets here. Prediction Puerto Rico and Guadeloupe advance. Played in Grenada from October 22–26.

Group F
Trinidad and Tobago
Haiti
Winner Group C Suriname
1st Place Runner-up St Vincent

Group F after rescheduling surprise, surprise….Trinidad & Tobago is hosting yet another group. T&T has won 8 out of 14 Caribbean Cups. They have been kings in the Caribbean over the last decade. Haiti beat T&T in the 2007 Caribbean Cup Final in Trinidad. Haiti also tied the USA in the states in the last Gold Cup 2009. Haiti will not back down. These 2 teams will be challenged by my Group C winner Suriname. The first runner I think will be St Vincent which will fill out this group. This group will played in Trinidad and Tobago from November 2–6. Prediction T&T and Haiti again.
Group G
Cuba
Antigua and Barbuda
Winner Group D Dominican Republic
2nd Place Runner-up Guyana

Group C will be played in Antigua recreational Grounds (Cricket Stadium) that hold 12,000. Antigua made the Final 8 in 2008 and tied both Haiti and Guadeloupe but lost to Cuba in the final group. A&B relied on the scoring punch from Peter Byers and Jamie Thomas (6 goals each) who led the goals scoring in the last Cup. They will have to be in form again to make the Final. Cuba is rejoicing in the new scheduled group. Cuba should beat everyone here and advance. The Dominican Republic should finally make stage 2 and this is the easiest group in this stage. If the Dominican Republic wants to have some soccer success their chance is now. Could they pull an upset? I am hoping they do. If the Final runner up is Guyana) I think they go through as winners of 2nd place runner up. Games will be from November 10–14. I see Cuba & Guyana advancing.

Final round
Played in Martinique from November 26 - December 5.
Jamaica has won 2 of the last 3 Caribbean Cups and want to remain as the top team in the Caribbean. I thought they would advance last Gold Cup however they had coaching changes to close to tournament. They won the last Cup playing at home against Grenada. The Jamaicans are talented and tactically sound. They have settled their coaching issues and have settled on Theodore Whitemore (Jamaican). Martinique also won the Caribbean Cup in 1993 against the Raggie Boyz in Jamaica. Martinique has also qualified for the Gold Cup 3 times advancing to the quarterfinals in 2002. Martinique has watched their arch rival Guadeloupe accent to prominence and they want to share in the lime light.
Group 1
Jamaica

Winner E (Guadeloupe)
Winner G (Cuba)
Group F Runner-up(Haiti)
This is how I see the group shaping up. I wish the Gold Cup would expand to 16 team so all these teams could be make the big tournament. Jamaica will be in a dog fight to make the final 4 here. They will be challenged. Jamaica will not had as many warm up games as the others. Haiti has very talented players who just need a coach and their federation to back them. Cuba will be eager to make the Gold Cup to challenge for the Confederations cup. Guadeloupe looks to make it 3 Gold Cups in a row. I think it will be Jamaica and Cuba advancing.
Group 2
Martinique

Winner F (T&T)
Group E R-up (Puerto Rico)
Group G R-up (Guyana)
Group 2 will be just as formidable to advance. I have to give the edge to Trinidad and Tobago. They have the best Caribbean Club teams and have a wealth of experience of playing in big Tournaments. Every nation enjoys a huge advantage playing on their home pitch so I will have the second runner up going to Martinique. Puerto Rico would have done well to make the final 8 and play competitive games here. They are gaining experience and could upset the Caribbean. Guyana is still emerging. They were on a 14 game unbeaten streak in 06 but have come down to earth.
I believe it will be Jamaica again emerging the winner. The big prize is having Jamaica, Cuba, Trinidad & Tobago and Martinique taking the 4 Caribbean spots in the Gold Cup. If this happens then it will be 3 new Caribbean participants. (Since I do not think Nicaragua will upset Guatemala or El Salvador) There will be a total of 4 new teams in Gold Cup 2011.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

32,000 at Estadio Rommel, Panama City


Panama played it's Arch-rival to a 2-2 tie in Panama City. This was a good result for Panama to tie the perenial power in the region. What was more important was the turn out of over 32,000 for the game. Cnn reported this attendance figure which is huge.


Rommel Stadium in Panama City is hosting the Central American Cup in January 2011. Panama could break all records for attendance in the UNCAF Cup aka Central American Cup next year if the supporters again show for this event.


Panama has been on an upward trojectory since they busted onto the seen in 2005 Gold Cup.

Guatemala hosted in 2005 and did not reach theFinal so attendance was sparse. El Salvador hosted in 2007 and attendance was better at Cuscatalan Stadium. However they did not reach the final. 2009 Honduras had over 20,000 spectators when they played in Tegulsigalpa but they were knocked out and attendance dropped to only a few hundred each game. Central American nations prove that they are only interested when their nation is playing. Central American do not travel to watch their team play other nations.
Panama could be the first host to reach the final since Costa Rica did it in 1999 when they won the event. Panama could set the attendance record (not recorded) since over 30,000 showed for this friendly. The fans were hanging on the fence celebrating goals against Costa Rica. Fans will turn out for their national team if they play well and Panama is playing well right now.


Panama beat Venezuela 2-1 in South America them beat them again 3-1 in Estadio Rommel this year. This latest tie bodes well for a record setting Central American Cup in January 2011.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

UNCAF Nations Cup changes it's name


The Central American soccer nations have changes the name of the UNCAF Nations Cup. The new name will be the Central American Cup. This is a much better name for this tournament since most people will know by the Title what it is. It is the bi-annual Championship of the Central American Nations.

The draw will be Sept 2nd, 2010 in the Intercontinental Mirama, Panama City. Costa Rica has dominated this tournament since 1991. They have been in every Championship games (except one) and have won 6 Titles. Honduras won 2 titles back to back in 1993 and 1995. Guatemala and Panama each ahve won one title. This tournament has gotten very competative. The top 5 teams automatically qualify for the regional CONCACAF tournament called the Gold Cup. Panama is the current Champion and are one of the favorites.

Panama will be playing in their newly refurbished Rommell Stadium. This will be Panama's first big game in their national stadium. Panama will not want to miss out on the valuable experience of playing in the Gold Cup 2011. The Gold Cup will get all 12 teams ready for qualifing for 2013 FiFA World Cup.

Every nation wants to place a team in the regional tournament. It alos provides great exposure to their domestic league if the national team does well.


Thursday, July 22, 2010

Gold Cup 2011 Final Rose Bowl
















The Rose Bowl will again host the Gold Cup final in 2011.
The last time the Rose Bowl hosted was in 2002 where the yanks beat Costa Rica in front of a very small crowd of 14,000.

This is a picture of Chelsea vs Inter Milan in front of 81,224 spectators. The past Gold Cup Finals have been very successful. New York 2009, Chicago in 2007 and again New York in 2005, Mexcio City 2003, Rose Bowl 2002 and La Memorial in 2000.
The Rose Bowl could hold over 90,000 for a soccer game. Mexico has a huge following in the Los Angelos area. Mexico hosted New Zealand prior to the World Cup (2010) and 90,500 showd up, mostly Mexicans.

This news also tell us the Gold Cup will not be rotating outside of the states for a few reasons. First it's all about the money. Tickets at LA are $30 for the cheap seats and over $100 for good seats. If the tournament was played outside the states this one game would make more that the entire tournament. Secondly this is a very important Gold Cup. All teams will be bringing their top teams. The winner will represent CONCACAF in the Confederations Cup in Brazil. All nations would want the experience of playing the top teams in the World the prior year. They also want to get accustom to the venues.

I am still hoping that the Gold Cup rotates out of the States to Gold Cup Central America in 2013.
It also sound like there will be only 12 nations participating again. The Gold Cup will not expand to 16 nations even though there are 40 natioonal associations. ...oh well. This should be the biggest Gold Cup yet will the focus on the upcoming World Cup in Brazil and after this succesful World Cup showing for my Yanks in South Africa.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

CAC Games soccer will be in Venezuela - Caribbean Business

CAC organizers stated the games will continue with out soccer. What a shame! However there is a mad scramble to have all the teams fly to Venezuela and stage the soccer event there.
The president of Venezuela, Chavez, got involved and is pushing for this to happen. This has to be approved by the CAC comittee and apparently FIFA has to ok the fields.
The playing fields may not be an issue since Venezeula recently hosted the 2007 Copa America.


stay tuned...I have been waiting for this for some time. Soccer is at an all time high now,,,,,

Monday, June 28, 2010

World Cup review


World Cup Review

Now that the States and Mexico have exited the World Cup I want to take my little cynical look at it.


• Still upset Ireland was robbed of a bad call not to make it in.
• Glad France and Italy got bounced in the Group phase
• The bad call’s 2 goals against the yanks that were disallowed, Kaka’s ejection and now England’s disallowed goal. What a fuckin joke. S Blatter thinks this promotes the sport because people talk about it. Fuck that and Fuck him. MLS should institute the replay since we have it in most of our big time sports
• Get rid of the damb horns. They infringe on someone’s else’s good time to sing, cheer and enjoy the game. Why can’t people bring in bull horns to drown the vuvuzells out. Band the damb horn.
• Since I believe Brazil will win in 2014 I want someone else to win.
• I thought the USA does not have the skill on the ball compared to the other teams in their group. They were outclassed in every game. However the US is good at attacking and scoring…..so I’ll take it.
• Mexico-glad they advanced however they got robbed on an offside’s goal that changed their game. Fuck S Blatter and his ignorance. Let the game be decided between the lines NOT the ref.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

so far

well Mexico got throught to the knockout round again. The 3rd rep from CONCACAF (Honduras) does not look like they will win a game....hopefully ythye will score.

It is now up to the USA to beat Algeria tomorrow. My yanks have not looked good at all. Both Slovenia and Englans dominated with the ball ...however we all know that does not matter when you are looking for a result.

I few things so far in the group games

  • I hate the constant horn blowing. That is infringing on everyone right to enjoy the game. Get rip of those fucking horns
  • The COMEBOL nations are all going through. All 5 may even win thier groups.....Wow(I think the European team play well in Europe where most of the FIFA Cups have been)
  • The Yanks got robbed of a clear victory but were out played so......
  • It will be fun if England advances.
  • The French team embarrased themselves and their nation....It should ahve been the Irish.
  • I wish the groups had 5 teams. This way 8 rome nations could have participated. also the better teams would be advancing instead of going home from bad calls.
  • The Ivory Coast really played Portugal with I thought thuggary....Then A player takes a dive after running into Kaka. I am no fan of the ivory Coast now.
  • glad South Africa won a game
  • Speaking of dives... no country does it better than Italy. there was a dive in the box against New Zealand and Italy go the call and the point.
  • Glad to see New Zealand play inspiration.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Attendance woes causing FIFA concern

Nick Webster write a good article about the problems with attendance at this World Cup. They are many.
  • Lack of infrastructure in S Africa to handle the traffic.
  • Expensive tickets for S Africans
  • selling tickets to vendor as opposed to fans for the money grab

FIFA will want to rebound after this World Cup. Brazil is next in 2014. Does this put the USA infront of England, Australia and the joint bid with Netherlands-Belgium.

Friday, June 11, 2010

CAC soccer expands

ok ....While the World Cup just started. Mexico looked very good in the first 1/2. They looked good because S Africa often lost its shape. I thought Mex scored on a corner kick but was off side. ...but a S African was on the line.....home call? I am glad Mexico tied it up..they did not deserve to lose.

a little news just broke out that the CAC games soccer tournament will expand to 5 teams. Apparently El Salvadors ban was lifted and they qualified for the CAC tournament. The (El Sal) still wanted to play but the fieled of 8 was set. Officials could not drop a team since tickets were purchased, plans were set.....so what to do....Invite 2 more teams so El Salvador and now Venezuela were added.

Group A
  1. Costa Rica
  2. Peurto Rico
  3. Venezuela
  4. Belize
  5. Trinidad & Tobago

Group B
  1. Mexico
  2. Panama
  3. El Slavador
  4. Jamaica
  5. St Vincent & the Grenadines
Here hoping Puerto Rico comes through on home field.....

Saturday, May 22, 2010

CAC games


OK the Green Soccer Bowl was canceled. Puerto Rico was the CONCACAF rep that we were hoping to see play against the African nations. The tournament was canceled due to lack of Visa for the players and team management for the African teams.

The next tournamet that has COCACAF nations are playing in will be the CAC games in Puerto Rico.

(oviously besides the World Cup)

The Central American and Caribbean games (CAC) will have under U-21 male players. This is to keep with the Olympic feeling of the games. There will be 4 Caribbean nations Puerto Rico, Trinidan & Tobago, St. Vincents and the Grenadines, and Jamaica. There will be 3 Central American nations in Costa Rica, Panama, Belize. The regional power team in Mexico will fill out the field of 8 nations. El Salvador qualified for the tournament however FIFA has suspended the federation for participating in any tournaments. Apparently the government has been medeling in the soccer federationa affairs. This is horroble for the El Salvador fans after qualifing.

This is a great oportunity for Belize to participate in the youth tournaments. Belize is trying to grow the sport in their nation. Belize is behind the top teams in Central America. Playing and developing their youth team is imperative to keep pace with the other Central American nations. Playing in the CAC games is a good start.

the Groups were just announced

Group A
Costa Rica,
Puerto Rico,
Trinidan & Tobago
Belize.

Group B
Mexico,
Panama,
Jamaica
St Vincent and the Grenadines.

It is hard to judge who will win however Costa Rica will have the best youth team in Group A. This will be Costa Rica 6th straigh appreaance in the CAC games. This shows the consistency the youth team play in Costa Rica. They played Nicaragua for the last spot in Central America. The Ticos beat them 6-0 in Nicaragua and pounded them 6-1 at home. they will be the team to beat. Puerto Rico automatically qualified since they are hosting. We have not see their U-21 team play however the nation is hoping to put on a good show. Puerto Rico will battle T&T for the second spot. I will give edge to Puerto Rico since they are playing at home. It is hard to judge any Caribbean team since the Caribbean web site sucks so bad. There is never any info on it.
caribbeanfootballunion.org


Group B Mexico, Panama, Jamaica St Vincent and the Grenadines.

Mexico's U-21 team will be to good for this group. I see them winning this group with ease. Jamiaca will battle Panama for the second spot. I think Jamiaca will place second. Panama has come a long way on the senior level however they youth team have not matched the senior success. Jamaica may have an edge since the games are on a fellow Caribbean island. I have no info on St V...other than they qualified.

The games will start shortly after the World Cup final. These games start July 17th 2010.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Concacaf Main | CONCACAF Home | About Us | Confederation News | Confederation News | Men's youth, women's tournaments expanded

Concacaf Main CONCACAF Home About Us Confederation News Confederation News Men's youth, women's tournaments expanded


I have been trying to figure out what Caribbean teams will be going to the Central American and Caribbean Games (CAC) in Puerto Rico.

We kow there will be 4 Central American teams who have qualified. They are Costa Rica, Belize, Panama and El Salvador.
The host Puero Rico also automatically qualifies. That leave 3 Caribbean spots up for grabs.

The teams will be the U-20 teams. Just a short time ago CONCACAF committee elected to expand the U-20 qualification to 12 CONCACAF team up from 8. The U-20 CONCACAF qualification will be for both the CAC games and the CONCACAF u-20 Championship.
The top 3 Caribbean teams will qualify. We are all waiting for the announcement of these games.

Just a note, The Caribbean web site sucks. there is never timely info. Most of the time they get it wrong.
Here is the link but it SUCKS! for info
http://caribbeanfootballunion.org/cms2/index.php?option=com_frontpage&Itemid=1
the last info is March 5th 2010. With all the info about the Champions league with 4 caribbean team still alive, the CAC games and who will qualify, the great friendly matches.....the site is PATHETIC!!!!!!!

The Digicel web site is also pathetic. They have not updated any info from last tournament. You could say they suck too.
Since digicel is the sponser you would think they would want to look good to their clients.
http://www.digicelfootball.com/en/caribe

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Green Soccer Bowl

I love soccer tournaments. It is always nice to see the brackets and where you team sits in the particular bracket. Well we have a little international tournamnet in Detroit Michigan in 23 days. It will start with CONCACAF entry Puerto Rico against Malaysia. These are the least ranked teams at 168 and 147 respectively. Malaysia is from the Asian Football Confederation (AFC). They play for the right to advanse to play Nigeria (#20) the highest ranked team.

Nigeria and Ghana are the 2 World cup participants. They will be playing their B-team (fifa rules of rest) in this tournament. However they will be looking for players to fill out their roster for the World Cup. Kenya (#114) will battle Ghana(#32) in the other bracket on May 20th. the 3rd place game and final will be 6 23-2010.

This is the inagural tournamet and a crowd of over 20,000 is expected. There are already plans for next years tournament.


CONCACAF representative


Puerto Rico has been building is soccer program for a few years. The Puerto Rico Islanders success on the field and attendance highlights the interest on the Island. Puerto Rico recently started a soccer league and currently has 9 teams. The league started in 2008 and has help the growth of the sport on the island.
Colin Clarke (No. Ireland) coaches both the Islanders and the national team. Puerto Rico last game was a World Cup Qualifier almost 2 years ago (June 15th 2008). this game was a tie with the Wolrd cup bound Honduras side 2-2 in Puerto Rico. They should not be overmatched again Malaysia. This game will be good for both nations. We will see what type of team Clarke fields.

Clarke should go with a very young team sprinkled withh some veterans. Puerot Rico is hosting the very important CAC games this summer. The (CAC games) soccer tournament will have the top U-23 teams 4 from Central America (Costa Rica, El Salvador, Panama and Belize) and the top 3 from Caribbean (not determined yet) and the host Puerto Rico. Puerto Rico will want to play well infront of their fans on a home pitch. These will be very competative games. Hopefully they can get by Maylaysia to play another World Cup bound team.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Caribbean Cup 2010

Caribbean Cup 2010
Martinique


(This is not official since it has not been released by Caribbean Football Union CFU)

The Caribbean Cup is a tournament for the CFU currently played biannually (in even years). The Caribbean Cup serves as a qualifier for the CONCACAF’s Gold Cup. The final 4 nations will qualify as the Caribbean representatives to the Gold Cup. This years tournament has 24 nations (territories) participating. That will be 3 more that the last tournament. This year’s final will be hosted in Martinique. This is good since T&T has hosted 9 tournaments which gave them a huge advantage. (Trinidad & Tobago also won 9 Cups).
This will give all nations a fresh start the next World Cup Qualifying cycle. The first games will start Aug 17th in Antigua and Barbuda and ends in Nov 28th in Martinique. There will be 3 rounds. The First round has 16 teams broken into 4 groups of 4 nations. The top 6 teams will advance to the second round. The second round will have 12 teams. These teams will be broken into 3 groups of 4 teams. There will be 6 seeded teams in the Second Round (Cuba, Guyana, Grenada, Trinidad & Tobago, Guadeloupe and Haiti) waiting the 6 teams that advanced from round 1. Then the top 6 teams from the Second round group advance to the Final 8 in Martinique.
The final will play on the beautiful island of Martinique. The stadium (Dillion Stadium pictured above) will be a nice grass pitch and a stadium that few in the Caribbean could match. The stadium "Stade Pierre-Aliker" can hold 16,500 comfortably. The host (Martinique) and Jamaica (Reigning Champion) will fill out the Field of 8. The top 4 teams from the Final 8 will qualify for the Gold Cup 2011. There are a number of teams that have a legitimate shot at winning the Cup.

The Contenders (3)

Martinique: You always have to consider the host of any tournament and this one is not different. Do not laugh at this little soccer power house. Martinique is one of only 4 teams to win the Caribbean Cup(Champions 1993). Martinique has also made the Gold Cup 3 times. This was when CONCACAF had to invite guess teams to participate. They were also runner up in 1994 to the host Trinidad and Tobago. They have recently seen their arch rival Guadeloupe make the Gold Cup and want to regain their soccer prowess in the Caribbean.

Trinidad and Tobago: They are two tiny islands off the South America coast with a population of about 1 Million You have to mention the 8 times Champions Trinidad and Tobago. They are one of the favorites to win it again. They have an excellent youth program and have the best club teams in the Caribbean.

Jamaica: They are the reigning Champions and will be looking forward to defend their title. They have won the Caribbean Cup champion 4 times and want to remain on top in the Caribbean. They have a very talented, athletic and proud team. Now their coaching issues are settled maybe we can see some cohesiveness from the Raggae Boyz.


The Challengers



Cuba: Cuba has a very good soccer program at both the youth and senior level. They are the only Caribbean team to “place” in the last 4 Caribbean Cup Championships, they accomplished this feat 5 Caribbean Cup in a row. I wonder if they had hosted any of these Caribbean Cup how many they would have won?

Haiti: One of only 4 nations to win the Caribbean Cup. Les Grenadiers last won the 2007 Caribbean Cup. They also had fine form in the Gold Cup tying the USA in the states. An earthquake devastated their Island and this tournament will give some a break from the misery that surrounds the country. They are tall, fast and athletic. They just need cohesiveness to propel themselves to the Finals.

Guadeloupe: Guadeloupe has been in very good form since 2006. They came in 4th (Caribbean Cup 20006-7)and went to the 2007 Gold Cup. At the Gold Cup they made the knockout round. Then they proceeded to beat Honduras and make the semi-finals. Again in the 2008 Caribbean Cup they placed in the final 4 and again went to the Gold Cup 2009. Guadeloupe again made the knockout round. This tournament is on sister island Martinique. They will be well versed in the language and the culture. Watch out for the Gwada Boys.

Dark horses

This group I am most anxious to see play. Three of these nations are hosting games. It will be very interesting as to how many fans turn out in each country. I believe Guyana will lead the attendance. Puerto Rico should have a good turn out since their fans have been waiting with anticipation. They tied Honduras in World Cup Qualifying which was the last game I remember they play of significance.

Guyana: They have been slowly building the soccer program in Guyana for a few years. They just started their own league in 2008. They have half of their team playing in the club teams of Trinidad and Tobago. They are coached by Jamaal Shabazz (Trinidad and Tobago) since 2005. He provides stability and continuity. They are poised to make some noise here since they are seeded in the Second round and are hosting. They had the most fans attend a Caribbean Cup game last tournament at 10,000, more than double any other.

Grenada: Defense wins games and Grenada proved that last tournament. They are hosting a second round group that also has Trinidad and Tobago seeded. They will be playing at the Grenada National Stadium that holds about 9,000. Most of the national team is made up of players from the Grenada soccer league.

Puerto Rico: They have been on a similar path as Guyana. Puerto Rico just started a soccer league in 2008. There are currently 9 teams. Their current Champion (Bayamon FC) s on of 4 teams left in the CFU Cub. The top 3 qualify for The CONCACAF Champions League. The other team is none other than the Puerto Rico Islanders again. Collin Clarke can coach the national team like the Islanders they the entire Caribbean should take note. They have not entered in the last 2 Caribbean Cups but watch this team. 8,000national fans packed Juan Ramon Loubriel Stadium when they played the Dominican Republic. We will see if they attend this group games.

Suriname: They made the final 12 in World Cup Qualifying which is the true test of the best teams in CONCACAF. Suriname has an established league since 1924. There are about 150 Surinamese players playing the Dutch professional Leagues. Depending who they bring in will depend how far they go. Will they disappear of will they surprise everyone again. They have the experience.


http://www.football-rankings.info/2010/04/2010-cfu-digicel-cup-schedule.html

Alajuelense Stadium
























































This was a game between Alajuelense and Saprissa in Costa Rica. The fans were nuts, security was everywhere and so was the fire and smoke.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

New Houston Dynamo Stadium



I like finding information on new stadiums. It is a sight that the sport is growing. Owners are investing because they see the sport growing and want to be in a good position to capitalize.

Here is a pic of new Dynamo Stadium.
  • Would be used for w/ Texas Southern University home games (Saturday)
  • $95 Million total
  • 12 acres
  • Located downtown Houston (great for access)
  • Open October 2012

Monday, April 12, 2010

Gold Cup attendance

While we are a year away from the Gold Cup it would be a good time to reflect on the tournament. I have been told by media oulets that soccer will be the "new' sport in the States.
Soccer will be taking over hockey in the USA at the 4th most popular sport. There are more young people playing soccer than any other country. MLS will give kids something to strive for to make a living in the states.

This is all true however MLS is in it 14th year and soccer has not surpassed hockey. The biggest event in soccer, in the States is the Gold Cup. The Gold Cup is the regional tournament for the Champion of CONCACAF. There are the 2 giants in the USA and Mexico. Mexico has won 5 Gold Cup while the yanks have won 4. They are followed by Costa Rica, Honduras, Canada, El Salvador and Panama. (I am not ranking teams here only just mentioning them as I go.) The Caribbean has a few nations who can battle the top teams in Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica, Cuba and Haiti. Guadeloupe and Martinique (French Departments) have participated in the Gold Cup 5 times. Guadeloupe last 2 times and Martinique 3 times. Puerto Rico an island of close to 4 Million is now fielding a competitive team. We will see if they are one of the last 4 standing in the Caribbean Cup.
All of these teams strive to make the Gold Cup to play the powers in CONCACAF.

Looking at attendance we can see the tournament is slowly increasing in it's attendance. Mexico is the driving force with attencance. They have numbeous nationalist living in the States. These Mexican fans recently sold out Meadowlands Stadium in NY, Houstons Reliant stadium, Dallas stadium. All of these stadiums are over 60,000 so we can see ...as Mexico go ...as goes the attendance of the Goild Cup.
The tournament did have it's troubles during the 2000 and the 2002 tournaments. Not surprising Mexico was knocked out in both of these tournaments in the first knockout games. The 2003 and 2005 tournament got the Gold Cup on steady ground. The 2007 and 2009 Gold Cups both had over 450,000 of total attendance. Both time Mexico played in the maxamium number of games and made the Final.

The future
The Gold Cup 2011 is in it's planning stage. SUM Marketing (which represents MLS) is already preparring for the next marketing plan. They are hoping for the success of the USA, Mexico and Honduras at the World Cup in south Africa. Americans want to know they are watching "good' soccer. If the antional teams do well will help in the notion that MLS and the Gold Cup is "good soccer". SUM marketing wants the Gold Cup to remain in the states. MLS is benefit the most by more exposure.
Gold Cup 2011 will be a very important Gold Cup. The winner will be the representaive at the next Confederations Cup in Brazil. All teams , especially the yanks want to go to the Confederations Cup to prepare the team for the next Gold Cup. The players will be use to the culture, the stadium and the experience of plaing the top teams for the other federations.