I love soccer tournaments because the passion that they bring from the fans. It is nice to track the tournament in group play and see how your nation stacks up against the other teams in the group. You always want your team to advance and see exciting soccer. Well the biggest tournament is coming up this summer in South Africa and Concacaf nations can see how their representatives stack up against the rest of the World. The Yanks and Mexico are traditional players in the world even but this year we will see how Honduras stacks up. We should all be pulling for out CONCACAF teams. While this tournament will catch the World attention another tournament will be going on with in CONCACAF. Puerto Rico will be hosting the Central American and Caribbean (CAC) games in Mayasa, Puerto Rico. The U-21 Nations teams will battle for this title.
There will be 4 teams from the Central American region and 4 Caribbean nations for a total of 8 nations. The groups should have 2 nations from each region to create interest. Puerto Rico automatically qualified since they are hosting.
The qualification for Central America (4 spots)
El Salvador played a home and away against Honduras. These two have a rich history against each other after the “Soccer War”. El Salvador really needed to win just so their country can have someone to cheer for during the World Cup games. El Salvador won 1:0 on Honduras soil then held them to a tie 0:0 at the famous Cascatalan stadium. El Salvador will advance to the CAC games in Puerto Rico. f
Belize played Nicaragua in a home and away. These 2 nations are clearly the bottom two teams in Central America. Pitting them against each other was a good idea. At least one will make the CAC tournament. Both nations need the exposure and experience of playing in big tournaments. Belize surprisingly won 1:0 in Belize. The return trip to Nicaragua new national stadium was another story. Nicaragua won 2:1. This score propelled Belize into the CAC tournament. Belize got through because they had more away goals.
Panama played Guatemala. Guatemala use to be the better nation however Panama has come a long way in 10 years and are now considered the superior nation to advance on both the national and youth levels. Guatemala missed the last Gold Cup and the new national team will have to develop in the youth ranks. This is a perfect time to regain the high stature they had in Central America. Panama held Guatemala scoreless in the first game 0::0 in Guatemala. Then Panama posted a 3:0 shutout of Guatemala in Panama. Panama continues to improve.
Costa Rica the heavy favorite will play Nicaragua for the last spot. The game will take place
April 11 and April 18th..