Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Caribbean Cup 2010

Caribbean Cup 2010

(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.


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.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Puerto Rico Sevilla FC

Looks liek Puerto Rico is getting a new stadium for the team Selilla FC.
Here is Sevilla post on matter
Coinciding with the taking of the official team photo will take an act of inauguration of the administrative offices, "Juncos SevillaFCPR.
Alfredo Alejandro. Yesterday also held a meeting in the restaurant's Fork Juncos, attended by the Mayor. The same was confirmed on August, to begin the stadium project. The chosen sites that already have parking and lighting, are at the foot of the mountains of El Yunque, an area of great natural beauty and access from the highway.
This has raised the possibility of exploiting the project, with the construction of low malls, cinemas and restaurants that allow self-finance it. Furthermore, the construction of a hotel nearby, invite enable MLS and USL teams to make their pre-season here.
The last thing that was discussed is the incorporation of SevillaFCPR-Juncos in the second division. This issue will be brought up for discussion next Saturday. Since the BA. Conaway has initiated proceedings in the State Department for our new Sevilla Atletico. . The team consists of players under-20 and the less common of the first team to play assigned for more minutes.

Estadio Nacional de futbol de Nicaragua

This is a video clip of the new Nicaragua National soccer stadium.

Presently Nicaragua is hosting Costa Rica ad Honduras April 26th 2010. This is from the womans Gold Cup and CAC qualifications. I do not know why they are not using this stadium. They are playing at Estadio Naccional Dennis Martinez in Managua.

second video

you tube