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.
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.


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?


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


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.