Thursday, October 14, 2010
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.
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 .
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 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.