Monday, April 11, 2011

CONCACAF new member ....Curacao

There will be a new flag in CONCACAF that we will all be looking at. The new team/nation of Curacao formed after the Netherland Antilles was disolved in 2010. Curacao also becomes FIFA newest member this month. Curacao will take on the old records of the Netherland Antilles for historical statistics. Curacao was the biggest and most populous of the Netherland Antilles islands. It is an island in the Caribean Sea, off the Venezuelan Coast. It is also the largest of the ABC islands (Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao) which are all neighboring islands. The population of Curacao (142,180) is the 12th most populous nation in the Caribbean behind Saint Lucia (168,178) and ahead of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines (110,000). Curacao has a 10 team professional league that has been in existence for some time. This league will do well to provide quality feeder players to the national team. However when World Cup Qualifying starts we will be sure to see professionals from the Dutch league dominate the roster. Curacao will play their home games in the Capitol of Curacao, Willemstad. Curacao will play their home games at the stadium of Stadion Ergilio Hato. The stadiums capacity is 15,000 which is huge for any Caribbean nation.

World Cup qualification What can we expect from this new CONCACAF member? I think Curacao will not be a big change from the former Netherlant Antilles. The former Netherland Antilles played well in the last World Cup Qualifying campaign. They drew the big (population wise) Central American nation of Nicaragua.They shut out Nicaragua in the first game 1-0 at the Estadio Diriangen, Nicaragua in front of 7,000 hostial fans. Then they returned to the capitol of Curacao and shut out Nicaragua again 2-0 (March 26th, 2010). Nicaragua does not have much of a national team however a win in World Cup Qualifying is a win.There was a record crowd of 9,000 spectators at Stadion Ergillo Hato in the first round on qualifying. The second record was the other game in Nicaragua. This was very encouraging for Curacao to lead Round 1 in attendance. .. Round 2 . They advanced to the next round only to meet Haiti. They played Haiti to a 0-0 draw in Port-au-Prince in front of 6,000 hostile fans. They returned home to be greeted my another Caribbean monster crowd of 9,000 fans. They conseeded the only goal of World Cup Qualifying in the 77 minute. The goal was an own goal as a matter of fact. We could say that Curacao was not even scored on in the last World Cup Qualifying. This is there the ride stopped for the Nethernland Antilles. I was expecting big thing from Netherland Antilles in the Caribbean Cup 2010 but they did not make the final 8. They reason for this is they were stuck in a very difficult group with Suriname, Guyana and St Lucia and the games were played in Suriname, South America. They lost 2-1 to Surname and 3-2 to Guyana then tied St Lucia in a non factor game 2-2. Since the Netherland Antilles was disolved in October 10, 2010 tis would have been the last game they played under the Netherland Antilles. I expect to see Curacao to again participate in the next World Cup Qualifying cycle. There is a new soccer federation in place so it could take a few years for it all to shake out. Hopefully there will be minimal coruption.

Presently Curacao is ranked 21st in CONCACAF’s Fifa ranking. Curacao should be placed into Round 1 in the fall of 2011. This round will have 6 groups of 4 nations playing home/away games. There should be 2 nations ranked higher than them (Caracao) but we can all throw the ranking out when World Cup Qualifying takes place.

Future outlook

I am looking forward to see this new flag to be waved under the CONCACAF banner. Look for the bright blue uniforms with a large yellow stripe across the middle distinguish Curacao from the other bright uniforms of the Caribbean. Look for quality Dutch professionals to greatly enhance their team when World Cup Qualifying starts later this year. If the last WCQ was any indication then we should expect Curacao to again lead the Caribbean in attenadnce. If Curacao keeps it's form on defense then they will be a difficult match for anyone in Round 1.


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Lorric said...

Perhaps you already knew, but Netherlands Antilles has turned into Curacao on the FIFA World Rankings site too.