Monday, May 2, 2011

CONCAC AF Preliminary draw ....Aruba vs. St. Lucia

St. Lucia national team in Suriname during Caribbean Cup

Aruba is a tiny island off Venezuela. I visited there once. Aruba has beautiful beaches and very clear water. I do not think of soccer when I think of Aruba. For a small island it has about 103,000 people. Aruba is one of the richer Caribbean islands having per capita income of about 23k per year. Yes they have a football league established in 1960. They play in Trinidad Stadium, Aruba. Trinidad Stadium seats about 5,000 spectators. Their coach is Epi Albertus who is Aruban. He just started in 2010. He will compromise his team mostly from the Aruban Division di Honor, the top league in Aruba. This league is well established since 1960. There are 10 clubs in the top league and it has 2 lower leagues for regulation. Aruba seems to have all the right pieces in place to compete in the Caribbean but they have a terrible national team. They played 2 games in 2010 and lost both. 0-3 to Curacao and 0-3 to Venezuela. The national team never played in 2009. They played 4 games in 2008 losing 0-3 to Antigua and Barbuda, 0-1 to Antigua and Barbuda (home game) then they tied Curacao 0-0, lost 1-3 to Grenada. I had to go back to 2000 to find a win. The win was against the then hapless Puerto Rico.

St Lucia has about 174,000 in populations. The per capita is about $10k per year for its residents. This is a poor island but has a newer stadium called George Odlum Stadium in Vieux Fort, St Lucia. The Stadium fits about 7,000 spectators. St Lucia had no money to maintain the stadium built by the Chinese government in 2000. It recently received $ to fix this newer fixture. Their coach is a St Lucia native Terrence Caroo. Saint Lucia last World Cup Qualifying they won their first round against Turks and the Caicos Islands. (3-2 aggregate). Then they lost 9-1 on aggregate in the second round to a strong Guatemala team. St Lucia has recently played in the 2010 Caribbean Cub and were stuck in a most difficult group. St Lucia had to travel to Surname in South America. There they only lost 0-1 to the host. Then they lost 1-2 to Guyana a neighboring South American Country. Then they tied Curacao 2-2. Both of the St Lucia proved to be a competative team here in South America. The team will mostly come from the newer top pro league in St Lucia. The top league will be called the Premier Division. The Premier division will have 8 clubs. There is relegation to a 8 club First Division. The First division also has regulation to the second Division. 2011 will be the first time for this (3 tier )setup.

I believe St Lucia has the expereince of playing in the Caribbean Cup against 3 strong teams. This experience will propell them past Aruba to reach Round 1.


Lorric said...

I am in agreement. I thought this would be a toss up, but it seems St. Lucia is the stronger team and their results in the Caribbean Cup qualifiers were respectable. Add to that 2nd leg at home, and I think the seed will prevail. Aruba could surprise us, but it looks like St. Lucia will progress. If FIFA allow the system that is.

pay per head reviews said...

I have heard of Aruba, but like a touristic destination, I never thought they had a soccer league there and I have a question, can the players from Aruba play for Venezuela national soccer team??