Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Bahamas National Stadium

Bahamas new national Stadium
    The Bahamas is getting a new national Stadium. The government of China is again exerting it’s influence in the Western hemisphere by building the Bahamas a new national stadium in the capitol of Nassau. The Thomas A. Robinson National Stadium is a $30 million facility that will be able to seat 15,000. This will be best facility in the Caribbean when it is complete.

      It is the centerpiece of the master plan for the Queen Elizabeth Sports Centre. Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture Charles Maynard said “jewel in the crown of what will be a thoroughly modern, world-class Queen Elizabeth Sports Centre with facilities extending over 450 acres.
        The complete transformation of the complex will take about a year so unfortunately it will not be available for World Cup qualifiers this cycle. The Bahamas is up against the Turks and Caicos Islands in the first round. The second round would begin September through November 15th 2011. I do not see the Bahamas advancing out of round 1.
            I do not see the Bahamas being a sensation overnight. I do not even see them being that competitive in the Caribbean Cup. I think national teams in the Caribbean become competitive is from their domestic league and the youth development program.

      The Bahamas was a crappy domestic league. There are only 5 clubs that participate. Soccer is far behind, basketball, baseball, athletics (track and field).
       However, the Bahamas has one of the most advanced development youth programs. There is a nice video on the Bahamas web page explaining all the youth programs kids can play in.
Tomorrow will we see just how far the Bahamas has advanced. ….

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Gold Cup total Attendance 650,000 is the best in history by far...

93,000 plus fans attended the Gold Cup final 2011 in the Rose Bowl

What pisses me off is bad information and CONCACAF is passing out bad information. Ivan Orozco just posted an attendance article about the Gold Cup attendance that has contradictory numbers. He stated that attendance totaled “Pointing to crowds that have totaled 493,232 - the third-best in the history of the tournament without counting the final in the Rose Bowl”. These numbers are a contradiction in what CONCACAF is posting. This is the highest attended Gold Cup by far……..Orozco is not off my a little, he is off by about 80 thousands. I have no idea where Orozco has pulled these numbers from. Maybe Orozco can not add.

       Here are my attendance numbers that I added from the CONCACAF web site. Group stage games totaled 362,000.

      Group A Played at a sold out Dallas Stadium 80k, Then had a great turnout of 65k at Bank of America NC and finished with 77k in Chicago for a total of 222,000 in Group A. This was outstanding for group A.
      Group B opened at the Home Depot Center with 22k, traveled to Miami (18k) with the smallest attended match, than got a great NY crowd of 25k in Red Bull arena. This group totaled 65,000.
       Group C was the yanks group. They started in Ford Field and got 28k in Detroit. Then they traveled to sunny Tampa Bay and got another 28k at Roland James Stadium. They finished up at KC new Sporting Stadium which was a sellout at 20k. This group totaled 75,000.
       Total group attendance is simple. Add the groups. I got this total by simply adding Group A (222,000) Group B (65,000) and Group C (75,000). The total is 363,000.
       Knockout Rounds attendance:
   Now the knockout games. The quarter finals were played at RFK Stadium and Houston’s Reliant Stadium. It was reported that RFK had attendance of 45,423. Houston did outstanding once again with 78,807 in attendance. The Semifinals in New York Meadowlands had 70,627 and the Finals totaled 93,420. To get a total for the knockout rounds I just added 45k in D.C, 79k in Houston, 71k in Meadowlands and 93,000 from the Rose Bowl. The knockout rounds totaled 288k.
     Yes I attended High school and had algebra. I even went to college and took Calculus I, II and III. I have children that can add but CONCACAF officials can not add these numbers. Knockout rounds of 288k plus the groups of 362k equals 650k. Can you hear me, this simple math equation...the totals..... ..650k….

This attendance figure makes this the most attended Gold Cup in History! This is the attendance numbers CONCACAF should be boasting about.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Gold Cup (states) and U-17 FIFA World Cup Mexico

Rose Bowl will be the location of the GOLD Cup final
 
There are 2 main soccer competitions going on presently in CONCACAF. The Gold Cup that is being played in the states and FIFA U-17 World Cup in Mexico.

The Gold Cup will have its conclusion tonight. The 2 huge rivals USA vs Mexico will be on display on Pasadena’s Rose Bowl. These 2 nations will highlight the CONCACAF region. They both have their own contrasting style of play. The Mexican team plays a very tight passing game similar to the Spanish/Barcelona style. The Mexican team plays an attractive game with the ball at their feet. My yanks play a more athletic, fast counter attacking style like the English/English Premier league. These 2 styles will be on display tonight. The winner will qualify for the 2013 Confederations Cup Brazil.

The Rose Bowl holds over 90,000 spectators and the game should be a sell out. This sell out will make this tournament the most successful tournament, in the states, attendance wise. I will give my attendance stats after tournament.

I am hoping for an entertaining game between the 2 giants of CONCACAF. I am also hoping for no bad calls from the ref. Last years penalty in the box against Jay Heaps (USA) was a joke. It was the Mexican who should have received the yellow card. This penalty led to a penalty goal which changed the dynamic of the game. This year’s the bad call was against Jamaican (Taylor). It was Jeremy Jones (USA) who should have been given a yellow for his flop. I was quite embarrassed for the flops in this game until I witness the El Salvador v Panama game after in Washington DC. El Salvador was flopping over the field like fish out of water. They continually looked for the ref with their hands in the air. It was a great effort by the team against Panama but the flops were ridiculous.

U-17 World Cup Mexico

CONCACAF has 5 nations participating but it look like only 2 will advance with some luck.

Mexico has won thief Group and will advance to the knockout round. They should be commended for advancing here.

The yanks are in the tightest group will all teams have 3 points. The winners from today’s games will advance. The USA is up against a very formidable New Zealand team today. I think the yanks will need some luck to advance here.

Jamaica was placed in a very formidable group of Argentina, Japan and France. The Reggae Boyz have been bounced from the tournament with 2 losses and one tie. The lone Caribbean rep played well against The European power of France and South American giant Argentina.

Canada is on the outside looking in. They have 1 loss and 1 tie. They will only advance if England Loses against Uruguay and they beat Rwanda then beat out England in the tie breaker. Unlikely but possible.

Panama is the lone Central American participant from CONCACAF. They are unlikely to advance here. They have to beat a very strong Germany nation (unlikely). They also need a strong Ecuador team lose to a very weak Burkina Faso nation (very unlikely).

This tournament will need the USA and Mexico to again carry the CONCACAF banner in these international competitions…..unless something unlikely happens.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Group phase attendance of Gold Cup

Soccer has intrigued me since the 1994 World Cup in the states. This was a new sport on the horizon. I envisioned packed stadiums and crazy fans like the ones who jammed into every bar in Brighton during the World Cup 1994. I have watched the slow growth of MLS from 1996 to 2011. There was the low of 10 teams to it present 19 franchises. The newer stadiums really added to the experience of going to a game. The region of CONCACAF has the Gold Cup bi-annually and I like to look at this event to see how the growth of this event is progressing. It is not exploding nor is it remaining level. It is growing at a nice pace. This is not just a game it is now an event. (I am basing my assessment on attendance and TV ratings.)

Year         Avg        Total

2005       26,164      340,131

2007        37,597     488,772

2009       36,053     468,688

2011       40,222

Well here are the numbers. Total attendance for 2005 was 340,131. This was the last year guest teams were invited. The 2007 tournament was filled with excitement. This was the first time 12 CONCACAF teams participated. Total attendance for 2007 was 488,772. 2009 did not drop off totaling 468,888(no Confederations Cup to play for) when teams did not send all top starts. This Gold Cup I am just going to compare groups since the total attendance is not finished. (wikipedia is incorrect in it attendance. Attendance figures can be obtained from CONCACAF we site. I only count 1 attendance figure for double headers since it is the same person in the seat for each game. I will not count the same person twice)

I see the 3 groups this way. There is the Mexican group, USA’s group and the other group. Mexcio’s group has outpaced the other 2 groups by far. This Gold Cup is no different. USA’s group had a total of 75,000 (rounding) total attendance. This figure is only up from 66,000 in the 2009 group phase. I think this is a very good attendance figure since the yanks did not have another good drawing team. The yanks were saddled with Canada, Panama and Guadeloupe. The other group total attendance this year is 65,000. This is a big jump from 51,000 in 2009. This group had Honduras and Guatemala anchoring the group with attendance. Honduras fans far outnumbered Jamaican fans in NY. There were many Honduras fans with their Honduras national team jersey and national flag hanging everywhere. The Guatemala fans were much vocal than the Honduras fans at the Home Depot Center.

This big mover is Mexico’s attendance. Mexico’s group in 2009 was the highest reaching 104,000. This year they soared to 222,000.this year topped out at 222,000. This group is carrying the Gold Cup in attendance. 88k turned out in Dallas. Then 65k attended the games in North Carolina. Chicago was another huge success with 77k in the windy city. El Salvador is one of the top 5 fan based nations in the states. They also contributed to the record breaking group attendance figures.

222,000 is huge since the Total attendance for the 2005 Gold Cup was only 340,000. The Mexico again has been the catalyst for fan support in these tournaments and will continue to be so. This Gold Cup is on course to break the attendance records of Gold Cup played entirely in the states. This is nice growth. Like I stated before the tournament, this should be a record breaking attendance tournament if Mexico makes it to the final. (I am excluding the 1993 & 2003 figures since the final was in Mexico).

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Belize opens CONCACAF WCQ with win

  • Belize opens CONCACAF WCQ with a 5-2 victory. This victory was played in T&T since Monseratt has no home field.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Gold Cup Group C is the most competative

Panama celebrates thier first ever victory agains USA
  

Ok the second round of games are finished and we do have a whopper of a surprise.

Let me start with Panama. Panama finally beat the yanks in the states 2-1. This is the first time the yanks have lost in Group play. This is the first time Panama has ever beaten the yanks. They played 8 previous times.” It's an historic moment. We, as a coaching staff, have to keep our feet on the ground to make sure that we are successful in the other games." Said coach Julio Cesar Dely Valdes of Panama. Panama now has 2 wins and leads Group C with 6 points thus securing them a spot in the quarterfinals.

The yanks left the field dejected. They had scoring opportunities but could not convert. Now they can not rest some players like Michael Bradley, Donovan and Dempsey. They yanks gave very hard fouls on Los Canaleros Jones I thought would be the best midfielder however he fouled badly and could have been red carded. Carlos Bocanegra fouled a defenseless Panama at end of game that should have been a red. The foul was petty and uncalled for. I think the Panama players are cry babies after watching them in the last Gold Cup. Panama also foul hard but it was my yanks who stooped to their level this time. Now they have a Guadeloupe team that is talented and has nothing to lose. They are out so they can just play and have fun.

Canada. I have to say they are better than people think. They have a big athletic team. They have good wide players and can service in box. They also have De Rosario and Gerba who can score. They will play Panama in last game. Panama is coming off a high of beating the yanks and could be ripe for the picking. Guadeloupe has been red carded in their first 2 games. They went down a man in the 38 minute of the first half against Panama and almost tied Panama but only lost 2-3. Then they went down in the 4th minute against Canada and only lost 0-1. The Canada red card was uncalled for, I thought it was a good tackle but dangerous.

Guadeloupe have proven they are good with 10 men. We will see how they are with 11. The yanks better be ready. This group has proven to be the most competitive top to bottom. I have complained they the yanks should be challenged more in group play and now we have it. Comparing the 2009 attendance with this year is only slightly up, but that is what was expected.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Finally FIFA has pre-dates

There are 10 nations in the pre liminary rounds, so 5 matches. FIFA however only has the one game listed between Belize and Monseratt. Monseratt will be playing in Trinidad and Tobago. Warner probably has a hand in that.

Belize v Monseratt
Doninican Republic v Anguilla
US Virgin Isl vs British Virgin Isl
St Lucia vs Aruba
Bahamas vs Turks and Cacios Isl

  http://www.fifa.com/mm/document/tournament/loc/01/44/46/33/2014fwc_drawprocedures_northcentralamericacaribbean.pdf

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Opening round thoughts

J. Hernandez scores 3 against El Salvador
Ok, every team has a game under their belts. A quick thought on the tournament so far. The opening game between Costa Rica 5-0 and Cuba was as lopsided as the score. Costa Rica is as good as Cuba was bad. Costa Rica will challenge Mexico for the top spot. El Salvador played with poise until the flood gates opened against Mexico in the second game. Once Mexico smelled blood this star studded team opened the offense 5-0 on El Salvador. The opening attendance for a group game was a record at 80,108 in Dallas. This was a great opening night for Gold Cup 2011.

Group B opened to an empty Home Depot Center when (2 Caribbean nations) Jamaica took on Grenada. After watching it on TV, I realized why it was empty. I only counted about 400 to about 1,200 when Jamaica played Grenada. Jamaica looked good enough to go deep in the tournament. The Regga Boyz were tactically better, more athletic and in better shape that the Spice Boyz from Grenada. The second game the attendance rose to slightly over 21,000. After Gold cup 2009, when Costa Rica played El Salvador over 27,000 showed. Since this Gold Cup is more important I was expecting another sell out. There was quite a vocal Guatemala contingent. They cheered when Guatemala did well. Honduras has the talent however they were not to cohesive. I expect them to get better as the “European based” Honduras players get use to each other.

Group C Panama vs. Guadeloupe there were crickets in the stands. Again only a few hundred people were there at the beginning of this game. Panama takes a 3-0 lead only to see Guadeloupe give them a scare and score 2 second half goals. Panama got what they wanted which was 3 points. Guadeloupe is still a dangerous team. The yanks played a 4-4-2 and waited patiently for Canada to make a mistake. Canada played a very slow ball control game. The yanks pulled out a very boring 2-0 victory. Only a miniscule crowd of 28, 209 showed up in Detroit. So no MLS team will be going there. They should have played this in the small MLS stadium. Oh well.

I am looking forward to seeing more J. Hernandez who leads the Gold Cup with 3 goals. Mexico surprised me with their height advantage over El Salvador. My yanks did not look to fluid and did not play an attractive game…(but I am always hard on my yanks). I want them to play like Brazil. I like J. Jones on the ball in the middle. He is calm with people around him. The young tandem of Ream and Goodson played well together in the middle. I am glad Costa Rico will be in the other group. I think Mexico and Costa Rica will play twice. I see Mexico, Costa Rica and the yanks as the top contenders. Jamaica, Canada, Panama looking good. The jury is out on Honduras, they have to get their act together but they can afford it in this group. El Salvador, Guatemala and Guadeloupe are a step behind the pack. Cuba and Grenada make me wish we were still inviting guess teams.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Gold Gup preview

I was going to write a quick article on the Gold Cup preview but Michael Lewis does a good job here.



My feeling is that CONCACAF is in disarray in it's leadership at his time. The Gold Cup will take our minds off the ugliness, corruption and backstabbing for a while. The 12 team tournament almost guarantee the yanks and Mexico to reach the final as long as neither does not come in 3rd in their group.

The attendance for this Gold Cup should break both the 2007 and 2009 records as long as the final has Mexico. I look for the yanks to play hard and restore the confidence in it’s fans after the Spanish 0-4 defeat. Mexico is confident and determined to repeat and get the Confederations berth in Brazil. The challengers will be Canada, Costa Rica and possibly Jamaica. Honduras, Panama and Guadeloupe could create great stories if they advance past quarterfinals. Cuba, Guatemala, el Salvador and Grenada are a step behind.

I hope for there are no favorable calls the wreck any tournament.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup preview

Bryan RuizThis is not a preview of each team but rather a preview of each nations "camp". Steven Davis does an ok job here to give hus view on this cup.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Aruba vs St Lucia will open the CONCACAF World Cup qualification

I can oly assume at this point that the CONCACAF new format is adopted.
  • Blatter is relieved that he was re ellected. this is last go around for his money grab.
  • Jack Warner is not on speaking terms with General Secretary Chuck Blazer.
  • Warner is presently suspended from his FIFA post so Blazer does not want to talk to him, Warner is just to hot.
  • Puerto Rico gave evidence of corruption so Warner is not talking to that federation. Puerto Rico is not happy that they were one of the few who missed out of FIFA $ to build soccer in the country. T&T even got $ the last go around and they are a richer country and a more advanced league.
  • 1/2 the caribbean nations are keeping quiet so they are not talking to Warner. The other 1/2 are showing support to Warner, probably they are so poor and grobble at Jack feet for $.
Well this link has a great CONCACAF format to look at.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2014_FIFA_World_Cup_qualification_(CONCACAF).

Aruba will play at St Lucia first June 5th than travel back to Aruba to play at this beautiful stadium.


Aruba soccer building
This first picture is the Aruba technical Center. This was a FIFA goal project. This link has great picture of the facility that shows beds, lockerrooms and http://www.avbaruba.aw/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=55&Itemid=114

Trinidad Stadium, Aruba view from the stands

Trinidad Stadium Field

Aerial view of Trinidad Stadium

Walkway in Trinidad Stadium