Saturday, February 2, 2013

New CONCACAF members?

“Martinique, Guadeloupe, Saint Martin and French Guyana reiterate their intention to become full Member Associations”

I think this will be good for CONCACAF to add these territories as full members. They would rise the bar in the Caribbean in international competition. The 2013 Gold Cup will be the 13th Gold Cup played. Martinique and Guadeloupe each have participated 3 times. This will mark the 4th time for Martinique. These 2 French territories have proven to provide steady and well organized teams during the Gold Cup. CONCACAF need more quality teams and these islands would greatly add to the World Cup qualifying tournament, Caribbean Cup games and as mentioned the Gold Cup.

If I were ranking the Caribbean both Martinique and Guadeloupe would be placed high.
1.      Jamaica
2.      Haiti
3.      Trinidad & Tobago
4.      Cuba
5.      Martinique
6.      Guadeloupe
7.      Antigua & Barbuda
8.      Dominican Republic
9.      Guyana
10.  Suriname
11.  Puerto Rico

Saint Martin and French Guyana (South America) would not place quality teams in CONCACAF. Saint Martin has under 40,000 inhabitants on their island. The island reminds me of Hispaniola. Hispaniola is split between Haiti and Dominican Republic. Saint Martin is split with the Dutch territory Sint Maarten. Maybe this population (island) could join Guadeloupe or Martinique as a joint addition. It just does not have the population or a quality team to field.
French Guyana is located in South America. This is another tiny French territory that has a population under 250,000. Over time they could produce a quality team to compete in the Caribbean but in CONCACAF is another idea.
All in all I believe we would get 2 good nations and two bad ones in terms of quality soccer teams. I believe we will still get either Martinique or Guadeloupe in the Gold Cup. Once the Gold cup expands to 16 we may see both nations. 

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