Saturday, March 26, 2016

Caribbean Cup 2016

                This tournament will again act as a qualifier for the 2017 Gold Cup. The top 4 teams will get a bids to the tournament while the 5th place nation will enter into a playoff game against the 5th place Central American Cup finalist. This playoff is a great idea in the fact it creates more interest between the 2 regions.
                The Draw: 4 teams were given byes (T&T, Jamaica, Haiti and St Vincent and the Grenadines)
The first round :  The odd thing about the draw was that Group 1 has the 3 highest ranked teams (that did not get byes) A&B , St Kitts and Aruba in the same group.  A&B is in the drivers seat with a 1-0 over Aruba. However anything could happen here with these teams.
Group 2: Grenada should cruise to an easy win here over US Virgin Islands and lowly Sint Maarten. Anything else will be a big upset.

Group 3: Another  quality group with Caribbean power Cuba, the rich Bermuda nation and the South American participant French Guiana. Cuba has the advantage with one win Bermuda in Havana.                            Unfortunately for Cuba they have to travel to South America for their leg.  We could see a changing of the guards here.
Group 4: Dominican Republic, Barbados and Curacao. Ugggg. Barbados have been producing quality teams these last fee cycles, Playing the yanks in the last World Cuip qualification. Curacao (formally Netherlands Antilles) has that Dutch mentality and show technically sound teams. Barbados slipped by the Dutch island 1-0 and lead this group. Dominican Republic has the huge population of about 8 million and would make thing interesting if they could get this population behind their team.
Group 5 The South American nation of Guyana should battle Puerto Rico for top spot and both should get bye Anguilla. Nothing to report here. Hopefully Puerto Rico can incorporate their domestic team Puerto Rico inlanders players on the team and create interest on this heavly populated island.
Group 6 Both Guadeloupe and Suriname will beat Saint Martin.
Group 7 Martinique and Dominica will both get by British Virgin Islands. It is just a matter of who win the group.

The secnd round is where and when things get interesting.


Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Panama will host the next Central American Cup

UNCAF Copa Centroamericana logo.png

         The next Central American Cup will be held in Panama --Surprise - Surprise Surprise!
As you can see it is Guatemala's turn to host. Guatemala has not hosted since 2005 and Panama recently hosted in 2011. 

Costa Rica
Costa Rica
El Salvador
Costa Rica
Costa Rica
Costa Rica
United States
Costa Rica

              It seems that Panama's economy, influence and bid "package" was able to influence the bid committee.
          Neither Nicaragua nor Belize has ever host this regional tournament. If I was going to guess I thought it would be either Nicaragua or Belize. Then I would have had odds that Guatemala, El Salvador then Honduras would be next in line to host in that order. So what happened to "who's turn is it?"
Rommell Stadium  has had major renovations for the 2011 tournament. The Stadium now has a nice looking roof for many fans. The last Central American Cup Rommell hosted all the games. I don't see any change here.

The tournament will be 17–28 January 2017.