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.