Preview: 2014 Caribbean Cup – Group A
The 2014 Caribbean Cup will take place from the 11th to the 18th of November in Jamaica, and all the matches will be played at Montego Bay: this Competiton is contested by national teams representing Federations that are affiliated with the Caribbean Football Union (CFU), that is a part of the CONCACAF Confederation.
Jamaica and Cuba qualified directly to the Final Stage, being, respectively, the Host and the Title Holder, while the other teams had to play a Qualifying Stage: we won’t speak about that, so, if you are interested, we suggest you to visit the Wikipedia page.
For the first time, both the Final and the Qualifying Stages have been played during FIFA official international match periods, so all the clubs are obliged to release their players that have been called-up by National Teams.
The Final Stage consists of two Groups of four teams eachone, whose second placed will play the Third Placed Final, and whose winners will battle to win the Title in the Final.
All the Semi-finalists will directly qualify for 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup, that will be played in USA, while the team that will end in fifth place (the best third placed team in the Group Stage) will have to play a Play-off match against the fifth placed in the 2014 Copa Centroamericana, in order to qualify for 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup. Moreover, the winner of this Competition will contest in 2016 Copa América Centenario, a tournament, that will be held in USA, jointly organized by CONMEBOL and CONCACAF to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the South American Confederation.
It is probably the biggest question mark of this Cup: they are the Title holders, so they must be included among the favorites, but it’s not easy to know something about this team and its footballers.
All the components of this squad plays in the local League, and all of them are officially amateurs, because Cuba is still formally a communist State, and professionalism is believed to generate inequality.
Cuba usually doesn’t let its players play abroad, so in the past few of them have escaped while being USA for an away trip with the National Team, and obviously they have never come back to Cuba again, and anyway they wouldn’t be accepted by Cuban Federation again. However, few of the most important players should be the defenders Jorge Luís Corrales, Yénier Márquez, the midfielders Alberto Gómez and the forwards José Ciprian Alfonso, Ariel Martínez and Jesús Rodríguez.
The National Team of Curaçao is the heir of the Dutch Antilles, that dissolved few years ago: anyway, as the Dutch Antilles, Curaçao is neither an independent Country.
As you can imagine, the majority of the components of this squads plays in Holland, few ones in lower divisions, but few ones in Eredivisie as well.
The stars of this team should be the full-back Cuco Martina, a regular starter at Twente FC, the winger Quenten Martinus, who this Season has scored 3 goals in 13 matches at FC Botoșani (Romanian first tier), and the striker Guyon Fernandez, currently unattached, but in the past he has scored several goal for Feyenoord and PEC Zwolle (this will be his debut for Curacao).
Other important players should be the defenders Shelton Martis (Osotspa Saraburi, Thailand, he’s a former defender of Hibernian, WBA and Doncaster Rovers) and Dustley Mulder (Apollon Limassol, he’s a former RKC and Levski Sofia right back), the midfielders Papito Merencia (ADO den Haag), the wingers Gianluca Maria (MVV Maastricht), Charlton Vicento (Willem II), Gevaro Nepomuceno (Petrolul Ploiesti), Gianluca Maria (MVV Maastricht), Ruhairo Meulens (FC Dordrecht) and the forward Prince Rajcomar (currently unattached, he has scored several goals in Hungary, Iceland and Dutch second tier).
The GK could be the main weakness of this NT, because Rowendy Sumter (Jong Holland, a team that play in Curacao) and Rugenio Josephia (TSV NOAD, Dutch SEVENTH tier) don’t look too reliable, while in the midfield Kemy Agustien (Brighton, he has also played for AZ, RJC, Swansea City and Crystal Palace), who has just decided to represent Curacao, will miss this tournament because of an injury.
This should be one of the weakest teams of this tournament and shouldn’t be able to advance to Semi-finals.
The best players of this team are surely Donovan Léon, who is a regular starter at AJ Auxerre (Ligue 2) and should be one of the best GKs of this Competition, and the forward/winger Roy Contout (Mouscron, Belgian first tier), who has also played for FC Metz, Amiens SC, AJ Auxerre and FC Sochuax).
Their teammates play mainly in the local Championship or in French lower divisions: the most notable names should be the defenders Kévin Rimane (PSG B), Gael Torvic (TSV 1860 Rosenheim, German fifth tier, but he spent last season at PS Kemi, Finnish third tier), the experienced midfielder Sylvio Breuler (36, unattached, but he has had a decent experience in Belgian top tier), and the striker Gary Pigrée (AJ Saint-Georges, Guyanan Championship).
TRINIDAD & TOBAGO
This team is one of the main contenders for the final victory: there are no very big stars in this squad, anyway the general level of this team is more than decent, more or less the one of the English second tier, because several footballers play in the Championship or in the top tier of average European Leagues.
The best players should be Justin Hoyte (FC Milwall, a former Arsenal, Middlesbrough and Sunderland defender), Khaleem Hyland (KRC Genk midfielder) and, the most famous one, Kenwyne Jones (Cardiff City), a striker who has scored several goals in Championship and Premier League for Southampton, Sunderland and Stoke City.
The other oner are spread all over the world: all the three GKs play in Trinidad & Tobago, Joevin Jones (HJK, full-back), Aubrey David (FF Jaro, defender), Jamal Gay (RoPS, midfielder) and Shahdon Winchester (FF Jaro, striker) play in Finland, Radanfah Abu Bakr (FK Kruoja Pakruojis, defender) in Lithuania, Daneil Cyrus (Hà Nội T&T, defender) and Hughtun Hector (Hà Nội T&T, midfielder) in Vietnam, Carlyle Mitchell (Vancouver Whitecaps FC, defender) in Canada, Kevan George (Columbus Crew, midfielder), Kevan Molino (Orlando City, forward, he is in a very good form) and Cordell Cato (San Jose Earthquakes, forward) in USA, Jonathan Glenn (IBV, striker) in Iceland and Lester Petier (Slovan Bratislava, forward) in Slovakia.