Preview: 2014 Caribbean Cup – Group B
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.
ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA
This National Team has grown quite a lot in the recent years: anyway they should be the weaker team in this Group, but they could collect few points and have few slight chance to qualify.
The majority of the footballers of this squad play in the local League or in English lower division, anyway there are few exception.
The stars of this team are the left back Zaine Francis-Angol, who is a regular starter at Motherwell FC (Scottish first tier) and the striker Dexter Blackstock (Nottingham Forest FC, Championship), who has scored several goals in the English second tier, mostly with QPR and Forest, but he hasn’t played a lot since a couple of seasons ago.
Other notable players are the defender Quinton Griffith (Charleston Battery, USL Pro, American third tier), the midfielder Josh Parker (Domžale, Slovenian first tier), the winger Myles Weston (Sothend United, League Two, English fourth tier): two youngsters, the defender Connor Peters (18, Swansea City) and the striker Calaum Jahraldo-Martin (21, Hull City AFC) play in the Youth or reserve teams of English Premier League teams, but they haven’t appeared with the First Team yet.
This is a quite competitive squad, with more than decent footballers that are playing all over the world, including India (Sony Norde, defender of Mohun Bagan) and Tanzania (Leonel Saint-Preux, an Azam FC’s striker): they may have some chances to win this Competition.
The best GK is Johnny Placide (regular starter at Stade de Reims, Ligue 1), while the main defenders are Mechack Jerome (Montreal Impact, MLS), Judelin Aveska (CA Gimnasia y Esgrima de Jujuy, Argentinian second tier), Jean-Jacques Pierre (SM Caen), Kim Jaggy (FC Aarau left back), Jean Alcénat (Petrolul Ploiesti right back) and Réginal Goreaux (FC Rostov right back), probably the best player in the squad.
The most interesting midfielder is Jeff Louis (Standard Liège), while other notable names are Pascal Millien (right back of Fidelis Andria, Italian third tier), Soni Mustivar (Petrolul Ploiesti) and the “Polish” duo composed by Emmanuel Sarki and Wilde Donald Guerrier (left winger), who are both playing for Wisla Krakow.
The forward is probably the weaker part of the team, because there are no prolific top striker: the most important ones should be Hervé Bazile (SM Caen) and Kervens Belfort (Frejùs).
This is a quite competitive team, with no big stars, but without big weaknesses, because, like Trinidad and Tobago, all the players are more or less on the same level, that could be compared to the one of the English Championship: all the Jamaicans play in four Countries: Jamaica, USA (and Canada), England and Norway.
Duwayne Kerr (Sarpsborg 08, Norway) or Andre Blake (Philadelphia Union) should be the starter GK, while in the defence we can find Alvas Powell (Portland Timbers, MLS), Jermaine Taylor (Houston Dynamo, MLS), Demar Phillips (left back of Aalesund FK, Norwegian first tier) and probably the two most experienced players of the team, Nyron Nosworthy (unattached, former Sunderland and Watford centre back) and Wes Morgan (Leicester City, but he also spent ten years at Nottingham Forest).
The main midfielders are Rodolph Austin (Leeds United), Simon Dawkins (Derby County), Jobi McAnuff (Leyton Orient), Je-Vaughn Watson (FC Dallas), while on the front we can find Dane Richards (Bodø/Glimt, Norwegian first tier), Darren Mattocks (Vancouver Whitecaps, MLS), Deshorn Brown (Colorado Rapids, MLS) and Jamar Loza (Norwich City, but he’s usually loaned to teams playing in lower divisions).
This is a very competitive team: it’s true that several footballers play in the local League, whose level shouldn’t be too high, but few other ones are very experienced in strong European Championships, such as the biggest star of this squad, and maybe of the whole tournament as well, Julien Faubert, who is currently playing for Bordeaux and in the past he has also had spells with Real Madrid, West Ham United and he has been capped for France.
In the goal there are Kevin Olimpa (a starter at Platanias FC, Greece) and Steeve Elana (back-up at Lille OSC), while in the defence we can find the centre-backs Jean-Sylvain Babin (Granada CF), Rémi Maréval (unattached, former defender of FC Tours, FC Nantes, SV Zulte Waregem, KAA Gent and Maccabi Tel Aviv), Marvin Esor (LB Châteauroux) and the right back Christopher Glombard (Stade de Reims).
In the midfield there are Mickael Malsa (FC Sochaux), Dominique Pandor (AS Monaco II) and the winger Mathias Coureur (Cherno More Varna, Bulgaria), while the main forwards are Yoann Arquin (Ross County FC, Scotland), Bedi Buval (SC Olhanense, Portugal), Geoffrey Malfleury (Le Havre AC) and Harry Novillo (Clermont Foot, Ligue 2).