Tuesday, June 05, 2007

2007 Concacaf Gold Cup - Group A Preview

Concacaf's regional championship kicks off tomorrow with Group A taking the pitch in Miami. Although this group does not carry a heavy weight, it by no means is a push over and might just provide the most entertaining matches of the whole event.

Fifa rank - 94th
Important players - Dwayne DeRosario, Greg Sutton, Julian DeGuzman
Odds of advancing from group - 2 to 1
Gold Cup Winners - 2000
Canada is a team of the rise but still lack consistent pressure in the midfield and have major problems in defense. However, with Toronto FC finely providing the country with a full on professional team, this is sure to change, but it is going to take some time. Canada is good enough to get out of this group, but they also could fall by the wayside.

Costa Rica
Fifa rank - 52
Important players - Rolando Fonseca, Alonso Solis
Odds of advancing from group - 3 to 2
Costa Rica is the constant underdog with an actual chance in Concacaf and this year is no different. They have excellent technical skills and are crafty at forcing teams to make mistakes plus they have a wonderful ability to almost always get at least one goal a game. That said, they also have a bad habit of having trouble with teams that they really should beat.

Fifa rank - ?
Important player - Jocelyn Angloma
Odds of advancing from group - 8 to 1
This team is really just Jocelyn Angloma who is a former French international along with PSG, Marseilles midfielder. Guadeloupe is a department of France, and Angloma was born there, just the reason he is allowed to play. Anyway, he is good, but at 41, I don't think he will be able to carry this team all alone.

Fifa rank - 85
Important players - Jean-Jacques Pierre, Noel Fabrice
Odds of advancing from group - 4 to 1
Haiti hasn't had much luck in international soccer for many years and this current squad doesn't look much better. However, they should get a good bounce from the ex-pats living in the Miami area. They will get a few goals but their lack of fitness will lead to difficult times late in games.

Predictions: Me - 1. Costa Rica 2. Canada 3. Haiti 4. Guadeloupe
Wife - 1. Costa Rica 2. Canada 3. Haiti 4. Guadeloupe

Schedule (all games will air on Galavision):
In Miami
June 6 - Costa Rica v Canada (7pm ET/4pm PT), Guadeloupe v Haiti (9pm ET/6pm PT)
June 9 - Canada v Guadeloupe (7pm ET/4pm PT), Haiti v Costa Rica (9pm ET/6pm PT)
June 11 - Costa Rica v Guadeloupe (7pm ET/4pm PT), Haiti v Canada (9pm ET/6pm PT)

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