Call me crazy, but I have a hunch Guadeloupe who qualified for their first ever Gold Cup could be dangerous in a somewhat weak group based in Miami. Costa Rica has a squad in transition and Haiti’s team lacks depth and experience. I like Canada to win Group A, but believe that Guadeloupe could sneak into second place. Here’s why: Guadeloupe has actually produced by way of lineage some of the best players in World Football, like Thierry Henry, William Galas, Louis Saha and Sylvian Wiltord. Now that Guadeloupe has its own national team, players that trace their lineage to Guadeloupe will be eligible to play for either the island or for France. (Guadeloupe is a principality of France.)
This Guadeloupe team could be good. They could also be quite bad having never played as a unit before. But if the number of players on a team that play in top divisions in Europe is any indication Guadeloupe will be far from the worst team in this competition. David Sommiel is a player I am familiar with from his time at Manchester City and he is a quality full back, and a good organizer which a team full of players that have never played together could use.
For Guadeloupe to have any chance to advance they need points in tonight’s match up versus Haiti. It would also be helpful if Canada and Costa Rica draw. Though, for a tiny island like Guadeloupe they have already achieved success by advancing through qualifying to the Gold Cup itself.