Error message

  • Notice: Undefined index: nid in views_handler_field_term_node_tid->pre_render() (line 98 of /var/www/html/docroot/sites/all/modules/views/modules/taxonomy/
  • Notice: Undefined index: nid in views_handler_field_term_node_tid->pre_render() (line 98 of /var/www/html/docroot/sites/all/modules/views/modules/taxonomy/


Why not Guadeloupe? The case for the French overseas department to win the Gold Cup

One of the best subplots to follow throughout the course of a Concacaf Gold Cup is the evolving power rankings of the nations looking to end the United States and Mexico's hegemony of the region. 

And with the USMNT sending a B Team under the direction of an interim manager and El Tri in disarray with their own interim boss, this summer looked as good a time as any for the likes of Canada and Jamaica to strive for glory.

The Reggae Boyz signaled their intent on the tournament's opening day with a deserved 1-1 draw against the U.S., but Canada's been found lacking after starting their campaign with back-to-back stalemates.    

The Canucks being held to a 2-2 draw at BMO Field in Toronto by Guadeloupe has been the most eye-catching result so far, and the Gwada Boys followed that up with a 4-1 win over Cuba on Saturday night in Houston to go top of Group D.

Could Guadeloupe manage the unthinkable and challenge for the Gold Cup?

There are certainly shades of the famous 2007 team. That's when Guadeloupe qualified for their first-ever Gold Cup and ended up reaching the semifinals. They had Mexico level at 0-0 in front of over 50,000 at Soldier Field before Pável Pardo's match-winner in the 70th-minute.

That Guadeloupe team was led by forward Jocelyn Angloma, who was named as an All-Tournament Team Honorable Mention. Fast forward 16 years and he's now the manager of Guadeloupe.

The squad relies heavily on its connection with France as an overseas department (a connection that makes them ineligible for FIFA membership and World Cup qualification), so almost the entire starting lineup plays professionally in Europe.

There's a lot of quality here, and that was fully on display during Guadeloupe's fourth against Cuba. This is Anthony Baron, a 30-year-old defender who plays in the Swiss Super League with Servette. He might've scored the Goal of the Tournament. 

Guadeloupe also got two goals from Matthias Phaëton, a 23-year-old who just had a breakthrough year in France's second division with Grenoble and got bought by CSKA Sofia for $2.2 million. Thierry Ambrose scored against Canada and is 26 now, but he was once a highly touted player in Manchester City's academy and played for France at the U-19 level.  

To bring it all together, Guadeloupe has a talented shot-stopper in 23-year-old Bordeaux product Davy Rouyard. The 2007 team also had a great keeper as Franck Grandel captured the Top Goalkeeper award.

The Gwada Boys play Guatemala on Tuesday at Red Bull Arena in New Jersey with the winner taking top spot in Group D and the loser likely getting eliminated (assuming Canada beats Cuba). Gold Cup fever is here to strike you down.

Videos you might like