Stoppage Time – International Football Blog

Caribbean: CFU Club Championship 2010 Preview

Posted in North and Central American Football by peterbein on March 15, 2010
CFU logo

The logo for the Caribbean Football Union

It seems that in every major region of the world nowadays there is a football tournament that brings together the cream of the footballing crop to fight it out for the ultimate glory at international level. The Caribbean region is holding a tournament for seventeen of its major club sides from March until May with the competition split into three league stages with the third and final round determining the champion and, along with that, the three sides who will represent the region in the 2010-11 CONCACAF Champions League. Since the tournament commenced in 1997 there have been seven different winners of the competition with all of them coming from either Jamaica or Trinidad & Tobago. The latter country is home to the current champion W Connection FC who, having finished fourth in their domestic championship in 2009, will not be participating in this season’s competition. Three teams have already been given byes to the second round group stage: Puerto Rico Islanders, FC Tempête (Haiti) and San Juan Jabloteh (Trinidad & Tobago).

Each of the groups in the first round are played in a designated venue spread over a number of days. Group A will be played in Willemstad, Netherlands Antilles, from March 16-20 and the two local sides CSD Barber and the 2009 domestic champions Hubentut Fortuna will be hoping to make home advantage count. However they face some tough opposition in the form of Racing Club Haïtien, record champions of Haiti and one of two teams from that country to have won the CONCACAF Champions Cup, who will fancy their chances of progression although this is only their second appearance in this tournament, their maiden appearance in 2001 saw them reach the second round group stage before losing out to W Connection FC. The other side in this group are Puerto Ricans River Plate who were founded in 2007 with help from their more illustrious namesakes from Argentina and are making their maiden appearance in this tournament having won the 2009 Puerto Rico Soccer League (PRSL) regular season.

Only three teams will play in Group B whose games will all be played in Bayamón, Puerto Rico. Local side Bayamón FC have an obvious advantage and the 2009 PRSL play-off champions should get through to the second stage with relative ease. Systems 3 from St. Vincent & the Grenadines and Guyana’s Defense Force make up the rest of the group which will be concluded on March 27th. Group C will be played in Kingstown, St. Vincent & the Grenadines from March 17-21 and the local representatives Avenues United FC will hope to count on local support to get them through a tough group. The obvious favourites to claim top spot are Joe Public FC who are two-time winners of the CFU Club Championship (1998, 2000) and current national champions of Trinidad & Tobago. Leo Victor FC from Surinam haven’t won their domestic championship since 1992 but did perform in this tournament in 2007 reaching the quarter-finals so they are not a team to take lightly. The final team in Group C are Devonshire Cougars, three-time champions of Bermuda, representing a country who is sending a team to this tournament for the first time. Finally Group D will take place in the Guyanan capital Georgetown from March 16-20 in another three team group involving local side Alpha United, Centre Bath Estate from Dominica and Surinam champions Walking Boys Company FC.

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