Amongst all of the Caribbean nations, you have your major ones like Jamaica, Bermuda, and Puerto Rico. But, for the first time ever, a tiny nation of just over 250,000 is on the biggest stage they’ve ever seen, as French Guiana competes in the Gold Cup for the first time.
CONCACAF Gold Cup 2017 Preview: French Guiana
Introduction to the Article
The crew from Soccer 2 the MAX, Rachael McKriger, Erik Watkins and Sean Garmer each took a group and have done previews for each squad ahead of the CONCACAF Gold Cup 2017 tournament. They give a little about of information on their history in the tournament. Their recent form, the manager and the squad. After that, they give a Player to Watch, and discuss what could happen. Finally, they give their prediction on the team’s final place in the tournament. Hopefully, you enjoy our team preview articles.
Gold Cup History
French Guiana join Curaçao as the two debutantes at this year’s event. However, Les Yana Dòkòs came painfully close once before. After poor finishes in the 1995 and 2012 Caribbean Cups (the only two times they qualified in five attempts, not including withdrawing in 1999). French Guiana beat Curaçao to finish third in their group and advance to a playoff against Honduras. After winning the first leg 3-1 on home soil, they lost in Honduras 3-0 to end their dream.
Gold Cup 2017 Team Roster
Goalkeepers – 1 Simon Lugier, 16 Jean-Banuel Petit-Homme, 22 Donavan Leon
Defenders – 2 Hugues Rosime, 3 Marvin Torvic, 6 Kévin Rimane, 7 Anthony Soubervie, 8 Jean-David Legrand, 14 Grégory Lescot, 17 Inrick Baal
Midfielders– 5 Cédric Fabien, 10 Loïc Baal, 13 Miguel Haabo, 15 Florent Malouda, 20 Marc Edwige, 23 Ludovic Baal
Forwards – 4 Rhudy Evans, 9 Arnold Abelinti, 11 Roy Contout, 12 Mickaël Solvi, 18 Sloan Privat, 19 Jules Haabo, 21 Schaquille Dutard
Since French Guiana is an overseas department of France, French Guiana is not allowed to qualify for, or participate in a World Cup. Therefore, the only matches French Guiana has played in 2017 are the two final-round matches of the Caribbean Cup, where they finished 3rd. (In qualification to the tournament, French Guiana finished with 4W-0D-2L.)
French Guiana is in a unique situation, as they have two managers Jaїr Karam and Marie-Rose Carême. Both joined the team in 2013, and Carême joined the team after a three-year stint at local club ASC Le Geldar. Where he guided them to the 2010 league title. Notably, Carême was also manager from 2004-05.
Player to Watch
Sloan Privat turns heads whenever he dons the green and gold. In just three caps, Privat has already registered six international goals. This includes a natural hat trick against Haiti in the third round of Caribbean Cup qualification. Having spent time in both Ligue 1 in France and in the Belgian top flight. Expect Privat to be the main target in French Guiana’s attack.
Getting Through the Group
For French Guiana, it’s baby steps. If Les Yana Dòkòs score more than one goal, let alone earn a point, it’s a major victory for the team who shares a border with Brazil. However, facing three teams who are in at least close to top form, it could be a long, painful two weeks. The one plus side, their roster sets itself up for a very nice 4-3-3 formation to use.
French Guiana begin against Canada on July 7 in the opening match of the tournament. After that, it’s Honduras on July 11. Finally, they finish things with Costa Rica on July 14. Without a doubt, these are the three biggest matches in the tiny nation’s history. There’s plenty of French experience to guide the troops along, which could lead to some shock moments. However, each of the other three teams should use their match against French Guiana as a barometer and a tiebreaker for how they advance.
Sadly, to borrow a poker term, French Guiana comes into the tournament as dead money. They have three big games to look forward to, and plenty of memories they can cherish during their time in the States. But when it comes to the soccer, the gap is far too wide to expect anything but a minnow’s performance and a last place finish.
Erik’s Prediction: Last Place in Group A
Sean’s Prediction: Last Place in Group A. Rachael’s Prediction Last Place in Group A.
PLAYER TO WATCH: