Finally, the group that most of New England has been waiting for!
TURNER! BUCHANAN! HERIVALS! DULYSSE! If only the Revs had signed a Martinican international in the preseason, we would have a full squad represented.
Either way, this will be the band I’m most excited to watch for a variety of reasons, and not all of the New England Revolution ties. Matt Turner has a chance to solidify his place as America’s No.1 goaltender, Tajon Buchanan has another chance to establish his place with Canada’s senior team, and Haiti and Martinique are a few- some of my favorite CONCACAF teams. Haiti has just played a semi-final in the last tournament and I have the chance to play one of my favorites Gold Cup highlights the Martinican legend Fabrice Reuperne. Sorry in advance Canada.
So can the two group favorites in the US and Canada stage a Group B title final match where Matt Turner blocks Tajon Buchanan six times by silencing him after every save or can the underdogs make havoc we know they are capable of?
Sunday July 11 (Kansas City)
Canada vs Martinique, 6.30 p.m. (FS1)
United States vs. Haiti, 9 p.m. (FS1)
Thursday July 15 (Kansas City)
Haiti vs Canada, 7:30 p.m. (FS1)
Martinique vs USA, 10 p.m. (FS1)
Sunday July 18 (Kansas City and Frisco, Texas)
United States vs. Canada, 5 p.m. (Fox)
Martinique vs Haiti, 5 p.m. (FS2)
The Head Coach: John Herdman (ENG)
FIFA Ranking: 70 Nickname: Canucks
Qualification: Nations League A Flight, Group A 2nd place
Appearance: 15th / Better finish: Champion (2000)
List breakdown: 13 MLS, 2 England, 2 Portugal, 1 Germany, 1 South Korea, 1 Scotland, 1 Turkey, 1 Unattached
Recent matches: Won 1st Rd WCQ Group B (record 4-0-0, 12 pts), Won 2nd Rd cumulative series against Haiti 4-0
Player to know: Tajon Buchanan, FM / New England Revolution (MLS / USA) – 4 international appearances, 0 goals – As if we weren’t going to mention the Revs / Canada U23 star. Tajon may not have a goal at the senior level, but he will be a competent option for Canada in this tournament.
Player to watch: Cyle Larin, FWD / Besiktas, 37 international appearances, 15 goals – With Jonathan David and Alphonso Davies injured, the former UConn Husky could lead the Canadian offense for this tournament.
They are a much better Canadian team than they were five years ago, but they are not the best team in Canada either. It’s about small starting goalie Milan Borjan and several key forwards, but unlike in previous years, the Canucks have a lot more depth and talent to draw upon. At full strength, they could be the favorites of the group, but they should still qualify for knockouts and probably also for the semi-finals.
The Head Coach: Jean-Jacques Pierre (HAI)
FIFA Ranking: 83 Nickname: The Grenadiers
Qualification: Nations League Flight A, 3rd place in Group D, Gold Cup qualifiers winners
Appearance: 8th / Better finish: Semi-finals (2019)
List breakdown: 10 Domestic / France, 5 USA (MLS / USL), 1 Portugal, 1 Cyprus, 1 Kazahkstan, 1 Canada (CPL), 1 Ecuador, 1 Romania, 1 Belgium, 1 Denmark
Recent matches: WCQ 2e Rd Agg. Serie L in Canada 0-4, GCQ W’s v Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 6-1, Bemuda 4-1
Players to know: MID Zachary Herivaux and DEF François Dulysse – A tribute to our New England ties with former local Herivaux and current Revs II defenseman Dulysse.
Player to watch: FWD Duckens Nazon and Frantzdy Pierrot, combined 61 appearances and 33 goals – Haiti’s striking partners at the top are a legitimate threat and should give every team in this group an absolute fit.
Haiti canceled its training session and pre-match press conference yesterday because 5 players tested positive for COVID-19.
– Jon Arnold (@ArnoldcommaJon) July 11, 2021
The beloved semi-finalists of 2019 may be lacking in their greatest talent as a goalie and captain Johny Placide. If positive COVID tests hold back so many players from the group stage, it will be difficult to progress with a shortlist. In a different group and under better circumstances, Haiti would have a much better chance in second place, but having to go through qualifying put them in a bad draw. Still, they’re not the best teams in the US or Canada and they’ll be tough even if they miss some of their best players.
The Head Coach: Mario Bocaly (MTQ)
FIFA Ranking: N / A Nickname: The Matinino
Qualification: Nations League A Flight, Group C 2nd place
Appearance: 7th / Better finish: Quarter-finals (2002)
List breakdown: 18 domestic workers, 3 France, 1 Spain, 1 Italy
Wait, I need to piss Canada off real quick …
I fucking love this goal, great call too. Regardless, it’s always difficult to judge Martinique as they are not a full-time member of FIFA. But this is an A Flight Nations League team that has recorded three draws in four games against Honduras and Trinidad, and they’re generally good for a Gold Cup group stage victory, so they’re absolutely spoilers here. even with a largely national list. .
UNITED STATES [USA/B1]
The Head Coach: Gregg Berhalter (United States)
FIFA Ranking: 20 Nickname: The Yankees
Qualification: Hosts / Winners of Nations League A Flight Group A
Appearance: 16th / Better finish: Champions (1991, 2002, 2005, 2007, 2013, 2017)
List breakdown: 19 MLS, 1 Spain, 1 Portugal, 1 Germany, 1 France
Recent matches: W 1-0 against Honduras (NL Semi), W 3-2 against Mexico (NL Final), W 4-0 against Costa Rica (Friendly)
Player to know: Matt Turner, GK New England Revolution (USA / MLS) – 1 international appearance, 1 stop – Like there’s gonna be someone else here, TBM takes Matt Turner full-time USMNT Goalkeeper # 1 and this tournament is his first chance to really bring that idea to fruition outside of New England and MLS.
Player to watch: Daryl Dike, FWD City of Orlando (USA / MLS) – 3 international appearances, 1 goal – There are a lot of big kids on this USMNT roster, Gianluca Busio, Matthew Hoppe, Eryk Williamson among them, but Dike’s performance on loan with Barnsley this year was spectacular and this is his first chance to consolidate his place as USMNT # 9 heads to the World Cup.
So the USMNT is in two minds here, they’re obviously still one of the best teams in the tournament, but they’re a B-team at best. While there’s a lot of talent here, it’s a very inexperienced international team and while winning games is great, the overall goal may be more to find players who will help qualify and perhaps make the second row and substitutes at the World Cup in next year. That being said, the team’s expectations should still be to qualify for the final, but the expectations of the fans should be tempered overall to focus on battles of individual positions like the striker and center-back. Oh, and goalie Matt Turner for all starts.
I am fascinated by this group and I really think it will be a great test for the United States and Canada. If either of the favorites had a top roster it would be a different story, but getting two strong teams in Haiti and Martinique should provide a solid benchmark before the successful meeting at the end of the group.
Haiti has the best chance of the two to qualify, Nazon and Pierrot form a formidable attacking duo. I always worry about Martinique’s lack of matches, especially with the pandemic, I’m not sure they’ve played since the League of Nations but that never seems to matter and they always seem to get a win in group stage anyway.
I think the United States will have an exceptional performance in the group stage, and with Turner as a backstop, I think they will carry the group. We’ll see if Dike and the young guns can add enough goals for some comfortable wins along the way. I don’t like to pick chalk, especially in a group ready for chaos, so we’re going to make the excuse that we just pick all of the Revs players to move forward in no particular order.
1) United States 2) Canada 3) Haiti 4) Martinique