CONCACAF says, at present, just one team is set to make its CONCACAF Gold Cup debut at this summer’s tournament, with Suriname appearing in its first ever Gold Cup.
“While they might be joined by three other sides who are in the Prelims — Bahamas, Barbados and Montserrat — Suriname have already earned their place in the 16-team tournament and will be looking to follow in the footsteps of another Caribbean side that made waves in their first Gold Cup,” said CONCACAF on Tuesday.
“It was the 2007 edition of the tournament when Guadeloupe made their first Gold Cup appearance, and it was as memorable as they come,” it added.
At the time, CONCACAF said Guadeloupe, led by former UEFA Champions League finalist Jocelyn Angloma, scratched out a 1-1 draw with Haiti and picked up a 2-1 win over Canada to secure enough points to reach the knockout round.
“That in itself was an amazing accomplishment for a Gold Cup debutante,” CONCACAF. “But then, Les Gwada Boys really got the attention of everyone in the region when they defeated Honduras 2-1 in the quarterfinal, putting themselves just one win away from the final.”
In the end, CONCACAF said “it was not meant to be, as they valiantly fell 1-0 to Mexico in the semifinals, but it was a performance that will forever live in Gold Cup lore.”
“Fast forward 14 years later, and Suriname could be poised to make a similar run,” CONCACAF said.
Like the 2007 Guadeloupe team, it said Suriname boasts a squad full of players playing in some of the top leagues of Europe, including the Eredivisie in the Netherlands and the Turkish Super Lig.
CONCACAF said Suriname is also “a side that can score quickly in bunches.”
Under the guidance of Head Coach Dean Gorre, Suriname posted a first-place finish in Group D of League B of the 2019-20 CONCACAF Nations League with a 4W-1D-1L record, CONCACAF said.
It said only Jamaica (21) scored more goals in the 2019-20 CNL than Suriname’s 16 in League B.
CONCACAF said Suriname also has in its ranks the player who finished as the top scorer in all of League A, League B and League C in Gleofilo Vlijter, who poured in 10 goals for his country.
“With plenty of weapons in attack, a lethal goal-scorer, a solid defense and a squad that has experience battling in some of Europe’s top leagues, the ingredients are all there for Suriname to channel their inner 2007 Guadeloupe and make a deep run in the 2021 Gold Cup,” CONCACAF said.