Curacao All Over The Best XI Of Concacaf Nations League Players In Europe

While many of the players in 2019-20 Concacaf Nations League hail from countries that do not have a professional league or from clubs that still compete in the amateur ranks, there are a select few who compete at the highest level in Europe.

Among the leagues represented are England’s Premier League and France’s Ligue 1, plus players on teams who competed in this year’s edition of the UEFA Champions League.

With that, let’s have a look at the Best XI of 2019-20 Concacaf Nations League qualifying players who ply their trade in European football.

Eloy Room

Goalkeeper | Curacao

All of Room’s career has been spent in the Netherlands, mostly at Vitesse where he spent 10 seasons before moving to PSV Eindhoven in 2017. He has made just three appearances for the Eredivisie giants, but he was included on the team’s Champions League roster and has kept a clean sheet in all three of Curacao’s wins.

Alex Dyer

Defender | Montserrat

The versatile Dyer can slot in at left-back or play as a winger. No matter where he is on the field, he contributes as, evidenced by Montserrat’s 2W-0D-1L record in three Nations League matches. The 28-year-old recently joined Norway’s Lillestrom on loan from Swedish club Elfsborg.

Cuco Martina

Defender | Curacao

Born in the Netherlands, the well-traveled Martina and current right-back for Championship side Stoke City has had spells at the top level of English football with Southampton and Everton. Martina has played 40 matches with the Curacao national team, serving as captain.

Mickaël Tacalfred

Defender | Guadeloupe

The 37-year-old boasts a wealth of experience in French football, spending most of his career at Reims and Auxerre. He spent four seasons playing in Ligue 1 with Reims and has started 16 matches this season for Auxerre in Ligue 2. Tacalfred was part of the Guadeloupe team that made a memorable run to the semifinals of the 2007 Gold Cup. He has played in two of Guadeloupe’s three Nations League matches.

Adrian Mariappa

Defender | Jamaica

A stalwart in English football, Mariappa currently plies his trade with Watford in the Premier League. Mariappa started his career with the Hornets before spells at Reading and Crystal Palace and then returning to Watford in 2016. He was a key member of Jamaica’s run to the 2015 Gold Cup final. Mariappa has 42 caps with the Reggae Boyz.

Leandro Bacuna

Midfielder | Curacao

Bacuna is another Curacao player who has spent the bulk of his career in England. After starting with Dutch side Groningen, he had a four-year spell at Aston Villa and then two years at Reading prior to joining Premier League outfit Cardiff City this winter. Bacuna played in all three of Curacao’s matches at the 2017 Gold Cup and has three goals in three Nations League starts.

Junior Hoilett

Midfielder | Canada

The Cardiff City winger is another one that is no stranger to English football, having played previously with Blackburn Rovers and QPR prior to joining the Welsh side in 2016. Hoilett has emerged on the international stage as well, playing in all four of Canada’s 2017 Gold Cup matches, then six matches in Concacaf World Cup qualifying for Russia 2018 and has two goals in three Nations League games.

Joshua John

Midfielder | Aruba

Born in the Netherlands, John is a new addition to the Aruba National Team and has hit the ground running, with starts in all three of Aruba’s Nations League matches, including a pair of assists in the 3-1 win over Bermuda. John spent the fall with Turkey’s Bursaspor prior to joining Kaisar of Kazakhstan over the winter.

Duckens Nazon

Forward | Haiti

The Haiti danger man has joined Scottish outfit Saint Mirren on loan from Belgian first division side Sint-Truiden. Nazon has had previous stops at Wolverhampton Wanderers and Coventry City in English football, and he enjoyed a career day on Nations League week one when he fired in a remarkable five goals in Haiti’s 13-0 trashing of Sint Maarten. Nazon has 15 career international goals with Haiti.

Cyle Larin

Forward | Canada

Former Orlando City striker Larin is currently in Turkish football with Besiktas. He has featured in 24 matches with Besiktas and has eight goals, including a memorable hat trick in a Europe League match in 2018. He’s kept his scoring boots while on duty with the Canadian National team, with three goals in three Nations League matches.

Rangelo Janga

Forward | Curacao

Janga currently leads the Nations League in scoring with six goals, including a hat-trick in a matchday one 1-0 dismantling of Grenada. The Rotterdam-born striker joined Kazakhstan side Astana from Belgium’s Gent over the summer and has four goals this season, plus seven Europa League appearances.

Arch Bell is a freelance soccer writer who lives in Austin, Texas, and covers all things Concacaf. Follow him on Twitter.

Roma Defender Chris Smalling Has Been Stellar In Italy

As if he’d not made enough of an impression since joining AS Roma on loan from Manchester United in the summer, defender Chris Smalling really stood out as an exceptional talent on the week of his 30th birthday. 

Hofstra Coach Simon Riddiough Doesn't Need The Power 5 To Define Success

By Jerry Beach

Simon Riddiough, the head coach of the Hofstra women’s soccer team, spent about two minutes of a 21-minute interview Tuesday afternoon discussing why he’s content at the Long Island school and not planning to see if he can replicate his success with a higher-profile Power Five school that would offer the resources and opportunities to make a deep NCAA Tournament run that are generally lacking in the mid-major arena.

Carlo Ancelotti, Aurelio De Laurentiis & Napoli Are In Complete Chaos

It’s hard to believe that only as far back as April 22, 2018, Napoli beat Juventus 1-0 in Turin to move top of the table with only four games remaining. Maurizio Sarri — himself now in charge at Juve — had broken the club record points total in each of the previous two campaigns, and would do so again in 2017-18, but the Naples men ultimately finished second, albeit with yet another unseen total of 91 points.

Canada Has An Opportunity To Prove Their Standing On Friday Against USMNT

This is the moment of truth for Canada's men's national team. 

Concacaf Nations League Returns For Final Group State In November

After nearly a month of waiting for the Concacaf Nations League to kick back into gear, the tournament is finally back this week with the final two matchdays in group play. 

Seattle Sounders & Toronto FC Clash With The MLS Cup On The Line

Just over a week after the Seattle Sounders and Toronto FC went on the road and upset the favorites, MLS Cup 2019 is on the horizon as the 24th season in league history comes to a close. CenturyLink Field in Seattle will be the epicenter on Sunday at 3 PM when the two sides face off in the MLS Cup final for the third time in the past four years. 

Paulo Fonseca & The Unlikely Resurgence Of AS Roma In Serie A

It wasn’t supposed to be like this.

Potential USMNT Contributors From The Nations League Pre-Camp

November 15 could be a day of reckoning for Gregg Berhalter and the United States men's national team. After last month's 2-0 defeat to Canada — the first loss to their neighbors in 35 years — Berhalter needs a win in Orlando to help rectify the USA's position in the first-ever Concacaf Nations League. Anything other than a win would mean that Canada will advance to the semifinals, a shocking result for the U.S.

10 Things In Italy: Mario Balotelli, de Ligt Handballs & Conte's Inter

With the action in Italy heating up both on and off the field, it’s time to get you caught up with what’s been happening in the world of Serie A and, as always, “10 Things” is here to bring you right up to date.

Concaclusions, Ep. 9: Pulisic Strikes Again, Jiménez Haunts Arsenal

Another round of club play is in the books, and several of the region’s top players were in the headlines once again through clutch goals, quality performances, and even uncharacteristic errors.