Parsemain Leads Trinidad While Bermuda Need A Result vs Panama


Months after the end of the qualifying stage of the first edition of the Concacaf Nations League, league play begins on Thursday. The 41 teams in Concacaf are split into three different leagues, with the teams in League A battling for a spot in the semifinals of the entire tournament. Countries in League B and C will be aiming for promotion, looking for an opportunity to potentially win the tournament in its next edition.

There are 10 League B and C games on FloFC on Thursday and Friday, while there are just two League A contests. All of those games can be seen live in the USA on the website. Find the schedule right here

The seeded teams in each of the groups in League A are sitting out for these rounds of games. Which means that the two other teams play against each other twice. So there will be plenty of drama to go around, as picking up two losses would essentially mean relegation to League B for the next edition of the tournament. 

Here is a preview of the first two games from League A.

Bermuda vs Panama

Thursday, September 5: 6 PM ET

Stream Link

There's a clear hierarchy in Group B of League A this year. Mexico, always a co-favorite of any men's Concacaf tournament with the USA, should win this group. Panama are likely to slot into the second spot in this group, and should probably even be favored for Thursday's game in Bermuda. So if Bermuda wants to avoid relegation, then a positive result at home against Panama is a must. 

Américo Gallego called up much of the same group from Panama's recent appearance at the Gold Cup. That worked well enough for Los Canaleros, who finished second in their group and then lost to Jamaica in the quarterfinals. 

Roman Torres isn't available, so Panama will be missing some experience in defense. And for sure, Nahki Wells and Zeiko Lewis can cause some danger for Bermuda. Wells scored twice in the recent Gold Cup and has a wealth of experience playing in the English Championship. Lewis, who was drafted by the New York Red Bulls in 2017 but never latched on, has been scoring for the Charleston Battery in USL this year. 

The biggest question for the Panama side should be where the goals might come from. Gabriel Torres has 16 international goals to his name, which is tops in this group of Panamanian players. That's not a ton though, for a player who is 30 years old. The favorites might need to lean on Armando Cooper for help in the goal-scoring department on the road. 

Prediction: Bermuda get on the board, but Panama win 2-1, setting the course for six points from the first two games. 

Martinique vs Trinidad & Tobago

Friday, September 6: 6 PM ET

Stream Link

If there is maybe a clear favorite in the first Group B game, there's no such favorite in the first game of Group C. Honduras is the seeded team in this group, but is coming off of a Gold Cup in which they finished last in the group. Martinique had a decent showing at the Gold Cup, after their opening loss to Canada. T&T, meanwhile, had a similar showing to Honduras, finishing behind Guyana to come last in their group with the USA and Panama. 

So really, this game in Martinique is up in the air on Friday. Both teams should go into the contest knowing they can take three points, which should make for an intriguing matchup. T&T head coach Dennis Lawrence has a squad which might appear to be a bit stronger than their opponents, but there are still plenty of question marks in his side. 

Maybe the most pressing question is who will start up top for T&T? The best option right now might be Ryan Telfer, who has scored several goals this year playing for York9 in the Canadian Premier League, on loan from Toronto FC. At the same time, though, Telfer has just become eligible to play for the Soca Warriors and might need some time to gel with his new teammates.

The other options are Daniel Carr, who plays in Cyprus, and Jameel Perry, who plays for Police FC in Trinidad and Tobago. Further back, Lawrence can rely on MLS players Kevin Molino and Joevin Jones to add some skill to the team, but there are far too many questions about this side to claim them to be favorites against Martinique. 

Meanwhile, for Martinique, it's all about how far Kévin Parsemain can carry the side. The country's all-time leading scorer needs to be at his best on Friday for Martinique to get a valuable win, one which could help them stave off relegation, or maybe even help them win the group. If the Ayutthaya United forward can get on the scoresheet, then look out for Les Matinino.

Prediction: Parsemain does score, and it's a late winner in a tight 1-0 contest. Everything to play for in the return trip to Trinidad & Tobago next week. 

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.