With the Caribbean Cup semi-finals fast approaching, here are my ‘players to watch out for’ for each country…
Oniel Fisher / Jamaica / 25 / Defender
Fisher first made his Jamaican senior debut in 2010, as a teenager, and had to wait six years before another call-up into the Reggae Boyz squad. He has been a regular fixture under manager Theodore Whitmore, starting in four of the five appearances he has made under ‘Tappa’. One of the 25-year-old’s biggest strengths is his ability to play in a variety of different positions on the pitch, either as an offensive full-back (comfortable on both sides) who likes to bomb on or as a tricky winger whose pace can cause opponents problems. In Jamaica’s most recent match, a 3-1 friendly loss to Peru, he played the full 90 as a right winger, in front of Alvas Powell.
Donovan Leon / French Guiana / 24 / Goalkeeper
Despite struggling for game time at his club Stade Brestois 29 – sitting behind Martinique-born Joan Hartock in the pecking order – Leon is very much number one choice when it comes to Yana Doko, who qualified for the Caribbean Cup with two victories over St Kitts & Nevis and Haiti at the backend of last year. Born in French Guiana’s capital, Cayenne, the goalkeeper moved to mainland France around a decade ago in search of a professional football career. He played in all six of his country’s Caribbean Cup qualifiers, keeping three clean sheets in the process, and is going to need to produce a solid performance against Jamaica if French Guiana are to make the final.Felitciano Zschusschen / Curacao / 25 / Striker
The tall centre-forward has been a goal machine for Curacao ever since making his first appearance in the shirt (and scoring) against Montserrat at the beginning of 2018 World Cup qualifying. Born in the Netherlands – indeed, Curacao have invested heavily in their Dutch diaspora to boost their player pool – Zschusschen has netted 10 goals in 15 games across a two-year spell, including a hat-trick versus Guyana last summer. Head coach Remko Bicentini has alternated between Zschusschen and Rangelo Janga as his first choice striker, with Gino van Kessel another striking option, although he is perhaps best used out wide or in the hole. Bicentini could go with two up front in the Martinique match, but I suspect Janga will start and Zschusschen will be introduced in the second half. You cannot argue with his goal scoring record, though.
Kevin Parsemain / 29 / Martinique / Striker
The Golden Lion forward has bags of talent and is capable of turning a match on its head with an individual piece of magic. He is back playing his club football in Martinique after stints in France, the United States and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. In a recent interview with Martinique1ere, Parsemain mentioned that some lower league clubs in Europe have previously registered interest in him but his ambition is to play in the number one division of whichever country. He can be the difference maker for Les Matinino and it is important that his teammates get him involved as much as possible.
By Nathan Carr
Thank you for reading! Feel free to leave any constructive feedback in the comments box below. The Caribbean Cup semi-finals begin on Thursday 22 June – you can keep updated with the action on here as well as on my Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.