Sunday, February 11, 2018

Caribbean Countries Greatest All-Time Team

Trinidad and Tobago at WC 2006
Please also see my All-Time World Cup Team Index.

USAMexicoCosta RicaHonduras,
Central America without Costa Rica and Honduras.
Canada or Canadian born Players
Jamaica/Jamaican DiasporaCaribbean Countries.

Here is my All-time 23 member team for Caribbean Football Union. Countries considered for this team include all Carribbean countries as well as Bermuda, Guyana, Suriname and French Guiana. It represents 25 FIFA member nations, as well as 6 territories that are not affiliated to FIFA. I have earlier created teams for Jamaica/Jamaican-diaspora and  Dutch-Surinamese.  However, some of the players are ineligible for this blog team.  Only players who have represented the countries in question are eligible.

At the time of writing, four of those countries have qualified for the World Cup Finals: Cuba (1938), Haiti (1970), Jamaica (1998) and Trinidad and Tobago (2006). Cuba reached the quarterfinal in 1938.

Haiti at the 1974 WC Finals in West Germany.

GK: Shaka Hislop (T&T)
Born in the Great Britain, he represented Trinidad and Tobago at the youth level.  However, in 1998, he accepted a callup by England, but was an unused substitute.  A year later, he again switched back to T&T.  He represented them at the 2006 World Cup Finals.  For his club career, he was a part of the Newcastle United team which finished second in the Premier League for two successive seasons.  He also played for Portsmouth and West Ham.

GK: Henri Françillon (Haiti)
Henri Françillon was in 1946.  He played for Haiti at the 1974 World Cup Finals in Germany.  At home., he played for Victory FC. After the World Cup Finals, he joined Munich 1806 for a single reason before returning home to Victory.  He is considered one of the greatest keepers from CONCACAF.

GK: Donovan Ricketts (Jamaica)
Ricketts played more than 100 games for Bradford City in England, and has more than 100 appearances in Major League Soccer and has twice been named MLS Goalkeeper of the Year. He was also the captain of the Jamaica national football team, earning 100 caps for his country, until his retirement from international football in 2013.

RB: Justin Hoyte (T&T)
Justin Hoyte previously played for English clubs Arsenal, Sunderland, Middlesbrough, Millwall and Dagenham & Redbridge. Hoyte was born in England. As an international, he represented England up to under-21 level.  He rejected a call up to play for Trinidad and Tobago for the 2006 World Cup Finals, but he started to play for them at senior level in 2013.  His parents were both sprinters.

RB: Pascal Chimbonda (Guadeloupe)
Chimbonda began his professional career in 1998 with Le Havre.  He spent his entire career in France and England, playing for Wigan, Bastia, Tottenham Hotspurs, etc. For international football, he started Guadeloupe, but he an unused substitute for France at the 2006 World Cup Finals.

RB: Jocelyn Angloma (Guadeloupe)
Jocelyn Angloma was a member of the great Marseille team of the early 1990's.  He won the European Cup in 1993.  He later played for Valencia and reached the Champions' League Final twice. He was a member of the French team at Euro 1992 and 1996.  In 2006, Angloma came out of retirement to play for his native région, Guadeloupe, and help them qualify for the 2007 Caribbean Nations Cup.
Jocelyn Angloma 
CB: Wes Morgan (Jamaica)
Rejected by Notts County, Morgan was playing for non-league team before being discovered by Nottingham Forest in  2002. In 2012, he moved to Leicester Town.  In the 2015-2016 season, he played every minute of Leicester Town's historical Preimership winning year and also served as the team's captain. At the time of writing, he had 30 caps for Jamaica.

CB: Frank Sinclair (Jamaica) 
Frank Sinclair spent 8 seasons with Chelsea winning the FA Cup in 1996-1997 and the Cup Winners Cup the following year.  And he won a League Cup with Leicester Town in 2000.  His performance in England led him to be call-up by Jamaica for the 1998 World Cup Finals in France. He was one of 7 English-born players on the team.

CB: Humphrey Mijnals (Suriname)
Born in Suriname, he became the first Surinamese player to play for Holland.  He began his professional career in Brazil with America Futebol Clube.  He made his national team against Bulgaia in 1960.  He was remembered for clearing a ball from the goalline through a overhead kick in that match. His international career was limited due to a dispute with the Dutch FA. He later played for the Surinamese National Team.

CB/DM/LB: Jlloyd Samuel (T&T)
Samuel played in the Premier League for both Aston Villa and Bolton Wanderers earlier in his career having come through the Charlton Athletic youth academy.  He represented England at U-18, U-20, and U-23 level before switching to play for T&T at the senior level in 2009.

LB/LW: Ricardo Gardner (Jamaica)
Gardner started with Harbour View at home. His performances for Jamaica during the 1998 World Cup attracted English First Division side Bolton Wanderers. He played 14 seasons for Bolton Wanderers  of which 11 were spent in the Premier League. Gardner earned 112 caps for the Jamaica national football team, scoring 9 goals and playing at four CONCACAF Gold Cups and the 1998 FIFA World Cup. He had 112 caps and went to the 1998 WC Finals.
Ricardo Gardner
DM/CM: Fitzroy Simpson (Jamaica)
Simpson notably played in the Premier League for Manchester City, Scottish Premier League for Hearts and the Irish IFA Premiership for Linfield. He also played in the Football League for Swindon Town, Bristol City, Portsmouth and Walsall before ending his career in non-league football with Telford United, Havant & Waterlooville and Eastleigh. Born in the UK, he played for Jamaica at the WC in 1998. He had 43 caps.

CM: Robbie Earle (Jamaica)
Earle started his professional career with Port Vale in 1982. He spent nine years there playing in the lower division. He moved on to Wimbledon in 1991, where he also spent nine years. Born in England, he accepted to play for Jamaica at the age of 32.  He scored the first ever Jamaican goal at the World Cup Finals.

CM: Darryl Powell (Jamaica)
The son of a Reggae musician, he was born in Lambeth, London, and his career included spells at English clubs Portsmouth, Derby County, Birmingham City, Sheffield Wednesday and Nottingham Forest, as well as a stint at Colorado Rapids in the USA. He was one of the British-born Reggae Boyz playing for Jamaica in France 98. He has 21 caps. 

CM: Russell Latapy (T&T)
Latapy left T&T in 1990 to play professional football in Europe. He first signed for Académica de Coimbra in Portugal. In 1994, he joined FC Porto under Bobby Robson. He became the first Trinidadian to play in the UEFA Champions League. Later, he played in Scotland for a number of clubs.  For the national team, he played 81 times. In 2006, he went to the WC Finals with T&T.

LM: Juan Tuñas ( Cuba)
Juan Tuñas played for the Cuban clubs Juventud Asturiana and Centro Gallego, and was the oldest surviving member of the Cuba national football team that played at the 1938 FIFA World Cup in France, scoring a goal against Romania.  After the WC Finals, he joined Real Club España in Mexico. His nickname Romperredes means "net-breaker", after his powerful shots on goal.
Juan Tuñas
AM/CM: Theodore Whitmore (Jamaica)
Whitmore is considered one of the greatest player who had played for Jamaica. He started his club career at Montego Bay Boys Club, and has since played for Violet Kickers and Seba United in his native Jamaica. He was signed on a free by English league side Hull City, but an accident in Jamaica cut short his Hull career. Scottish team Livingston acquired his services in 2003, and in June 2004, he signed for Tranmere Rovers. He had 127 caps for Jamaica.

AM: Alan Cole (Jamaica)
Alan Cole played in the NASL with the Atlanta Chiefs, and in Brazil with Náutico. He is largely known as one of Jamaica's greatest footballer.  He was capped by the Jamaican national team. In addition to his football career, Cole was also the manager of the Jamaican reggae star Bob Marley and his band The Wailers. He was credited as co-writing the 1976 song "War".

Bob Marley playing against Alan Cole
FW: Warren Archibald (T&T)
In 1967, he signed with the New York Generals in the USA. Archibald left the NASL at this point, and may have then played for San Luis F.C. in Mexico and Victory Sportif Club in Haiti before signing with the Washington Darts of the NASL in 1970. Archibald was voted NASL MVP and a first team All Star.  He also played for Rochester Lancers. Capped 15 times.  T&T almost qualified for the 1974 WC Finals.

FW: Lindy Delapenha (Jamaica)
In April 1948 he joined Portsmouth. There, he became the first Jamaican to play professional football in England.  In 1950, he transferred to Middlesbrough where his career took off. He became Boro's leading scorer in the 1951–52, 1953–54 and 1955–56 seasons. He moved to Mansfield Town in 1958. Delapenha played non-league football, Hereford United and Burton Albion. He won the Southern League Cup in 1964 with Burton.
Lindy Delapenha

ST: Deon Burton (Jamaica)
Burton played for numerous clubs in English football including Portsmouth, Derby County and Sheffield Wednesday. In 1997, he became the first group of British-born footballers to play for Jamaica. He was their hero as Jamaica qualified for the World Cup for the first time.  He was named Jamaican Sportsman of the Year in 1997.

ST: Clyde Best (Bermuda)
Best was one of the first black players in First Division football in England, scoring 47 goals for West Ham United between 1976 and 1968. Best also played for Feyenoord in Holland, and in the USA for Tampa Bay Rowdies, Toronto Blizzard and Portland Timbers of the NASL. He was capped twice for Bermuda. He was inducted into the Bermuda National Sports Hall of Fame in 2004. He was awarded an MBE in the January 2006.

ST: Dwight Yorke (T&T) 
Best remembered for his stint with Manchester United.  In 1998-199 season,  Manchester United won the triple(the Premier League, the FA Cup and the  Champions' League), where he was both the top scorer in the Preimership  and the Champions' League. Along with Russell Latapy and Pat Jennings, Yorke holds the record number of participations in different World Cup competitions, including qualifying stages – six in total (1990, 1994, 1998, 2002, 2006 and 2010).
Dwight Yorke

Honorable Mention
Stern John (T&T), Dennis Lawrence (T&T), Claude Davis (Jamaica), Warren Barrett (Jamaica), Marcus Gayle (Jamaica), Paul Hall (Jamaica),  Ricardo Fuller (Jamaica), Walter Boyd (Jamaica), Mario Inchausti (Cuba), David Sommeil (Guadeloupe), Aurélien Capoue (Guadeloupe), Jean-Jacques Pierre (Haiti), Shaun Goater (Bermuda), Emmanuel Sanon (Haiti), Philippe Vorbe (Haiti), Wilner Nazaire (Haiti), Guy Renold Jean François (Haiti), Guy Saint-Vil (Haiti), Emmerson Boyce (Barbados), Roberto Pereira (Cuba), José Verdecia Ochoa (Cuba), Leandro Bacuna (Curaçao), Eloy Room (Curaçao), Ergilio Hato (Curaçao), Gino van Kessel (Curaçao), Shaun Goater (Bermuda)

Squad Explanation
-- Dwight Yorke (T&T) has a successful career in the English Premiership.  He is probably the most famous player from here. 
-- I tried my best to spread the team among players from different countries.  All of my combined teams are selected that way.
-- Bermuda, Guyana, Suriname and French Guiana are not Caribbean countries, but they are members of the Caribbean Football Union.  So I am including these countries.
-- I do not know much about Mario Inchausti (Cuba), except that he was playing in La Liga during the 1940's. I only put him on on honorable mention.
-- Haiti of the 1970 World Cup is underrepresented here.  Wilner Nazaire, Philippe Vorbe, Guy Renold Jean François and Guy Saint-Vil are some of the players from that generation.  Since I used European club football experience as a main criteria, the Haitian players were left out.  I selected Henri Françillon who was highly rated.
-- The team is unbalanced.  I have three right backs.
-- Guadeloupe is not a FIFA member, but it is a member of CONCACAF and the CFU.  Their national team is eligible for all competitions organized by both organizations. Some players who had capped for France also represented them. They are not "cap-tied" because Gualdeloupe is not a FIFA official team. French international Jocelyn Angloma and Pascal Chimbonda played for their national team, which made them eligible. They reinforced my blog team.
-- Humphrey Mijnals played for Suriname which made him eligible for this team.  Ruud Gullit, Clarence Seedorf, etc never played for Suriname.  They are "cap-tied" to Netherlands. Besides, if all Dutch Surinamese were considered, this team probably would be another Dutch-Surinamese All-Time Team. 
-- I also did not select any Jamaican-born British footballers who did not play for Jamaica.  This is about players who played international football in the team. British Jamaican Robbie Earle, Fitzroy Simpson, Dean Burton and Frank Sinclair played for Jamaica. I have another team for Jamica/Jamaican diaspora, but only Jamaican international players were selected.
-- Lindy Delapenha never played any international football. I considered him "Jamaican" rather than "British Jamaican".  He was born in Jamaica and went to England as an adult.  He became a professional footballer because he was spotted while playing in the military.  I admitted I am inconsistent about my definition of British Jamaican and Jamaican international players.  
-- Clyde Best was born in Bermuda and he played for Bermuda. So he is eligible.
-- In the last few years, Curaçao has improved dramatically with inclusion of Dutch-born players and other factors. They had won the 2017 Caribbean Cup. Leandro Bacuna, Gino van Kessel and Eloy Room made my honorable mention in June, 2019.  Ergilio Hato (Curaçao) who retired in 1959 was considered a great goalkeeper of her era.
-- Cuban-born Chus Alonso played for Spain.  He never played for Cuba, which made him ineligible. 
-- In the 2015-2016 season, Wes Morgan played every minute of Leicester Town's historical Preimership winning year and also served as the team's captain.
-- I have limited knowledge of the Cuban team at the World Cup Finals in 1938.  Juan Tuñas helped Cuba to reach the quarterfinal of the 1938 World Cup Finals.  I honored Cuba's achievements by selecting him.

The starting eleven might not be the best lineup.  Humphrey Mijnals (Suriname), Juan Tuñas ( Cuba), Clyde Best (Bermuda) and Jocelyn Angloma (Guadeloupe) were added to the lineup because I wanted to spread the team among the players representing different nations.  The four of them actually deserved to start based on merit, but their nationality also played a role. However, I decided to go with Shaka Hislop (T&T) in goal, instead of Henri Françillon (Haiti) who is the only Haitian on the team.  Hislop had a much better club career than the Haitian.  Except Juan Tuñas ( Cuba), every starters played in Europe.


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