Despite not taking a point in their first appearance in a Gold Cup, a Dutch infused Curacao squad look to the future with optimism.

  • By Spencer Steevensz
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Curacao’s first run in the CONCACAF Gold Cup has come to an end. With the tournament on the heels of their first Caribbean Cup win, it was a big summer for Caribbean Island, who’s modest population barely breaks 150,000.

Curacao did not win a game, or even score a goal at the 2017 Gold Cup, getting shut out 2-0 by each of their opponents: Jamaica, who they’d recently beat in the Caribbean Cup Final, El Salvador, and CONCACAF giants, Mexico. However, they were much more formidable opponents than anyone was expecting. Comprised of a squad that largely plays in Europe’s fringe leagues, with a few exceptions, Curacao played attracted football that threatened opponents. At last night’s game against Mexico they hit the woodwork nearly half a dozen times, and earned the respect of an overwhelmingly Mexican supporting spectatorship – with Mexican fans rushing to take photos with Curacao players, and showing sportsmanship by taking pictures with fan’s from both nations.

Proud of what they achieved, Curacao now aim to build on their recent accomplishments as opposed to resting on their laurels. A Gold Cup is a very important stepping stone and experience for a nation that looks to continue playing in major tournaments like the Gold Cup, Copa America, and perhaps eventually the World Cup. The nation still has deep ties to the Netherlands and Dutch football, which allow them to attract more and more top Dutch talents (Vitesse’s Eloy Room, Everton’s Cuco Martina and Aston Villa’s Leandro Bacuna have already joined the ranks). The more major tournaments they play, the more top talent will look to play for Curacao as opposed to the Netherlands, where major tournaments are becoming less frequent.

With a style of football that mixes the Dutch school of possession and utilising open space with the flair and joy of the South American giants, its no wonder why these underdogs became a tournament crowd favourite.

Spencer Steevensz (104 Posts)

I'm a digital/social marketer out of Chicago. I grew up loving Dutch football - total football is the only way to play. I support PSV in the Eredivisie, and whatever team has the most Dutch guys on it in any other league. Hup Holland Hup!