Haiti vs. Bermuda: CONCACAF Gold Cup Predicition and Preview

It's a matchup of two teams that don't get much international exposure

Most people don't exactly think of national soccer teams when it comes to Haiti and Bermuda, but that's exactly what we'll see this weekend. These teams will be playing against each other on Sunday for the first time since 1992 when they split a pair of World Cup qualifying matches. They'll open up the Group B portion of the Gold Cup schedule this weekend, and both teams aren't exactly veterans of this event. Haiti is making it's first Gold Cup appearance since 2015, while Bermuda is joining the field for the first time.

 

Haiti vs. Bermuda

 

When: Sunday, June 16 at 6 p.m. ET

Where: Estadio Nacional de Costa Rica (San Jose, Costa Rica)

TV: FOX or FS1 and Univision

 

Three Things to Watch

 

1. Meet Bermuda

Bermuda's national team isn't too well known outside of the Caribbean islands. They qualified for the 1998 FIFA World Cup, the 2001 Caribbean Cup, and the 2002 Gold Cup but withdrew from all three events. This is their Gold Cup debut, and the only other major international event that they're known to have participated in was the 2013 Island Games in which they won the soccer competition. They have, however, qualified for the first-ever CONCACAF Nations League which will take place in the fall, and they've posted a 4-1 record in their last five matches while outscoring their opponents 15-4 along the way. Midfielder Reggie Lambe (33 caps, 9 goals) is their top player who suits up for Cambridge United F.C. in England's League Two as his day job.

 

2. Welcome back Haiti

The Haitians last played in the Gold Cup back in 2015 and first qualified in 2000. They've also participated in the 2002, '07, '09, and '13 editions. They were able to reach knockout rounds in 2002, '09, and '15. They won the CCCF (pre-CONCACAF) title in 1957, the former CONCACAF Championship back in '73, and the CFU Nations Cup in '79. They've also impressed at the Caribbean Cup which they won in 2007, were the runners-up in '01, and had four third-place finishes (1998, '99, 2012, '14).

 

Defender Mechack Jerome (63 caps, 2 goals), forward Duckens Nazon (27 caps, 16 goals), and goalkeeper Johny Placide (37 caps, 4-4-1 record in FIFA events) are the leaders of this team. Haiti has also been on a nice run as they've won four of their last seven matches.

 

3. Both teams are making history

With this game being in Costa Rica, it marks the first time that any Gold Cup match has been hosted outside of the U.S., Mexico, and Canada. So not only are they a part of history, but they're also getting the chance to play in front of a Latin American fan base that's very passionate about the game.

 

Final Analysis

 

While Bermuda seems to be an up and coming squad, Haiti's experience in this event will pay dividends. It won't be a high-scoring match, but the Haitians get a critical victory.

 

Prediction: Haiti 2, Bermuda 1

 

— Gabe Salgado is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. He's also written for NBC, Fox, The Sporting News, The Sports Journal, The Undefeated and Complex. He's a co-host of The Rewind Sports: 60. Follow him on Twitter @GabeSalgado82.

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