You see this little island here?
That is Curacao. Curacao is a small island nation just north of Venezuela. It's a nice place to visit on your Caribbean Vacation. There are small risks involved. but it's definitely safer than Haiti, the Dominican Republic, or Puerto Rico. And, in case you're worried about Venezuela, there's a travel ban between the 2 countries.
Why in the world are we talking about Curacao today? Because yesterday they set the Soccer World on its ear.
Earlier in June, Curacao travelled from the Caribbean to Thailand to play India in Soccer. Curacao, population 160,000, beat India, population 1.3 BILLION, 3-1. Then Curacao played Vietnam, population 95 million, in southeast Asia, and won on Penalty Kicks.
After traveling to the other side of the world and winning in stunning fashion, Curacao returned to the Western Hemisphere to play in the Gold Cup. The Gold Cup is a Summer Soccer Tournament involving teams from North America, Central America, and the Caribbean.
Though not a traditional Caribbean powerhouse, Curacao had played its way up the ladder in the CONCACAF standings.
Curacao lost their first Gold Cup game to El Salvador 1-0.
Then they won their first Gold Cup game in their history 1-0 over Honduras.
Then, yesterday, Caracao tied Jamaica 1-1 on a last second goal.
Needing Honduras to beat El Salvador to move to the next round, Honduras promptly drilled El Salvador 4-0.
If the United States Men's National Soccer Team beats Panama today, guess who they get in the next round of the Gold Cup?
Now here's the deal. If the U.S. loses to Panama, they would play Jamaica in the next round of the Gold Cup. But if you're America, who would you rather play, Jamaica or Curacao?
Before you answer, scroll back up and look at the Worldwide standings again. Two years ago, all the United States had to do was to beat Trinidad and Tobago to get to the World Cup.
It is time for the United States to beat the teams it's supposed to beat and make a run to the Gold Cup Finals. The U.S. will be betting favorites against any team it plays except for Mexico. The Americans can only meet Mexico in the Finals.
What happens if America loses to Curacao?