Civault, Martinique have Gold Cup dreams

Martinique head coach Jean-Marc Civault (right) answers questions during a CONCACAF Gold Cup press event on March 7, 2017, in Santa Clara, California, USA. (Photo: Howard Smith/isiphotos.com)

SANTA CLARA, California – Martinique discovered its 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup opponents on Monday during an unveiling event at Levi’s Stadium, the venue for July’s final.

Although the Caribbean power’s chances of returning to the stunning venue with the title at stake are remote, head coach Jean-Marc Civault believes all dreams can be realized.

“In football, everything is possible,” said Civault.  “At least for us, the underdog, we’ll do what we can to represent our country well in order to show we have quality players that can do anything.”

Les Matinino, which will host the 2016/17 Scotiabank CFU Men’s Caribbean Cup finals in June, weas placed into Group B with the United States, Panama and the winner of a qualifying playoff between Haiti and Nicaragua.

“I would say it’s a difficult draw, but not an impossible one,” Civault commented in an understated fashion.

In its four previous Gold Cup journeys, Martinique has played the USA and Panama one time each, both commendably.  It fell 2-0 to the Americans in 2003 and dropped a narrow 1-0 decision to the Panamanians in 2013.

Civault, though, is particularly looking forward to another meeting with U.S., which will be played on July 12, at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida.

“I can say the U.S. is considered to be the best team in the group,” he finished.   “They have already won the Gold Cup and they will play at home with the support of the country.

“It will be a celebration for football and I hope that our team will be able to rise to their level, showing -- that despite being a smaller team – we have great qualities.”

Martinique earned Gold Cup credentials a long time ago, but a win over the U.S. this year would certainly be the largest notch on its belt.