Gold Cup Q&A: Eloy Room (Vitesse & Curacao)
Curacao’s Eloy Room (#1) was named the best goalkeeper in the 2016/17 Scotiabank CFU Men’s Caribbean Cup.

Eloy Room is one of CONCACAF’s most talented goalkeepers.  On Sunday, he helped Curacao to its first-ever Scotiabank CFU Men’s Caribbean Cup title, capturing best goalkeeper honors.  At the club level, the 28-year-old plays for Dutch Eredivisie side Vitesse, with which 2016/17 KNVB (Dutch) Cup.  He took some time to speak to about his successes and future goals.

You were born in Nijmegen, Netherlands, in 1989.  What are your family’s connections to Curacao?
My mother is from the Netherlands, but my father was born in Curacao.

You play with Vitesse in the Eredivisie, the same club you joined as a 13-year-old.  How important was the club in your development as a footballer?
I am 28 years old now, so I can say for sure they are the club that helped me develop as a professional footballer.  I will always be grateful for the support they have given me both on and off the pitch.  They have always been there for me and they are a club with a bright future ahead.

You played the entire 90 minutes in Vitesse’s 2-0 win over AZ Alkmaar in the 2016/17 KNVB Cup final, the club’s first-ever title in the competition.  How would you describe that experience?
This was my first trophy and it was such a special moment for me.  To beat a big club like AZ, which has won the cup in the past, was wonderful and to get a clean sheet was even better.

You then travelled cross the Atlantic Ocean to the island of Martinique and then won the 2017 Scotiabank CFU Men’s Caribbean Cup crown.  It was Curacao’s first-ever Caribbean Cup title.  What does this mean to you?
This means the world to me, my family, my teammates and all of Curacao and the Dutch Caribbean.  We set out the goal to win the Caribbean Cup and to do that was so great.  And what was even sweeter was that we beat the defending champion Jamaica.  This will always be a memorable moment.  After the match, we also had some banter with the Jamaican team and sang Bob Marley songs at the hotel (laughs).

The Gold Cup is next.  What is Curacao’s goal for that tournament?
We want to win two matches from the group stages and get to the quarterfinals.  It will be tough because Jamaica will have their “A” team with MLS players involved, but I think the quarterfinals are a realistic aim for Curacao.