Welcome to Partially Obstructed View. We are each restrained by the limits of our own perspective, but when we meet to share information a clearer picture of the truth can be revealed. Comments & criticisms are welcome.

Friday 8 June 2012

First Person View - Cuban News Rounds

    The Canadian National Team is in Cuba to embark on the next round of CONCACAF World Cup Qualification. This is only the first step of many, but an important, if not vital, chance at road points that could prove crucial to progression.

    But what do we really know about Cuba? Their team is almost as secretive as their politics were in the past. I’ve scoured the less-travelled corridors of the internet to dig up some dirt on the current team and the plight of the game in the country.

    Probably the most useful news I could find - a brief review of the Cuban’s preparatory tour of Brazil, from FIFA.com. Apparently forward Ariel Martinez is one to keep an eye on and they have a keeper – U-23 Odisnel Cooper – with a good nickname. Also includes a few words from their coach Alexander Gonzalez; should be noted mankind’s best reserve of all-accumulated knowledge (Wikipedia) believes he goes by Chandler, while Fifa themselves have Raul Gonzalez Triana in charge on their national profile page - time for an update methinks.

    Some details - fast facts and a roster - from the most recent U-23 Olympic Qualifying action that took place earlier this year, care of CONCACAF.com.

    A few brief words from one of the more recognizable names in domestic Cuban football - Alain Cervantes - courtesy of SI.com.

    Further snippets from Cuban Cuban Football Federation President Luis Hernandez and veteran goalkeeper Odelin Molina via Tropigol.com.

    Interesting, Cuban Football celebrated its own Centennial just last December (the 11th to be specific), one writer looks back with a critical eye.

    But another sees signs of change.

    It was difficult to dig through the reams of rumoured and occasionally successful – Mykael Galindo and Oswaldo Alonso, to name but two - defections that plague the nation’s attempts at international involvement without including one such story to be well-rounded.

    We’ve met before of course.

    Several times in fact – Steven Sandor recalls a peculiar two-legged affair in Edmonton and Gerry Dobson on the last time Canada ventured to the island nation.

    Soccernomics called Canada one of the most underperforming nations in correlation with its GDP; one writer ponders whether Cuba is simply one of the worst.

    Their stated goal, as recently as the most recent Gold Cup, was to earn respect.

    Back on the continent, an American writer – Ridge Mahoney - ponders the state of the game in Canada, at Socceramerica.com.

    While for those more holistically inclined - a couple of summaries of the action around the confederation during this international window. Tropigol.com looks at the twelve squads involved, while FIFA.com takes stock of the first matchday fixtures.

    Time allowing I will turn the lens back upon ourselves and provide a round-up of the national media’s voice on the game, but really you shouldn’t need me to do that.

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