Martinique is making its fourth appearance in the CONCACAF Gold Cup and first since 2003. The 10-year wait came to an end thanks to “Les Matinino” securing a semifinal place at the 2012 Caribbean Cup, where it ultimately finished fourth, following a 1-0 loss to Haiti in the match for third place.
The French overseas department made its Gold Cup debut in 1993, losing two of three games, but surprised all observers with a 2-2 draw against Canada. Its only win in eight all-time outings in the competition came against Trinidad & Tobago, 1-0, in 2002. Patrick Percin scored the historic game-winnng goal at the Orange Bowl in Miami.
Kevin Parsemain, 25, is Martinique’s key offensive performer. The forward struck for 13 goals in 11 Caribbean Cup games, including six in a 16-0 win over the British Virgin Islands.
Another player to watch is Portland Timbers’ forward Frederic Piquionne, 35, a veteran of French and English football. He’s enjoyed a productive career at clubs such as Rennes, Saint-Étienne, AS Monaco, Lyon, Portsmouth and West Ham.
Defensively, Martinique relied on three goalkeepers in Caribbean Cup play, with Emmanuel Vermignon and Kevin Olimpa seeing a majority of the action. They were well protected Nicolas Zaire, William Sery and Sébastien Crétinoir, each of whom made at least seven Caribbean Cup appearances.
The midfield is led by 20-year-old Jordi Delem, who had two goals in 10 qualifying matches. His Club Franciscain team mate, Steeve Gustan, is a threat to score at any time.