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Puerto Rico Islanders Clinch Final CONCACAF Champions League Berth

2012 June 22
by Jay Long

In a match that featured the second ever clash between NASL and USL PRO franchises in an official competition, the Puerto Rico Islanders managed to outlast a very game but exhausted Antigua Barracuda FC 2-0 in Marabella, Trinidad.

The stakes were  much higher than just “bragging rights”, equalizing the “scoreboard” between the two rival leagues and  the honor of placing third in the annual Caribbean Football Union (CFU) Club Championship; The real prize was the final berth for the CONCACAF Champions League , with the winner being slotted into Group 5, which includes the star-studded Los Angeles Galaxy and Isidro Metapan (El Salvador).

Once again, it was the diminutive Dominican international Jonathan Faña who found the back of the net for La Tropa Naranja (Orange Troop). The Islanders’ second goal was scored by long-time stalwart Joshua Hansen, who has only recently returned to action after a long absence due to injury.

Both clubs failed to advance to the final match on Tuesday, being ousted by local Trinidadian clubs.

A road-weary Barracuda side (the cornerstone of the Antigua and Barbuda national team), coming off of two very difficult road losses against Charleston and Orlando in USL PRO league play on the weekend, fell to the eventual champions, Caledonia AIA 2-1 in the first semifinal.

The Islanders, the reigning, two-time, consecutive club champions of the Caribbean, were uncharacteristically and summarily dismantled by W Connection 4-1 in the second semifinal.

In the championship match, it was Caledonia AIA that was victorious over the better-known W Connection, winning 4-3 via penalty kicks in a match that saw two lightning delays and goals scored by each side in extra time. It is the first time in the history of the tournament that Caledonia  AIA have won the region’s highest club honor.,,12813~2818989,00.html

14 Responses
  1. Bart permalink
    June 23, 2012

    Well this certainly shows that USL Pro just simply cannot play along side the mighty NASL D2 teams. If San Antonio can beat Puerto Rico, and Puerto Rico can beat Antigua, then all of NASL can beat Antigua.

    USL Pro just ought to close up shop and go away. This inferiority is just so obvious.

  2. June 23, 2012

    No one made any derogetory comments, the article itself wasn’t slanted like that. You are out of your maturity range now. Tell me how grade eight goes next year.

  3. Bart permalink
    June 23, 2012

    @Danny Boy

    I never said a derogatory statement was made. I assume language in Canada mirrors to some extent that in the good ole USofA, except for some speech modifications, so there should be no language barrier here.

  4. June 24, 2012

    Bart, you’re a troll and nothing but. Threatening physical harm isn’t acceptable; but I can’t say I don’t understand his frustration.

  5. Kelble permalink
    June 24, 2012

    Physically threatening someone over the internet is never cool. Nor should it be tolerated.

  6. Mike permalink
    June 24, 2012

    @ kj

    You understand his frustration? with what? you fanboys take this stuff way too seriously, and in case you didn’t notice, he instigated it.

  7. June 25, 2012

    “You fanboys”? Excuse me? I’m not sure how my comment has possibly painted me as a “fanboy” in this argument. Full disclosure: I do support a team in NASL; I’m not sure, however, what that has to do with this argument, or how I even brought up that fact in this thread.

    Daniel is, of course, not in the right here. I don’t know if I need to make that more clear; let me know if I haven’t made that point. Have I mentioned that I think Daniel was totally out of line?

    However, neither is Bart.

    Bart posts inflammatory comments in order to rile up people. That’s what’s generally known as trolling. Unless, of course, you can explain to me how his comments in this thread have been anything but snarky, sarcastic, and designed to do nothing but get a reaction from other people.

    I understand that Bart hates NASL, to the point that I wonder if someone connected with NASL personally ran over his dog. But is it necessary for him to troll every post that’s remotely related to NASL and USL? Does he have to try and turn every single thread on IMS into his own cesspool of whiny sarcasm?

    So, yes, I understand how someone can get frustrated when someone acts like a petulant child. Unfortunately, in this case, it was expressed in completely the wrong manner.

  8. June 25, 2012

    Some comments from Daniel and Bart have been deleted. I take a weekend off to attend to some personal matters and come back to this crap.

    My partner is a principle at a middle school. These are the same sort of stories she comes home with every day. Need I say more. Lets move on.

  9. Bart permalink
    June 25, 2012

    They say as one gets older, the more the person reverts to being a child. I am probably guilty of that charge.

    I still say, however that a Puerto Rico versus Antigua match is competition between the lower soccer divisions, and the outcome was one the soccer gods needed no crystal ball to predict.

  10. Etch permalink
    June 25, 2012

    Come on guys. We should support all Football (soccer) leagues and teams.

  11. Bart permalink
    June 25, 2012

    @ Etch

    There has to be some friendly rivalry, or the sport will lose some of its shine. Whether the rivalry gains momentum through a trolling event or other outlandish post, the key is to keep it sharp.

    I personally support all upper tier levels of US pro soccer. Much has been made of the internal rivalry of USL vs. NASL, and this game (getting back to the original writing by one fine man) helped illuminate the rivalry in an admittedly small way.

    Big fires start with small sparks, you just need the right fuel to feed it. If we can feed the enthusiam for soccer through a small spark, so that heat is felt and used by other non-soccer fans, then the good of the game can grow.

    MLS, NASL and USL Pro have certain teams that get it, and are being successful as a result, but many are losing lot’s of money, in some cases, as with MLS, 7 figures worth of annual losses.

    To turn that, we need team support and fan participation. To do that, the uneducated masses of the empire need to feel the heat and the power of the light and be drawn to that beautiful game. Once there, they need the nourishment of solid entertainment and an experience that keeps them coming back.

    I just really want to give everyone a big hug and love them like the brothers and sister that they are on Planet Earth.

  12. Mike permalink
    June 25, 2012

    That was beautiful counselor **sniff**. I’m wiping a tear from my eye as I type this. You’re quite profound for an immature troll, who’d have figured?

    At this point, I’d best be careful not to bring up anything about Charlotte beating San Antonio in the Open C… crap!

  13. Jay Long permalink
    June 26, 2012

    It’s too bad that both Islanders and Barracuda weren’t able to make it through. I would have been very happy to see both qualify for CCL play.

    Barracuda got dealt a terrible hand in regards to the scheduling. Between the national team duty and USLPRO scheduling, they had a really hard assignment.

    I think that it should be noted by anyone who has a rooting interest in USLPRO and NASL that Barracuda managed to take down W Connection in Trinidad in May. As I mentioned above, W Connection really took it to the Islanders.

    I think that Barracuda did quite well for themselves and I look forward to seeing them compete in the tournament when they don’t have to juggle national team duties and the scheduling is a bit kinder to them…

  14. Bart permalink
    June 26, 2012

    @ Jay Long

    I completely agree with you. Barracuda, with it’s limited resources, have come a long way.

    From what I understand, they play in a pretty cool stadium, but cricket is the game over there, not football.

Comments are closed.