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[FM20] [EXPERIMENT] Caribbean Super League

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Posted (edited)

CARIBBEAN SUPER LEAGUE

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With the Coronavirus upon us, and little else to do but get back into Football Manager, I have the time to indulge in a "what if?" experiment again, just like old times.  This time, the question is "what if an unprecidented amount of money was injected into Caribbean football?"  A part of the world more known for its cricket, track and field athletics, and baseball, the Caribbean is not the football hotbed its physically strong and athletic people have the capability of making it.  There is simply not the funding or infrastructure for the region to succeed at the world's favourite sport in the same way as Western Europe, South America or even Africa.  But what if that wasn't the case?  What if the national leagues of the Caribbean nations were replaced by a single, 128-team super league each owned by multi-millionaires with decent facilities, national reputations were boosted, and the North American Champions League was replaced with a 256-team North American and Caribbean Champions League with 128 spots for Caribbean teams and 128 for continental North and Central American teams?

Well, you've come to the right place to find out; that's exactly what is going to happen.  As the region's arguably most successful football (and sporting) nation, Jamaica is the home of the new Caribbean Super League, with 128 teams - four from every FIFA-affiliated Caribbean nation (only three from Montserrat), as well as Suriname, Guyana and French Guiana, and even a side from tiny Saint Pierre and Miquelon.  Here, progress of the clubs will be tracked domestically, continentally, and even on the world stage should they qualify for the Club World Championship.  Furthermore, all Caribbean nations will be tracked, along with the Gold Cup, North American Nations Cup, and World Cup in their entirety.  On top of this, some players will be followed; the best players produced by the region, those with the highest potential, and those who achieve significant numbers of international caps and goals.

Will Caribbean sides dominate North American football?  Will Caribbean-born players be spoken of in the same breath as the best players in the world?  Will a Caribbean nation ever win the world cup?  All of these questions - and more - will be answered, as the inaugaral Carribean Super League gets underway...

Edited by Dave.

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Sounds cool. Following :thup:

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Alright, after some weeks of error-strewn editor files, and plenty of set-up, we're finally (sorry!) ready to go.  In fact, we have gone, and the first season is complete.  I will give season-by-season round-ups, split into categories (domestic football, club continental/international football, international football, and Caribbean players), starting with the 2019/20 season.  I will not mention the nation of every club whenever they're named, so please refer to the following table of clubs/countries - these are the 128 sides in the Caribbean Super League.  These are (mostly) the full names of the sides as stated in the editor, though of course in league tables, fixtures, etc. the short name is usually used.  There might be a slight difference therefore between the names in this table and the names of the teams in screenshots posted, but I will do my best to keep it clear and updated.

 

THE TEAMS

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2019/2020 CARIBBEAN DOMESTIC FOOTBALL

Caribbean Super League

Winners - DON BOSCO (HAITI)

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Don Bosco earned a deserved maiden Caribbean Super League title after defeating Unique of the US Virgin Islands 3-1 over two legs.  The Haitian outfit finished top of Group D (one of 8 groups with 16 teams) and comfortably qualified as one of the top two, fourteen points clear of third placed Concordia.  They didn't have an easy route through the playoffs to the final as their opponents Unique did; being made to scrap against Golden Lion and having to pull off some tricks to come back to win their semi-final after losing 1-0 to their Group D rivals Renegades (who themselves needed a golden goal to reach the quarter final) in the first leg.  But manage it they did, and the side that boast international signing such as Rúben Dias, Reiss Nelson, and Alfredo Morelos are crowned the first Kings of the Caribbean.

Caribbean Super Cup

Winners - UNIQUE (US VIRGIN ISLANDS)

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Despite the name, this is not a conventional "super cup" but is the main domestic cup between the sides of the Caribbean Super League.  Two sides out of 128 stood out in the league, and those two also made it all the way to the final of the Super Cup.  This time, Unique came out on top thanks to a Cengiz Ünder golden goal, denying Don Bosco the domestic double. 

Sunshine Shield

This is the classic super cup; the winners of the Caribbean Super League and the Caribbean Super Cup face off for ultimate bragging rights.  Of course, there was no competition this season as no sides had yet won the qualifiying competitions, but it'll launch the 2020/21 season.  No prizes for guessing who'll be playing.

 

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Posted (edited)

2019/2020 CONTINENTAL AND INTERNATIONAL CLUB FOOTBALL

North American and Caribbean Champions League

WINNERS - DON BOSCO (HAITI)

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They may have been denied the domestic double, but Don Bosco achieved a glorious Carribean Super League and NACCL double, after defeating Bonaire's SV Vespo in a tightly-contested final.  The format of the NACCL is slightly different to how it was first planned to be; with 128 continental North and Central American sides (at least 8 from each nation, and 20 from each of the USA and Mexico) joining 128 Caribbean sides (all those in the Caribbean Super League) in three qualifying rounds before a 32-team group stage and knockout stages.  We'll be tracking the NACCL, like the Caribbean Super League and Caribbean Super Cup, from the last-16 stage.  Despite 10/16 last-16 sides being from the USA or Mexico, only three of these made it to the quarter finals, and none made it further, as the Caribbean sides demonstrated their strength right at the top.  This is only expected to get more notable, as the strength-in-depth of the Caribbean sides increases too, as their fantastic facilities and extraordinary financial backing sees them bring in some of the best youth and established talent in the world.

Club World Championship

WINNERS - LIVERPOOL (ENGLAND)

We won't say too much about this (and not just because Liverpool won it) as it's the final edition before the format changes.  Of course, starting with 2021 (and repeating every year in place of the Confederations Cup) this tournament now turns into a large 25-team Club World Cup which will feature three North American or Carribean sides.  No Caribbean sides featured this time, with Monterrey of Mexico losing 2-0 to Liverpol in the final.

Edited by Dave.

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2019/2020 INTERNATIONAL FOOTBALL

2020 North American Nations League

WINNERS - TRINIDAD & TOBAGO

A new North American international tournment, much like the corresponding European Nations League, sees 41 North American sides (no Saint Barthélemy or St Pierre & Micquelon) compete over three divisions, each formed of four groups, with promotion and relegation, with the top four sides entering a playoff to determine the Nations League champion.  Similarly to the European Nations League, the North American Nations League doubles as a qualifying tournament for the continent's main international competition, the Gold Cup (more on that below).  In Division A, the semi finals were contested by Trinidad & Tobago, Cuba, Mexico and Bermuda, with Trinidad & Tobago coming out on top against Bermuda in an all-Caribbean final to win the inaugaral competition.  The USA stunned the continent by finishing last in their group, below Cuba and Canada, and are relegated to Division B along with Costa Rica, Panama and Martinique.  Replacing them as Division B winners are French Guiana, Dominican Republic, Jamaica and Suriname, whilst Belize, El Salvador, Guyana and Nicaragua are relegated from Division B to be replaced by Division C winners Barbados, Bonaire, Puerto Rico and Guadeloupe for next season.

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2021 North American Gold Cup Qualifying

With the North American Nations Leauge now doubling as qualifying for the Gold Cup, we had a few surprises.  The big - huge - one is the absence of the USA.  Their relegation from Division A of the Nations League meant that they had to enter the Gold Cup playoff - qualifiers are those finishing 1st or 2nd in the three-team Division A groups, or in 1st (i.e. the promotion spot) of the four-team Division B groups.  In the playoff, these four Nations League Division A 3rd placed team had to face the winners of semi-final matches between Division B 2nd placed teams and Division C 3rd placed teams.  The USA were stunned by Division C Puerto Rico, who will play in the Gold Cup next summer in their place.

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FIFA World Rankings

Currently, the top three spots in the FIFA World Rankings are occupied by continental North American sides, with Mexico highest at 19th, but expect this to change soon.  Jamaica remain the highest Caribbean side, ranked 61st in the World, whilst Anugilla are 208th, with only Eritrea, San Marino and Tonga below them as FIFA-affiliated sides.

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Posted (edited)

2019/2020 PLAYERS

In this section, we'll simply take a look at the best players the Caribbean has to offer.  As you will see, this includes the best Caribbean players, the best of those who represent a Caribbean nation internationally, and the players with the highest potential.  We will later track regen Caribbean players with a significant number of international caps and goals.  As you will see, the Dutch/Surinamese defender Virgil van Dijk just leads Liverpool and England's part Jamaican winger Raheem Sterling.  Leon Bailey of Jamaica and Souliga is the standout Caribbean international, and has plenty of room to improve as well.  Jenson Tieleman has incredible potential - he could be the best player in the world.  He hasn't indicated whether he's going to play for Holland or Bonaire yet, though of course if he chooses the nation of his birth he'll never be able to play at the World Cup.

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Edited by Dave.

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2020/2021 CARIBBEAN DOMESTIC FOOTBALL

Caribbean Super League

Winners - GPS PUERTO RICO (PUERTO RICO)

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They had to scrap their way to the title after finishing second in Group B and edging out their opponents in all four Champions Playoff ties, but scrap they did - and GPS Puerto Rico fully deserve their first Caribbean Super League gong.  Boasting the likes of Ilkay Gündogan, Son Heung-Min and Leon Goretzka, Global Premier Soccer - to give them their full name - saw off St Kitts & Nevis' Superstars, who had made the quarter finals last year, on penalties in the final.

Caribbean Super Cup

Winners - GPS PUERTO RICO (PUERTO RICO)

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GPS Puerto Rico completed the first Caribbean domestic double after defeating Big Players of St Lucia in the final of the Caribbean Super Cup.  They needed penalaties to get past Haiti's AS Capoise in the semis, but an early Haris Seferovic goal in the final saw them ease to victory against the St Lucians.

Sunshine Shield

Winners - UNIQUE (US VIRGIN ISLANDS)

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For the third time in two seasons, Unique took on Don Bosco in a domestic final, and for the second time, it was the US Virgin Islanders who came out on top, to win the first Sunshine Shield.  There was no chance for GPS Puerto Rico to play for the domestic treble this season, although they will get that chance now in 2021/22.

 

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Posted (edited)
On 17/04/2020 at 09:16, Dave. said:

2019/2020 PLAYERS

In this section, we'll simply take a look at the best players the Caribbean has to offer.  As you will see, this includes the best Caribbean players, the best of those who represent a Caribbean nation internationally, and the players with the highest potential.  We will later track regen Caribbean players with a significant number of international caps and goals.  As you will see, the Dutch/Surinamese defender Virgil van Dijk just leads Liverpool and England's part Jamaican winger Raheem Sterling.  Leon Bailey of Jamaica and Souliga is the standout Caribbean international, and has plenty of room to improve as well.  Jenson Tieleman has incredible potential - he could be the best player in the world.  He hasn't indicated whether he's going to play for Holland or Bonaire yet, though of course if he chooses the nation of his birth he'll never be able to play at the World Cup.

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Very cool, is it also possible for you to post the best players playing in the CSL regardless of nationality? That way we can see how powerful the league is, what kind of players it can attract.

Edited by OspreyJ

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Posted (edited)

2020/2021 CONTINENTAL AND INTERNATIONAL CLUB FOOTBALL

North American and Caribbean Champions League

WINNERS - SLINGERZ (GUYANA)

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Holders Don Bosco were dumped out in the third qualifying round by Cheshire Hall of the Turks & Caicos Islands - who made it all the way to the semi finals - whilst domestic double winners GPS Puerto Rico couldn't get past Haiti's Mirebalais in the quarter finals.  Mirebalais - Caribbean Super League semi-finalists last season - reached the final, where they were comprehensively outplayed and well beaten by Slingerz of Guyana, a side led by Diego Simeone and boasting talent such as Nathan Aké, Gianluca Mancini, Hirving Lozano, Mason Mount and Willian.

Club World Championship

WINNERS - LIVERPOOL (ENGLAND)

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Three North American sides qualify for the Club World Championship, and as the two NACCL winners to date, GPS Puerto Rico and Don Bosco took two of these berths (note that nations are shown as Jamaica - the base of the Caribbean Super League - in league tables for some reason, but are correct in the knockout stages and match/fixture views).  However, it was the French Guianese side ASC Agouado, who took the third spot due to reasons I cannot fathom, who impressed in the tournament.  Three stunning victories against Boca, Man City and Bayern took the French Guianese to the semi-finals, where they lost to Spurs before being demolished 4-0 by Barcelona in the third-place playoff.  Liverpool went on to win the tournament for the second season running, after taking Tottenham apart and winning 3-0 in the final.  We'll be back for another edition of the Club World Championship in 2025.

Edited by Dave.

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1 hour ago, OspreyJ said:

Very cool, is it also possible for you to post the best players playing in the CSL regardless of nationality? That way we can see how powerful the league is, what kind of players it can attract.

Sure - I can include this in the next update!

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2020/2021 INTERNATIONAL FOOTBALL

2021 North American Gold Cup

WINNERS - JAMAICA

It didn't take long for Caribbean football to taste international glory!  The victory was that of the region's strongest side, Jamaica, who finally ended the Mexican-American duopoly on the Gold Cup - something only Canada have achieved before, back in 2000.  Jamaica have pedigree in the tournament though, even though they've never won until now, coming runners up in the 2015 and 2017 editions and hosting matches in the 2019 tournament.  With the USA failing to qualify, the door was always open to a Caribbean side to reach the final, but Jamaica went one better, defeating Mexico 1-0 in the showpiece thanks to a Lewis Baker penalty in the 64th minute.  This result doesn't tell the whole tale of the tournament, however.  Jamaica's group stage performance was atrocious; losing to an Odsonne Edoard-inspired French Guiana, and only able to draw with Costa Rica and Haiti.  Qualfying with just two points is almost an achievement in itself.  The Reggae Boyz turned it on when they were required to however, and the Caribbean's first Gold Cup victory is theirs to savour.

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2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifying

North America brought in a new format to World Cup qualifying, which is very much in favour of the big sides, and seen by many as a knee-jerk reaction to the USA's absence at the 2018 World Cup after defeat to Panama.  The top six ranked sides play in a closed league, with the top three qualifying automatically, while fourth place plays against the winner of a tournament comprising everyone else for the right to simply enter the intercontinental playoffs.  Luckily, the World Cup expands in size from the next edition - and Caribbean sides will be hoping it is made a little fairer.  Jamaica however didn't let this stop them in 2021, winning the "Hexagonal" and qualifying for the World Cup automatically along with the USA and Costa Rica.  Mexico only finished fourth, and will have to play Cuba for the right to enter the playoffs.

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September 2021 - FIFA World Rankings

Jamaica's successful year sees them move up to 45th place, and second among all North American sides.  Mexico still stay highest at 21st, and continental sides make up the rest of the top 5 as the Caribbean nations are still lagging on the basis of the FIFA points system.  This will take time to adjust; by which point perhaps the world will already be aware of the changing of the North American guard.

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2020/2021 PLAYERS

A few interesting developments here, as the best and brightest of Caribbean football is listed.  A lot of transfers have taken place recently (those clubs with red bold font are new clubs since last year), with Raheem Sterling the big mover - Unique paying an eye watering $225M to bring him to the US Virgin Islands from Man City.  Elsewhere, Justin Kluivert actually departs the Caribbean, with Man City bringing him in as a potential replacement for Sterling.  There are a couple more talented prospects on the horizon, and 17-year-old Cayman Islands youngster Anthony Rivers progressing nicely, and already one of the best local-born talents in the CSL.  We also look at, for the first time, the best players in the CSL - a list which Sterling now tops.  As you can see, with him being (statistically, by CA) the 14th best player in the world, and the tenth best player in the league being 42nd in the world, the CSL has some way to go yet to be the world's dominant league - but it's certainly already up there as one of the biggest three or four already.  The average CA among the Carribean's best ten players rises 2.9 to 166, while among its best ten internationals, the average CA rises 3.7 to 141.8.  The average PA of the top ten Caribbean talents rises 2.2 to 177 (and their CA by a whopping 13.6 to 115.1 - although this is a symptom of their ages rising, and will not level out for a couple of years at least yet).

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