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Curacao and Martinique qualify for 2017 Gold Cup; Trinidad and Tobago has a problem

The latest round of Caribbean Cup matches saw a couple of teams get Gold Cup berths, and the Soca Warriors get a headache.

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Curacao and Martinique have won through to the 2017 Gold Cup after winning their respective groups in the qualifying tournament for next year's Caribbean Cup.

The current stage of Caribbean Cup qualifying is set up to generate the final four of the CFU's showpiece tournament, and four of the five Caribbean representatives at the 2017 Gold Cup. Four groups of three are reduced to four group winners, and the three best-ranked second-placed teams contest a playoff round that will send a fifth team to Gold Cup.

Hurricane Matthew has disrupted Groups 1 and 2, meaning Suriname, Jamaica, French Guiana, Haiti, and St. Kitts and Nevis will have to wait a little longer to find out which of them will be advancing to Gold Cup. Guyana has been eliminated from Group 1 after losing both its games (both after extra time) to Suriname and Jamaica, respectively.

But Groups 3 and 4 are decided.

In Group 3, Curacao beat Puerto Rico after extra time, battling back from 2-0 down to win 4-2. Curacao is gently testing the established order of Caribbean soccer, having recruited enthusiastically from its diaspora and fielding a squad made up mostly of Holland-born players. Expect to hear a lot about Gino van Kessel, Felitciano Zschusschen, and Leandro Bacuna next summer.

Puerto Rico's loss put it bottom of the group, eliminated from any further contention for a Gold Cup berth. That means former New York Red Bulls Jeremy Hall, Manolo Sanchez, and (MetroStars draft pick) Jason Hernandez won't be at next year's Gold Cup.

But NYRB U-23s' Eric Klenofsky can still nurture the hope of a Gold Cup call-up: Antigua and Barbuda will have to wait for Groups 1 and 2 to be settled, but currently occupies one of the playoff spots for a second shot at qualifying for next summer's CONCACAF tournament.

If the Benna Boys get to the Gold Cup playoffs, they will have to contend with a regional heavyweight. Trinidad and Tobago lost to Martinique, 2-0 after extra time, in the final game of Group 4. That result clinched a surprise Gold Cup appearance for Martinique, and creates a headache for T&T.

The Soca Warriors are the Caribbean's only representative in the last round of CONCACAF World Cup qualifying. That last round - the Hexagonal tournament - will run until October 2017. T&T has quite a crowded calendar of competitive games, and it's difficult to see where the team will squeeze an extra set of Gold Cup qualifiers.

It seems unlikely the CFU will ask the Caribbean Cup playoff teams to play in November, as originally scheduled, since there are still three games from the current stage to be played and they will presumably be rescheduled for next month's international window.

That should mean another international call-up for the New York Red Bulls Kemar Lawrence, and perhaps Derrick Etienne. Jamaica has to play Suriname, and Haiti must play French Guiana and St. Kitts and Nevis. And the Soca Warriors have a problem, one they might only be able to solve by fielding a B-team in the Gold Cup playoffs - whenever they are held. And that could see up-and-coming RBNY Academy prospect Noah Powder considered for a call by T&T.