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2017 Caribbean Cup finals set for Martinique in June

Kemar Lawrence might have a pre-Gold Cup commitment to attend to this summer.

Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

On January 25, the Caribbean Football Union announced the 2017 Caribbean Cup finals will be hosted by Martinique. The four-team tournament will run from June 22 to June 25. It is a straight knock-out competition: a pair of semifinals on June 22; third-place playoff and final on June 25.

All four teams will therefore be at the tournament for its duration. All four teams are also going to be playing in the 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup in July. They should therefore each have incentive to field strong squads for Caribbean Cup, in the name of building momentum for the bigger challenge of Gold Cup. The CFU has decided to hold its competition outside the FIFA dates set aside for international matches, so it isn't necessarily the case that the Caribbean Cup finalists will be able to field their best teams - just that they might want to do so.

As such, it is not inevitable that the New York Red Bulls' Kemar Lawrence will be called or released to play for Jamaica at Caribbean Cup. But RBNY fans should note that if he is, he may miss the June 24 MLS regular season game between the Red Bulls and NYCFC.

Lawrence is certainly expected to represent Jamaica at Gold Cup, where the Reggae Boyz will hope to recapture the form that propelled them to the final of the last tournament. Since finishing second at the 2015 Gold Cup, Jamaica has suffered a disappointing decline and has already been eliminated from World Cup qualifying. But 2017 could be a comeback year for the rebuilding Reggae Boyz. A Caribbean Cup win and a strong showing at the Gold Cup would be a reasonable recovery for a men's national team program that is essentially now targeting a more forceful challenge for qualification for the 2022 World Cup.

In Caribbean Cup, Jamaica will play French Guiana in the semifinals on June 22. The winner of that match plays the winner of the Curacao-Martinique semifinal for the trophy.