December 6, 2023

French Guiana
The Entire National Team

We aren’t kidding here. As one of the first time participants this year, this will be only the fourth significant international competition for this French territory (played in the Caribbean Cup in 1995, 2012 and 2014). Nobody on the current roster has scored an international goal, and this is a very young team that has only four players that are age 30 or older. If anything this will be a learning experience and a chance to gain some major exposure.

Maynor Figueroa, Defender

This 34-year-old proves that experience counts. Figueroa has worn the blue and white for eight of the 13 Gold Cup appearances for this Central American nation, and has played in integral part in the fact that this team has made the semifinals in four of their last six trips (most recently in 2013). The stability he provides on the backline will be the key to take the Hondurans to the championship game for the first time since 1991.

Juan Barrera, Midfielder

Nicaragua is playing in the Gold Cup for just the second time. Their first appearance was back in 2009 (eliminated in group stage) when Barrera was a rookie for the national team. But he has grown by leaps and bounds since then and will be more seasoned for the challenge this time around. The 28-year-old leads his team with 10 international goals, ranks second in caps (40), and the team as a whole is fresh off of winning the Copa Centro Americana back in January which gives them plenty of momentum heading into El Copa Oro.

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About The Author

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Gabe has worked in media for the last 20 years. In addition to 'LLERO; Gabe has also written for NBC Latino, Fox News Latino, Extra Newspaper, ESPN's The Undefeated, The Sporting News and Athlon Sports among others. He can also be heard on WGN Radio. Follow him on Twitter @GabeSalgado82.

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