MIAMI.- Bonaire didn’t have the best results in qualifying, but this is a country that understands and embraces the building project that it will take to get the national team to a Gold Cup, their stated goal.
The first step of that project was to accrue more matches, which has come in Concacaf Nations League Qualifying and now in League C, with the opportunity to play four competitive matches in a short time period of time, providing a good chance to evaluate the squad.
Losses to the Dominican Republic and Jamaica were good learning experiences, and Bonaire were leading at St. Vincent and the Grenadines at halftime 1-0 before falling 2-1. They then closed out CNLQ with a 2-1 victory over the British Virgin Islands courtesy of a Jermaine Windster brace.
Now in League C, they’ll be pitted against more equal competition and there's reasons to be hopeful. Shortly after CNLQ, club side Real Rincon made a nice run to the knockout stage of the Concacaf Caribbean Club Shield, advancing farther and performing better than the representatives of many of their League C counterparts, finishing the tournament with the bronze medal.
It was the first sign of progress in Bonaire’s master plan, and it should be noted that Rincon sends 8~10 players to the national team every time they play.
Group B is wide open, and if Bonaire continue to improve at this rate, they can absolutely finish at the top and earn promotion.