• Thursday Jul 06, 2017

    French Guiana’s Leon focuses on Gold Cup

    French Guiana goalkeeper Donovan Leon (pictured) has been playing professionally in France since 2011. (Photo: Jody Amiet)

    HARRISON, New Jersey -- As French Guiana makes final preparations on the eve of its first appearance at a CONCACAF Gold Cup against Canada, it’s easy to find similarities to the 2013 Martinique side that took part in this competition.

    It wasn’t Martinique’s first appearance, but -- like French Guiana -- it opened against Canada.

    Les Matinino famously won 1-0 at the Rose Bowl and while Guiana is confident heading into the 2017 Gold Cup’s opening game at Red Bull Arena, it won’t draw any false confidence from its fellow French overseas department’s victory.

    “It’s true that it’s our first major competition and Canada plays in these all the time,” said French Guiana captain and goalkeeper Donovan Leon.  “We know that teams we’ll play in the Gold Cup won’t be the same as the kinds we’ve faced before.  But we’ll give the most we can on the field and we’ll see how that works out at the end of the game.”

    Leon, like much of the squad, has the talent to play professionally in France.  He’s had time with Auxerre and, most recently, with Brest in Ligue 2.

    Although Leon faces some uncertainty with his club status moving forward, the 24-year-old is just excited to get at least three games in a highly demanding environment to test himself against some of CONCACAF’s toughest sides.

    “It’s true that my club situation hasn’t been sorted out,” said Léon.  “But now I’m with this team and I’ll focus on my club situation after this competition.  It was just like in the Caribbean Cup where I was just focusing on that tournament. 

    “We’ll play these three games and then we’ll see and I’ll decide after.  At least I’m in a competition with Guiana.”

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