Group A Preview
Leading the way in Group A has to be Sierra Leone. They come fresh off a trip to the knockout round a year ago, only to lose to eventual champ Ivory Coast. They will certainly be tested by a Haitian team that failed to make it out of the “Group of Death” a year ago. Haiti not only has some quick hitters on the outside, but has one of the premier goalies in the entire tournament. Israel may be the wild card in the group as they went 1-1 in friendly matches this summer. Cambodia could sneak up on some teams in the group, especially if they upped their recruitment efforts from last year.
MUST-SEE MATCH: September 24, 5pm at Germantown Supersite (Sedgwick & Lowber St) – Sierra Leone vs. Haiti
Group B Preview
Group B is a tough group to figure out. What we know is that Jamaica is loaded! They have played more friendly matches this summer and come off a nice run last year in the knockout round. The rest of the group (Belarus, Mongolia, Algeria) are first-year teams that not much is known about. This group could be Jamaica in a runaway or could be the most balanced of the tournament.
MUST-SEE MATCH: September 17, 6pm at Ramp Playground (3300-40 Solly Ave) – Belarus vs. Mongolia
Group C Preview
Italy was not happy about their early exit last year in the knockout round versus Ukraine, so Coach Massimo went out hunting for fresh blood — and if the summer friendly matches told us anything, it is to watch out for Italy in 2017! Hot on their tail are Guatemala and Thailand. Guatemala also had an early exit thanks to Jamaica last year, while Thailand is a newcomer to this year’s tournament. The final team in Group C is the Refugee Team. No matter how they fare in the games, they are the tournament’s biggest winners: putting together a team that represents nine countries and with coaches that speak three different languages, they have already lived the spirit of the Unity Cup.
MUST-SEE MATCH: September 10, 11am at Gratz Supersite (Germantown & Hunting Park Ave) – Guatemala vs. Thailand