The Boston Globe's Frank Dell'Apa has a great story about Guadeloupe, the Gold Cup's surprise package this year. However, if you take a look at the tiny French Caribbean nation's past, then perhaps it's not so surprising to see Guadeloupe in the Cold Cup semifinals. The following French national team players have Guadeloupe heritage: Pascal Chimbonda (Tottenham), William Gallas (Arsenal), Thierry Henry (Arsenal), Sylvain Wiltord (Lyon), Louis Saha (Man United) and Mikael Silvestre (Man United). Jocelyn Angloma (retired) and Lilian Thuram (Barcelona) were both born there; the former has come out of retirement to lead Guadeloupe to Thursday night's semifinal against Mexico.
Guadeloupe, like so many of the Caribbean islands, is a relic of colonialism. As such, the tiny French territory may not enter World Cup qualifying, although for a competition like the Gold Cup it can use anyone born on the island. Meanwhile, it's been supplying the French league with talent for decades, with a population of just 472,000.
Angloma, at 41, is the team's spiritual leader. He played for France in the mid-to late '90s, while he played his club soccer in France, Italy and Spain. Since his retirement, Angloma has been playing with Etoile de Morne-a-l'Eau in Guadeloupe. He came out of retirement to play in the Gold Cup, scoring the crucial first goal in the quarterfinal against Honduras. Thuram, meanwhile, is player who considers Guadeloupe his home and may yet suit up for the next Gold Cup.