[ I think they would enter the game to late remember it starts around 1500, and the Russians only entered Alaska circa 1800 and then only in small numbers. ]
Or the Vikings? They could start the game with a small colony (pioneer, soldier, and farmer plus a caravel) in Newfoundland. On computer generated maps, they would start on a small island of 5-8 squares. My suggestion about the Vikings is based on the fact that during the 11th century, a small group under the leadership of Thorfinn Karlsefni did establish a tiny settlement at L'Anse aux Meadows in Newfoundland. It is believed this settlement only lasted a few years. Under different conditions (and Colonization certainly allows for different conditions) this settlement could possibly have survived as a small fishing village trading with the Greenland settlements, until Columbus.
[ Vikings died out about 1200 when they became Christian ie. too early. They did in fact have a small colony in Newfoundland circa 1000 but where killed by the Indians as they didn't have Muskets, only Swords and their Longships were a lot less efficient and safe than Caravels, having to Island hope across the icy north. I also believe their Icelandic colonies died of starvation too, and had to be re-colonized. ]
For a European country, they could have Denmark. I believe that during the time period of the game, Denmark ruled Norway, as well as Iceland and Greenland.
[ The Danes probably didn't want to get involved in America because (a) they are too moral to steal someone else's land (b) Britain could easily have occupied Iceland, the Faroe Islands and/or Greenland in retaliation. The Sweds however did in fact have a colony in what is now Pennsylvania pre William Penn called unimaginatively New Sweden but they were forced out or left about the same time the Russians occupied the Baltic states and Finland which were then owned by Sweden in the Great Northern War circa 1700 where Russia got access to the Baltic sea. So they probably needed all their resources to keep a strong army at home and had less settlers to send as well. Scandinavians later emigrated to America in the 1860's to help colonize the territories neighbouring the newly opened Mississippi-Pacific continental railroads. ]
There are 3 ways the game ends in Colonization, with one outcome being the most positive. The two least positive outcomes, from a Colony Score standpoint, are to have the game end automatically. The first end game happens if you have NOT declared Independence. The game will end automatically in 1800 and your Colony Score will be tabulated. The 2nd end game happens if you have declared Independence, but have not won as yet. The game will then end automatically in 1840. This is a detriment because once you declare Independence you cannot found any more Cities/Colonies. And a long protracted war drains your resources and ultimately your Score.
So.. the 3rd and best way to maximise your Colony Score is to declare Independence on or before 1776 and win before 1800.