Proposal: USMNT to start World Cup qualifying in semifinal round next June

Proposal: USMNT to start World Cup qualifying in semifinal round next June

World Cup Qualifying

Proposal: USMNT to start World Cup qualifying in semifinal round next June

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

CONCACAF has submitted its proposal for 2014 World Cup qualifying to FIFA, and under the proposed set-up, the United States and the five other highest-ranked teams in the region according to the March FIFA world rankings will begin qualifying in the semifinal round in June, 2012.

Under the proposal, which will be reviewed by the FIFA Executive Committee at the end of May, the preliminary round will consist of 10 nations vying for five spots in the first round. The preliminary winners and first-round entrants will go through a group stage featuring six groups of four teams each. Those six group winners will be entered into another group stage — this one with three groups of four — with the United States, Mexico, Honduras, Jamaica, Costa Rica and Cuba.

The top two teams in each group will advance to the final round of qualifying, the hexagonal, where each team plays each other home and away, and the top three teams automatically qualify for the World Cup. The fourth-place team would play in a qualifying playoff against a team from a different region. If the proposal is approved, the United States would play up to two fewer games than it has in each of the last two qualifying cycles.

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