The U.S. Men’s National Team moved a step closer to wondering its opponents for the Concacaf World Cup Qualifying Tournament.
Concacaf announced Wednesday that the draw for the first round of the qualifying procedure will take place on Aug. 19th. The USMNT will not take part in the first round after finishing as one of the top-five ranked teams in the federation ahead of the July FIFA World Rankings.
The remaining 30 Concacaf Associations will begin its journey to compete for the region’s three-and-a-half qualifying spots in October-November 2020. August’s draw will allocate the 30 teams into six different groups consisting of five teams in each group. The six teams from Pot 1, including Panama, will be pre-seeded to positions A1, B1, C1, D1, E1 and F1.
The highest ranked team in Pot 1, El Salvador, will occupy position A1, while the lowest ranked team in Pot 1, Trinidad and Tobago, will occupy position F1. The draw will continue by identifying groups for teams in Pots 2, 3, 4 and 5. The position which each team occupies in a group is determined based on the pot from which it is drawn.
Following the completion of each group’s single round-round matches, the winners of each of the six groups will advance to the Second Round of the Concacaf Qualifiers, scheduled to take place March 2021.
The Second Round will feature a two-legged tie between the six group winners, with the winner of Group A scheduled to play against Group F, Group B vs. Group E and Group C vs. Group D. The winners of these three two-legged ties will then advance to the Final Round of Concacaf Qualifiers, beginning in June 2021.
The USMNT, Mexico, Costa Rica, Jamaica, and Honduras will await the winners of the Second Round winners and will take part in a home-and-away round-robin format.
The pots for the first-round draw are as follows:
Pot 1: El Salvador, Canada, Curaçao, Panama, Haiti, Trinidad and Tobago
Pot 2: Antigua and Barbuda, Guatemala, St Kitts and Nevis, Suriname, Nicaragua, Dominican Republic
Pot 3: Grenada, Barbados, Guyana, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Bermuda, Belize
Pot 4: St Lucia, Puerto Rico, Cuba, Montserrat, Dominica, Cayman Islands
Pot 5: Bahamas, Aruba, Turks and Caicos Islands, US Virgin Islands, British Virgin Islands, Anguilla