The Road Through Qualifying for the 2018 World Cup
Saturday's Draw in Saint Petersbrug will shed a light on the USA's possible opponents when it enters the Fourth Round of 2018 World Cup Qualifying this Novemebr.
The U.S. Men's National Team will get a view of the it's road through qualifying for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia when the sport's world governing body holds the Preliminary Draw for the tournament tomorrow in Saint Petersburg, Russia. The match schedules for the 2018 World Cup and 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup - the annual tournament staged a year in advance of the main event as a trial run in the World Cup host nation - was released by FIFA today. The USA, winners of the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup, will contest this year's winner of the Gold Cup - either Jamaica or Mexico - in a one-game playoff later this fall for the right to attend the 2017 Confederations Cup. The U.S. last reached the Confederations Cup in 2009, making the Final after beating then-No. 1 ranked Spain in the Semifinal.
For the upcoming World Cup Qualifying cycle the USA enters the regional qualifying competition in the Fourth (Semifinal) Round. The First and Second Rounds have been completed. The Third Round match-ups will be determined during Saturday's Preliminary Draw in Russia. The winners of those six Third Round matches will advance to the Fourth (Semifinal) Round of World Cup Qualifying when the USA, Costa Rica, Honduras, Mexico, Panama and Trinidad & Tobago join the Qualifying competition.
SECOND ROUND CONCACAF QUALIFIERS:
Antigua & Barbuda, Barbados, Belize, Curaçao, Canada, El Salvador, Grenada, Guatemala, Nicaragua, St. Vincent & Grenadines all advanced from Second Round of Qualifying, which was played in June.
The ten teams that advanced from the Second Round of CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying, as well as Jamaica and Haiti will be divided into two pots according to FIFA Rankings and paired against each other during Saturday’s draw.
They will contest the Third Round in a two-legged series on Aug. 31 and Sept. 8.
FOURTH (SEMIFINAL) ROUND
The six winners in the Third Round will join USA, Costa Rica, Honduras, Mexico, Panama and Trinidad & Tobago in the Fourth (Semifinal) Round.
The 12 teams will be drawn into three groups of four teams. The winners and runners-up of the Fourth Round groups advance to the Hexagonal.
The Fourth Round will be played from Nov. 7, 2015 to Sept. 6, 2016. The draw for the Fourth Round also takes place Saturday.
FIFTH ROUND / HEXAGONAL
Begins play Nov. 7, 2016 and extends to Oct. 10, 2017.