How Concacaf’s 2022 World Cup Qualifying Draw Will Work

How Concacaf’s 2022 World Cup Qualifying Draw Will Work

The U.S. Men’s National Team will learn its path to reach the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ when FIFA conducts the draw to determine the schedule for Concacaf’s World Cup Qualifying First Round and Final Round on Wednesday in Zurich (1pm ET; Telemundo En Vivo).

 

Here’s a handy guide to understand how it will work:

 



USA one of Five Teams Already in the Final Round

 

Set to begin play in June 2021, the eight-team Final Round of Concacaf Qualifying will involve the region’s top five ranked teams based on the July FIFA World Rankings:

 

Mexico, USA, Costa Rica, Jamaica and Honduras

 



Determining the Other Three Teams

 

Prior to the Final Round, the remaining 30 Concacaf nations will compete through two rounds to determine the other three teams who will take part in the “Octagonal”.

 

Scheduled for this year’s October and November FIFA Windows, the First Round will feature six groups (Groups A-F) of five teams each playing four matches (two home, two away).

 

The winners of each group will then advance to the Second Round where they will compete in a home-and-away playoff during the March 2021 FIFA window. The matchups for the playoffs are already determined: Group A winner vs. Group F winner; Group B winner vs. Group E winner; Group C winner vs. Group D winner.

The three victorious sides from the two-leg series will advance to the Final Round.

 



The Final Round Draw

 

Two draws will occur on Wednesday: First Round and Final Round.

 

For the USA’s purposes, the Final Round Draw will be relatively simple. The five teams already qualified for the “Octagonal”, plus balls representing the winners of the three playoff series in March, will be placed in one pot. Balls numbered 1-8 will be placed in another.

 

When the name of one of the five countries or three playoff matchups are pulled out of the first pot, a corresponding number will then be pulled out of the second pot. That numbered ball is significant as it will correspond with the qualifying schedule matrix that was released by Concacaf in early August. The pre-determined numerical schedule sets when each team will play each other during the Final Round, which runs from June 2021-March 2022.

 

The top three teams at the end of the Final Round will automatically qualify for Qatar 2022, while the fourth-place finisher will go into an intercontinental playoff with a team from another region in June 2022.

 



The First Round Draw


Prior to the Final Round events, a First Round draw will occur to determine the six groups of five teams who will play qualifiers during the October and November windows this fall.

The top six teams out of the 30 according to the July FIFA Rankings have already been seeded as the first team in each group. The four other pots (Pots 2-5) will feature six teams each, potted based on where they were placed in the July FIFA Rankings:

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

A numerical schedule has already been set to determine the home and away schedules for each team. Unlike the Final Round where a team will be draw with a random number, this time a team will be draw with a letter (A-F), while the pot each team is pulled from will also represent the number they are assigned in the schedule (2-5).


 

2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifying – Concacaf First Round Groups

Pot No.

Group A

Group B

Group C

Group D

Group E

Group F

1

El Salvador

Canada

Curaçao

Panama

Haiti

Trinidad & Tobago

2

-

-

-

-

-

-

3

-

-

-

-

-

-

4

-

-

-

-

-

-

5

-

-

-

-

-

-

 

 

 

 

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