USMNT in Concacaf Nations League Group D with El Salvador, Grenada

Three days after learning their draw for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, the US men’s national team learned on Monday night they’re in League A’s Group D for the 2022-23 Concacaf Nations League alongside El Salvador and Grenada.

Here’s what awaits the defending champions in the second edition of the regional competition, which begins this June and acts as a qualifier for the 2023 Concacaf Gold Cup, aside from providing another trophy opportunity.

When they play

Schedule details are to be announced, with the semifinal matchups occurring at a centralized location between the four League A group winners.

  • Group stage: June 2022 and March 2023, four total (home-and-away)
  • Semifinals and final: June 2023

Who they drew

The USMNT, defending Nations League champions, are one of 12 teams in League A. They’re in Group D alongside El Salvador and Grenada, two teams promoted from League B of the previous iteration.

El Salvador: La Selecta finished seventh in the recently-completed Octagonal, with the USMNT taking four of six points (road draw, home win) from head coach Hugo Perez’s team. From MLS, the Central American nation’s squad includes Seattle Sounders FC defender Alex Roldan, LA Galaxy defender Eriq Zavaleta and Houston Dynamo FC midfielder Darwin Cerén.

Grenada: The Spice Boys have made the Gold Cup three times, including a 4-0 loss to the USMNT during the 2009 edition. They’re currently ranked 170th in the FIFA Men’s World Rankings, with their roster mainly comprised of lower-division players. There aren’t any Grenadian players currently in MLS, though New England Revolution legend (and current assistant coach) Shalrie Joseph is from the Caribbean island.

League A groups

  • Group A: Mexico, Jamaica, Suriname
  • Group B: Costa Rica, Panama, Martinque
  • Group C: Canada, Honduras, Curacao
  • Group D: USA, El Salvador, Grenada

Competition history

The USMNT won the inaugural Nations League last summer, beating Mexico 3-2 in an instant classic after the tournament was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Head coach Gregg Berhalter’s team topped Group A ahead of Canada and Cuba, reaching the Final Four and beating Honduras in the semifinals.

This go-around, the June 2022 group-stage games are particularly important with limited international windows ahead of the World Cup in November.

Gold Cup implications

The top two finishers in each League A group, as well as the group winners in League B, qualify directly for next summer’s confederation championship.

Twelve other teams will have an opportunity to qualify for the tournament via the Gold Cup Prelims. The Prelims will include the participation of the League A third-place finishers (four teams), the League B second-place finishers (four teams), and the League C group winners (four teams).