The tournament may be three years off, but 2018 World Cup qualifying is already well underway for some of the world's smaller countries. Now, the big boys will learn their path to Russia when the draw for the next couple of rounds of qualifying takes place on Saturday morning.
The Preliminary Draw will take place at Konstantin Palace in St. Petersburg, Russia at 11 am ET and will be aired live on Telemundo and NBC Universo. FIFA Secretary General Jerome Valcke will conduct the proceedings, where draws for five of the six continental confederations will be taking place.
Of interest to US and Canadian national team fans will be the CONCACAF portion of proceedings.
The ten winners of the now-completed second round of World Cup qualifying, including Canada, will join Gold Cup finalists Jamaica and quarterfinalists Haiti in round three. At the Preliminary Draw, the teams will be divided into two pots according to the FIFA rankings of July 2015 and paired against each other. The two-legged series' will take place between August 31 and September 8, 2015.
The six winners of these games will join Costa Rica, Mexico, USA, Honduras, Panama and Trinidad and Tobago in the fourth round of qualifying, which will also be drawn on Saturday. The 12 teams will be placed into three groups of four teams. The fourth round will be played between November 7, 2015 and September 6, 2016. The winners and runners-up in those three groups will advance into the fifth and final round of qualification, also known as the Hexagonal, which is set to take place from November 7, 2016 to October 10, 2017.