The path to qualifying for the FIFA World Cup 2022 is becoming clearer for the US men’s national team and the Canadian national team, with Concacaf announcing the timing and procedure for the qualifying draw two weeks after revealing a new format for the competition.
The draw, which includes 35 teams across North, Central America and the Caribbean, will take place at FIFA headquarters in Zurich August 19 at 1 pm ET and will be streamed live on FIFA.com.
Based on the most recent FIFA World Ranking (as of July 16), the 30 lowest-ranked Concacaf teams will be split into six groups of five to contest the first round of qualifying. 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
The six highest-ranked teams in the first round – El Salvador, Canada, Curaçao, Panama, Haiti, and Trinidad and Tobago – will be pre-seeded into groups A to F respectively. Each team in the first round will play four matches, two home and two away.
In the second round, the six group winners will face off in a home-and-away elimination format in three predetermined pairings. The three winners move on to the final round and join the five highest-ranked Concacaf teams — Mexico, the United States, Costa Rica, Jamaica and Honduras — to play in a home-and-away round-robin format.
Following the draw for the first round, there will be a draw for the final round, which will indicate the position of each team within the final qualification stage. Pot A of that draw will contain the eight teams themselves, while Pot B contain the positions of teams in the group to determine the match schedule.
The pots for the final-round draw are as follows:
- Pot A: Mexico, USA, Costa Rica, Jamaica, Honduras, Winner of A vs. F, Winner of B vs. E, Winner of C vs. D
- Pot B: Teams 1-8
For more information on the process, click here