Third round of qualifying to start June 8
CONCACAF World Cup qualifying will resume June 8 with the first of six match dates, highlighted by an all-Central American clash between Honduras and Panama. Regional heavyweights Mexico and the United States will open at home, the Americans against Antigua and Barbuda and El Tri versus Guyana.
The “semifinal” round is divided into three groups of four teams, with the second-round group winners (El Salvador, Guyana, Panama, Canada, Guatemala and Antigua) joining the six teams that were given byes into the second group phase (Costa Rica, Cuba, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico and the United States).
The United States is joined in Group A by Antigua, Guatemala and Jamaica, while Mexico leads Group B along with Costa Rica, El Salvador and Guyana. Group C consists of Cuba, Canada Honduras and Panama. Times and locations for all matches will be confirmed at a later date.
Two teams from each semifinal group will advance to the final round of qualifying – commonly known as the “hexagonal”.
Three teams will qualify for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, with the fourth-placed team facing off against the Oceania winner for another berth in the 32-team field.
For a complete schedule, please visit the World Cup page at CONCACAF.com.
Remaining two teams for CONCACAF qualifying finals to be decided November 28
The remaining two berths for CONCACAF’s men’s Olympic qualifying finals will be determined this week when Caribbean sides Cuba, Suriname, Trinidad & Tobago and St. Kitts & Nevis meet in Basseterre.
The final four-team group will begin play Wednesday, with Trinidad against Cuba, and St. Kitts facing Suriname. The four teams also will play on Saturday and Monday.
The prevailing pair will join host the United States and fellow automatic North American qualifiers Canada and Mexico along with Central American sides El Salvador, Honduras and Panama for the March 22-April 2 eight-team finals in Nashville, Tennessee; Kansas City, Kansas, and Los Angeles.
For more information, results and standings, please visit the men’s Olympics page at CONCACAF.com.
Central American qualifying to start Wednesday; Caribbean finals a week away
The eight-team field for the CONCACAF Under-17 Women’s Championship will begin to clarify this week when Central American qualifying begins with a pair of two-leg playoffs.
Panama will host Nicaragua, and Costa Rica will welcome El Salvador in the first leg of their pairings with Costa Rica will traveling to El Salvador three days later and Nicaragua returning home to Managua against Panama on November 27.
The winners will face off December 7 and December 12 to join fellow Central American side and tournament host Guatemala – as well as North American qualifiers Canada, Mexico and the United States — in the finals May 2-13.
The Caribbean’s three berths will be decided in its final round of qualifying beginning November 29 in Trinidad. The host will be joined by Jamaica, Guyana and the Bahamas to eliminate one side by December 3.
Please visit the Women’s Under-17 page at CONCACAF.com for more information.
Caribbean qualifiers to be determined in January
The last three teams for the CONCACAF Women’s Under-20 Championship will decided in January when final round of Caribbean qualifying gets underway in the Dominican Republic and Cuba.
The Dominican Republic will host the Cayman Islands, Jamaica and Haiti in Group E January 6-10 while Guyana, Puerto Rico and Trinidad & Tobago will travel to Havana January 7-11 to play in Group F.
The group winners and the best second-place team among the two groups will qualify for the eight-team finals in Panama from March 1-11.
Monterrey awaits rival in Club World Cup
CONCACAF Champions League winner Monterrey will open its bid for the Club World Cup title on December 11 against the winner between New Zealand’s Auckland City and the Japanese champion.
The J-League winner will be decided December 3. Thursday’s draw in Nagoya, Japan, set “Los Rayados’” path to the final, which would include facing Brazil’s Santos in the semifinals.
U.S. berths set for next year’s Champions League
The LA Galaxy’s 1-0 victory over Houston for the MLS Cup Sunday night completed U.S. qualifying for next year’s CONCACAF Champions League, with the Seattle Sounders FC and Real Salt Lake joining the championship final pair in the 24-team field. The Galaxy’s victory confirmed Los Angeles’ return to the Champions League for a third straight year.
It already had secured its place in the 2012-13 Group Stage by winning the Supporters’ Shield with the best regular season record in Major League Soccer. Since the Galaxy won both titles, the second Group Stage berth was awarded to Seattle, the team with the second-best regular season record.
The Sounders were assured of at least a Preliminary Round berth by having won the U.S. Open Cup in October.
The two Preliminary Round berths, therefore, went to Houston as the MLS Cup final runner-up along with Salt Lake, which had the third-best regular season record.
Mexican, Central American teams look to qualify for 2012-13 Mexico
Tigres took a decided advantage over Pachuca as the Mexican Apertura playoffs began, winning 1-0 away while Queretaro and Morelia also won their first-leg encounters. Queretaro grabbed a 2-1 lead over Chivas on Saturday, when Morelia came from behind to beat Cruz Azul 2-1. Santos and Jaguares tied 2-2 on Sunday while Tigres won at Pachuca. The return legs will be played this coming weekend. The winner and runner-up of the “Liguilla” will qualify for next season’s Champions League.
Chorrillo defeated home side San Francisco 2-0 to take the lead in their two-leg semifinal series in the Panamanian Apertura on Saturday. A day later, Plaza Amador won 3-2 over Sporting. Chorillo will host San Francisco on Friday in the second leg while Plaza Amador will travel to Sporting on Saturday. The winner of the playoffs will qualify for the Champions League.
League-leader Herediano will face Cartagines while Saprissa will meet Alajuelense in the semifinals of the Costa Rican Torneo de Invierno. All four teams have qualified with a week to go in the regular season. The dates and times of the matches will be set following the regular season’s final matches this coming weekend. The winner of the winter tournament will qualify for the Champions League.
Edson Buddle, Clint Dempsey and Jozy Altidore all scored to give the United States a 3-2 victory over against Slovenia in Ljubljana on November 15, closing out the American national team’s season with its first victory in Europe in more than three years.
Elsewhere, Costa Rica tied World Cup champion Spain 2-2 in San Jose. The Ticos led 2-0 in the first half on goals by Randall Brenes and Joel Campbell, but surrendered two in the final 10 minutes – including an equalizer by David Villa in the 93rd – to settle for the draw.
U.S. women draw; Mexico falls
The United States women’s national team drew 1-1 with Sweden on Saturday at the University of Phoenix Stadium. The game, which was played in front of over 18,000 fans marked the last match of the year for the Americans who will participate in CONCACAF Olympic qualifying from January 19-29 in Vancouver, Canada.
Mexico, which also will take part in the January tournament, lost its final match of the year 5-0 to France on Sunday in a match played in Martinique.