On to the Hex: The format and match dates for the final round of CONCACAF World Cup qualifying

Jamie Sabau - Getty Images

The final round of CONCACAF World Cup qualifying is upon us and the teams, format and dates are already known, even if the detailed schedule isn't yet.

The schedule for the Hex is still to be determined by a random draw so nobody knows when they will play each other and when, but there is plenty more about the final round of CONCACAF World Cup qualifying that we do know.

For starters, the United States, Mexico, Jamaica, Costa Rica, Panama and Honduras are the six teams who have qualified for it and the format is a round robin, with each tam playing each other once at home and once away. The top three teams will qualify for the World Cup, with the fourth place team going on to a two-legged playoff against the winner of the Oceania region for a spot in Brazil.

We also know one more thing about the Hex -- when they will play. The FIFA calendar has room for 10 matches in 2013, giving us the 10 dates for qualifying. Assuming there is some level of sanity, the teams will play a home and away match on each double date, then be at home in February and away in August or vice versa.

  • February 6
  • March 22 and 27
  • June 7, 11 and 14
  • September 6 and 10
  • October 11 and 15
The two-legged playoff will be played on November 15 and 19, which is going to make for some hellish travel on a quick turnaround. The flight from Los Angeles to Auckland is 13 hours, and that is the about as short as the flight can be from the U.S. It doesn't get much better for the Central American countries either.
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