This month, Concacaf will begin World Cup qualifying, with 30 teams beginning their road to Qatar. Mexico, the USMNT, Costa Rica, Jamaica, and Honduras already have earned a bye to the Final Stage of qualifying, which fans have nicknamed The Octagon. The remaining 3 teams will come from one of the 30 teams that begin qualifying this month.
The First Round consists of 6 groups of 5 teams each, with each group undergoing a round robin: 2 matches in March, and 2 in early June.
The winner of each group will move onto the Second Round, where the 6 group winners will be paired off and undergo a two-legged series. The winners of those 3 series will be the final teams into the Octagon, 8 teams competing for Concacaf’s 3.5 spots in the World Cup.
So, a reminder of the groups:
First Round (March 2021, June 2021; round robin)
Group A - El Salvador, Antigua and Barbuda, Grenada, Montserrat, U.S. Virgin Islands
Group B - Canada, Suriname, Bermuda, Cayman Islands, Aruba
Group C - Curaçao, Guatemala, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Cuba, British Virgin Islands
Group D - Panama, Dominican Republic, Barbados, Dominica, Anguilla
Group E - Haiti, Nicaragua, Belize, Saint Lucia, Turks and Caicos Islands
Group F - Trinidad and Tobago, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Guyana, Puerto Rico, Bahamas
And a further reminder of which group winners will face each other in the Second Round:
Second Round (June 2021; 2-legged series)
Group A winner vs. Group F winner
Group B winner vs. Group E winner
Group C winner vs. Group D winner
Obviously, there are teams all of us think will make it to the Octagon. El Salvador, Canada, Curaçao, Panama, Haiti, and Trinidad and Tobago were the 6 seeded teams of those groups, and are viewed as the teams with the best chance of making the Octagon. But, this week’s Community Corner is about your wants and desires:
Which teams do you want to make the Octagon?
It could be because you love an island, you enjoy the food, or you want the USMNT to have the easiest path possible to the World Cup. In any case, hit the comments and explain your reasoning behind the teams you chose!