CONCACAF World Cup qualifying preview: Canada, Jamaica hope to avoid upsets; USMNT to learn group mates


We’re five days away from learning the United States opponents for the fourth round of 2018 World Cup qualifying, as some big-name nations still face obstacles on the route to Russia.

The U.S. already knows it’ll be in Group B with Trinidad & Tobago and two others. While their status in the fourth round is close to a fait accompli — no jinx, no jinx, no jinx — their competitors for advancement won’t be known until Sept. 8.

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The Yanks will face the winners of two two-legged ties: Saint Vincent and the Grenadines vs. Aruba, and Antigua and Barbuda vs. Guatemala. Those battles begin Friday, switching locales for Tuesday’s second legs.

Canada is among the nations vying for a spot in Group A with Mexico and Honduras, but will have to handle its business against Belize first. Assuming they do, the Canadians will also face the winner of Curacao and El Salvador.

The final group, B, has Costa Rica and Panama on board, and gets the winners of Grenada/Haiti and Jamaica/Nicaragua.

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The USMNT will play its first home qualifier on Nov. 13 against Aruba or St. Vincent and the Grenadines, with a road tilt on Nov. 17 against T&T.

The top two teams in each group will move onto the Hex, set to begin in November 2016.

CONCACAF World Cup qualifying third round schedule (Sept. 4 & 8)
home team for first leg listed first
Curacao vs. El Salvador
Canada vs. Belize
Grenada vs. Haiti
Jamaica vs. Nicaragua
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines vs. Aruba
Antigua and Barbuda vs. Guatemala