CONCACAF Nations League

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Canada will host USMNT, Cuba in Toronto

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Canada Soccer has announced that its two CONCACAF Nations League home matches will be played in Toronto at the home of its MLS side.

Toronto FC’s BMO Field will host the USMNT’s visit to Canada on Oct. 15, a little over a month from the day Cuba visits Ontario (from CanadaSoccer.com).

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Like the UEFA Nations League, each group will feature a winner heading to the semifinals, a second place team saving its league status, and a third place team dropping into the next tier.

League A’s Group A is the United States, Canada, and Cuba.

The U.S. gets the first matchweek off, as Cuba and Canada play twice, and the Yanks will be home to Cuba on Oct. 11.

The third matchweek sees the USMNT hosting Canada on Nov. 15, and visiting Cuba four days later.

USMNT dates to host Cuba, Canada revealed

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MIAMI (AP) The United States will host Cuba on Oct. 11 and Canada on Nov. 15 in the first CONCACAF Nations League.

CONCACAF said Tuesday that the Americans, seeded in Group A, will play at Canada on Oct. 15 and at Cuba on Nov. 19.

Sites have not been determined.

Other Nations League groups are:

B – Bermuda, Mexico, Panama

C – Martinique, Honduras, Trinidad and Tobago

D – Costa Rica, Curacao, Haiti

The top team in each League A group advances to the semifinals in March, and the last-place team is relegated to League B.

The U.S. intends to play exhibitions on the September FIFA dates for national teams.

More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/apf-Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports

CONCACAF Nations League draw: USMNT in favorable group

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The draw for the inaugural CONCACAF Nations League draw has been made, with the U.S. men’s national team getting a pretty good draw all things considered.

A new continental tournament for the 2019-20 campaign, teams from the CONCACAF region have been split into Leagues A, B and C and can be relegated or promoted depending on where they finish in their group.

In League A, Gregg Berhalter’s USMNT were drawn in Group A alongside Canada and Cuba as the draw was made in Las Vegas. Mexico were drawn with Panama and Bermuda in Group B, while Honduras, Trinidad & Tobago and Martinique are in Group C and Costa Rica are joined by Haiti and Curacao in Group D.

These group games will take place during the upcoming international dates in the fall. After the group stage is over, the four group winners will advance to the finals where a semifinal and final will be played in March 2020. The winners will be crowned 2019-20 CONCACAF Nations League champions.

On top of that, the League A and B teams who finish last in their groups will get relegated to the lower league, while group winners from Leagues B and C will be promoted for the next season.

Promotion and relegation is coming to North American soccer after all…

Here is the full draw for the groups in League A, B and C.


Canada opens CONCACAF Nations League with 8-0 win

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Canada opened its CONCACAF Nations League account on Sunday with an 8-0 victory against the U.S. Virgin Islands to begin the inaugural competition.

[ MORE: France tops Holland, Eriksen brace against Wales ]

Jonathan Osorio kicked off the scoring for the Canadians inside the opening 10 minutes, before Lucas Cavallini doubled the advantage just minutes after.

Cavallini later completed his brace, along with two-goal performances from Jonathan David and Besiktas striker Cyle Larin.

Cardiff City forward Junior Hoilett also got in on the scoring for the North American side, as they routed the island nation.

Canada will return to action in the tournament’s qualifying phase on October 16 when they host Dominica.

Nations League: Less attractive games for USMNT, Mexico

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MIAMI BEACH, Fla. (AP) Soccer’s governing body for North and Central America and the Caribbean announced its new CONCACAF Nations League, a format designed to give more competitive matches to smaller nations. But it creates less attractive games for regional powers such as the United States and Mexico.

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The competition announced Wednesday replaces exhibitions on FIFA match dates, similar to the concept adopted by the Union of European Football Associations in 2014, a tournament set to start this September.

For the U.S., the new event means fewer dates for exhibitions against European and South American teams and more matches against Central American and Caribbean rivals.

Those games figure to have less box-office appeal and could make European club coaches more resistant to releasing regular starters to travel long distances for those national team matches.

After failing to qualify for this year’s World Cup, ending a streak of seven straight appearances in soccer’s showcase, the U.S. will not have a competitive match until the 2019 CONCACAF Gold Cup.

CONCACAF said the six teams in the final round of World Cup qualifying last year will proceed directly to the Nations League group phase: the U.S., Mexico, Costa Rica, Honduras, Panama, and Trinidad and Tobago. Guatemala will not be in the tournament because it is suspended by FIFA.

The remainder of CONCACAF’s 41 members was drawn to play in qualifying from September through March 2019.

Based on team strength, each advancing nation will be assigned to league A, B or C, and each league will be drawn into groups that will play in a round-robin format on FIFA dates in September, October and November in 2019.

League A group winners will advance to a final round in March 2020 and last-place teams will be relegated to league B, whose group winners will be promoted. League B last-place teams will be relegated to Group C, whose winners will be promoted.

League A will have four groups of three teams, and league B will have four groups of four teams. League C will have four groups.

CONCACAF also said the six teams in last year’s hexagonal and the top 10 teams in qualifying will participate in next year’s Gold Cup, the region’s biennial championship.