The United States have qualified for the last seven World Cups (once automatically as hosts) and Jurgen Klinsmann's men will look to make it eight in a row when the final round of qualifying begins in November 2017. The final round, nicknamed "The Hex," features six teams in a double round-robin format. Each team will play the five others at home and away, then, when that is over, the top three teams will automatically qualify for the World Cup. The fourth-place team will go to a two-legged playoff with one last chance to book their spot in Russia.
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November 11, 2016 vs. Mexico
The U.S. will kick things off against their biggest rivals, Mexico. They are the top two teams in CONCACAF and their clashes, especially in World Cup qualifying, are generally the best that the region has to offer. The Americans have hosted Mexico in Columbus, Ohio in the last four World Cup qualifying cycles and have won each match by the same 2-0 score. It's no wonder that they'll take this match back to Columbus and hope that they can nab another Dos a Cero.
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November 15, 2016 at Costa Rica
Because starting against Mexico isn't hard enough, the U.S. will then head to Costa Rica, where they have never won in World Cup qualifying. The Ticos are the third-best team in CONCACAF and while they've moved from the fortress that was Estadio Saprissa, the new Estadio Nacional is still a tough place to get a win. If the Americans can take four -- or very optimistically, six -- points from their first two matches, they'll have one foot in the World Cup, but these are tough matches that they could lose and end up in an early hole to qualify.
Getty ImagesKevin C. Cox
March 24, 2017 vs. Honduras
Honduras generally give the U.S. problems, but the Americans usually walk away winners -- especially at home. It may not be easy, and some guys may walk away with some bruises, but they generally get the three points.
Getty ImagesTom Pennington
March 28, 2017 at Panama
Last time these two teams met in World Cup qualifying, the Americans were in Panama City and the hosts needed a win to clinch fourth place for that playoff place. It looked like they were going to get it too, but Graham Zusi scored in stoppage time to knock Panama down to fifth and give Mexico a lifeline.
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June 9, 2017 vs Trinidad and Tobago
The U.S. and Trinidad and Tobago were in the same group for the semifinal round of qualifying, where the Americans came away victorious and topped the group. The Soca Warriors went into the final day of the round in first place, but the Americans rolled over Trinidad and Tobago, 4-0, at home in the last match. At least for the match on American soil, Klinsmann's men have to feel confident.
Getty ImagesSam Greenwood
June 13, 2017 at Mexico
This is the toughest match that the U.S. play every four years. Estadio Azteca used to be a house of horrors for the Americans -- and pretty much everyone else -- with a crowd that tops 100,000, heat, humidity, smog and altitude, but Mexico haven't been as good there of late. They drew a slew of matches last qualifying cycle, including against the U.S., and the Americans got their first ever win at the famed stadium in a 2012 friendly.
AFP/Getty ImagesOMAR TORRES
September 1, 2017 vs. Costa Rica
When the U.S. hosted Costa Rica in 2014 World Cup qualifying, they put the match in Denver, CO. Then a freak March blizzard hit and the match was played in some hellacious snow. That was just fine for the U.S., who scored early and held on for a 1-0 win in what was later dubbed "SnowClasico." It probably won't snow wherever the Americans hold this match in September.
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September 5, 2017 at Honduras
The U.S. may do fine against Honduras on home soil, but that's not the case in San Pedro Sula. The fans are loud and it is usually very hot. It doesn't help that Honduras likes to play matches during the day to make sure it's played at maximum heat. The Americans wilted in the intense temperatures last World Cup cycle.
Getty ImagesMike Ehrmann
October 6, 2017 vs. Panama
The last thing the U.S. want is to go into their final match of the Hex needing a result to qualify. No one wants that pressure, and that's especially true when that last match is on the road. So if the Americans haven't clinched a spot in the World Cup heading into October 2017, all the focus will be able getting three points at home against Panama and wrapping things up then.
Bill Streicher-USA TODAY SportsBill Streicher
October 10, 2017 at Trinidad and Tobago
If the U.S. go into this match without a spot in the World Cup locked up, they better hope they only need a draw. Trinidad and Tobago defend well at home, as the Americans found out when they settled for a 0-0 draw in Port of Spain during the semifinal round. Last time these two teams met in the Hex, it took a Ricardo Clark wonderstrike from 25 yards to get the win. Goals are hard to come by when you head to Trinidad and Tobago.