USA will face Trinidad & Tobago, playoff winners to start World Cup qualifying
The United States men’s national team will start along the road to the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia with a semifinal group including Trinidad & Tobago.
The draw in Saint Petersburg on Saturday handed the Americans a comfortable draw in the fourth round of World Cup qualifying poised to start later this year. In addition to Trinidad & Tobago, they face the winners of playoffs between Saint Vincent and the Grenadines/Aruba and Antigua and Barbuda/Guatemala in Group C.
Manager Jurgen Klinsmann and his players will hope to chart a safer course through the initial stage of qualifying after struggling through this phase the last time out. The group with Antigua and Barbuda, Guatemala and Jamaica presented more problems than expected with the Americans drawing in Guatemala and losing in Jamaica. Eddie Johnson eventually secured safe passage to the Hexagonal with a 90th-minute goal to deliver a 2-1 victory at Antigua and Barbuda in the penultimate match.
The fourth round of CONCACAF World Cup qualifying starts on Nov. 7 at a venue to be determined. The four teams will play each other home and away through Sept. 6, 2016. The top two teams in the group will advance to the Hexagonal — also known as the Fifth Round — and play 10 matches between Nov. 7, 2016 and Oct. 10, 2017.
The top three teams in the Hexagonal will advance directly to the World Cup. The fourth-place finisher will play the fifth-place team in Asia in a two-legged playoff in order to determine another World Cup berth.
2018 FIFA WORLD CUP QUALIFYING — FOURTH ROUND DRAW
|GROUP A||GROUP B||GROUP C|
|Mexico||Costa Rica||United States|
|Honduras||Panama||Trinidad and Tobago|
|Curacao/El Salvador||Grenada/Haiti||St. Vincent and the Grenadines/Aruba|
|Canada/Belize||Jamaica/Nicaragua||Antigua and Barbuda/Guatemala|