CHICAGO (July 25, 2015) – The U.S. Men’s National Team was drawn into Group C of CONCACAF’s Semifinal Round of qualification for the 2018 FIFA World Cup during the Preliminary Draw for the 2018 World Cup in St. Petersburg, Russia. The U.S. will begin its quest to qualify for an eighth consecutive FIFA World Cup when CONCACAF Semifinal Round play begins in November.The U.S. was drawn into Group C with Trinidad & Tobago, and will be joined by the winners of St. Vincent & The Grenadines/Aruba and Antigua and Barbuda/Guatemala from the Third Round of qualifying. CONCACAF’s Group B is composed of Costa Rica and Panama and the winners of Grenada/Haiti and Jamaica/Nicaragua, while Group A features Mexico, Honduras and the winners of Curaçao/El Salvador and Canada/Belize.
The MNT will play each of its Group C opponents twice, once at home and once away, in round-robin play. The dates of the ties are Nov. 13 and 17, March 25 and 29, 2016 and Sept. 2 and 6 - 2016; the opponents for those match days will be determined after the completion of the Third Round of Qualifying. The group winner and group runner-up advance to Final Round of World Cup Qualifying.The U.S. holds an all-time record of 16-2-3 against Trinidad & Tobago and swept the pair of matchups when it last met in World Cup Qualifying in 2009. The MNT cruised past Guatemala 4-0 in July when the teams faced off in a Gold Cup tune-up, and is unbeaten against the Central American team in 12 World Cup Qualifying matchups. The USA has only matched up with Antigua and Barbuda twice – for World Cup qualifiers in 2012 – and won both of those games. The meeting between St. Vincent & The Grenadines/Aruba will be the first for the U.S. against either team. The Final Round will feature a group of six teams. Each of the Semifinal Round group winners and runners-up making up the well-known ‘Hexagonal’ that determines which CONCACAF nations will qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup. The top three teams from round-robin play will book their place in Russia, with the fourth place team playing a home-and-away intercontinental playoff against a team from the Asian confederation. The USA has finished first in the Hexagonal during the past three FIFA World Cup cycles. The U.S. completes play in the 2015 Gold Cup today against Panama in the third-place game. It will next see action in September for a pair of important friendlies against competitive opponents. The USA will first matchup with Peru at RFK Stadium in Washington D.C. on Sept. 4 followed by a game with Brazil at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass on Sept. 8.