Canada hopes luck on its side at CONCACAF Nations League draw in Vegas
Men's national team guaranteed game against 1 of Mexico, U.S., Costa Rica, Honduras
Canada will learn its next CONCACAF Nations League opponents at Wednesday's draw in Las Vegas, but it already knows that it will face one of Mexico, the U.S., Costa Rica and Honduras.
The Canadian men wrapped up their perfect four-game qualifying round with a 4-1 win over French Guiana on Sunday in Vancouver. That left them in second place in the standings behind Haiti, which had the same record and goal difference but scored one more goal.
The qualifying round decided which of the three tiers that teams will enter in the CONCACAF Nations League. Wednesday's draw will divide each tier into groups.
The top six in the qualifying standings slot into League A, along with Costa Rica, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, Trinidad and Tobago, and the U.S., which skipped the preliminary round by virtue of having qualified for the hexagonal round of CONCACAF World Cup qualifying for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
WATCH | Cavallini guides Canada past French Guiana, into Gold Cup:
The 68-match qualifying round also earned Gold Cup berths for the top 10 in qualifying: Haiti, Canada, Martinique, Curacao, Bermuda, Cuba, Guyana, Jamaica, Nicaragua and El Salvador. They will join Costa Rica, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, Trinidad and Tobago, and the U.S. in the expanded 16-team field.
The groups and schedule will be announced April 10 in Los Angeles.
Drawn out tournament
As for the inaugural CONCACAF Nations League, the group stage will be played in the FIFA international match windows in September, October and November 2019. The championship will take place in March 2020.
League A will be split into four pools of three with the winner of each group advancing to the tournament semifinals. The bottom team in each pool will be relegated to League B for the next edition of the tournament.
League B will consist of four groups of four teams. The group winners will be promoted to League A while the bottom team in each pool will go down to League C.
League C will consist of three groups of three teams and one group of four. The group winners will be promoted to League B.
Guatemala, which did not participate in qualifying due to a FIFA suspension, will be placed into League C. Guatemala is currently ranked eighth in the region, which covers North and Central America and the Caribbean.
The 12 League A teams will be placed in pots for Wednesday's draw as per their CONCACAF ranking as of November 2018.
Pot 1: Mexico (1), U.S. (2), Costa Rica (3) Honduras (4).
Pot 2: Panama (5), Canada (7), Haiti (10), Trinidad & Tobago (11).
Pot 3: Martinique (12), Cuba (13), Curacao (15), Bermuda (23).
All three draws will begin by randomly selecting a team from Pot 1 and placing them in Group A of their respective league. The draws will continue by selecting the remaining teams from Pot 1 and positioning them into Groups B, C and D in sequential order. The same procedure will be done for the remaining pots.
The draws will be in the hands of CONCACAF chief football officer Manolo Zubiria.