June 17, 2021 at 3:16 pm #50172Luc GoyeauParticipant
This week the second round of CONCACAF world cup qualifying wrapped up with Canada, El Salvador, and Panama getting the last three spots into the Third and final round. There will be 8 teams vying for the 3 guaranteed qualifying spots into the 2022 FIFA World Cup. The 4th place team will be put into the intercontinental playoffs where they will face a team from a different region – decided by a draw – who also missed out on guaranteed qualification.
The United States and Mexico are the far and away the favorites to qualify out of the group. The USMNT is full of world class talent and most of their best players are at the beginning of their careers. Even in the short time between now and the 2022 summer tournament the Americans could very well see massive improvement just from the development of its current squad. They might not be favorites once at the finals in Qatar, but in the CONCACAF competition they seem all but unbeatable.
Mexico has been clearly the most consistent team in the region over the last few decades. They have qualified for the finals and got out of the group stage in every FIFA World Cup from 1994 to 2018. Even though they were eliminated in the sweet 16 in all those tournaments, it still represents the best showing of any CONCACAF team over that period. Along with the United States, you can all but guarantee that Mexico will qualify for the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
Along with their North American counterparts, Canada also qualified for the third round when they defeated Haiti 4-0 on aggregate. It is the first time they have advanced to this stage of qualifying since 1996-1997. Despite their lack of experience, players like Jonathan David and Alphonso Davies provide a world class pedigree that the nation has never had before. With those two players leading the line, Canada could very well surprise a few of the CONCACAF mainstays and steal a place into the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
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