USMNT to open final round qualifying against Mexico, Costa Rica
The United States men’s national team will open the final round of CONCACAF 2018 World Cup qualifying with games against Mexico and at Costa Rica, with tonight’s 4-0 victory over Trinidad and Tobago in Jacksonville, Florida, finalizing the team’s schedule for the region's “Hexagonal” round.
The U.S. will open the round against Mexico on Nov. 11 before traveling to Costa Rica to face the Ticos on Nov. 15.
The United States' victory over the Soca Warriors clinched first place in Group C of fourth round qualifying. That placing confirmed the U.S.' spot in a schedule that was drawn on July 7, one that will see the team open CONCACAF’s fifth round against El Tri.
After Tuesday’s win, U.S. Soccer president Sunil Gulati confirmed the Mexico game will be held at MAPFRE Stadium in Columbus, Ohio. Columbus has become the traditional host of qualifiers against the U.S.’ chief rival.
From the 12 teams that qualified for the North and Central American and Caribbean region’s penultimate round, Mexico and Honduras advanced out of Group A, Costa Rica and Panama qualified from Group B, while the United States and Trinidad and Tobago claimed Group C’s hexagonal spots.
The final round of CONCACAF qualifying extends through Oct. 10, 2017. The top three finishers in the 10-game round-robin tournament will automatically qualify for the next World Cup in Russia. The round’s fourth-place finisher will face a team from the Asian confederation in a two-leg playoff for an additional World Cup spot.
The United States’ hexagonal round qualifying schedule:
- Nov. 11, 2016: vs. Mexico
- Nov. 15, 2016: at Costa Rica
- March 24, 2017: vs. Honduras
- March 28, 2017: at Panama
- June 9, 2017: vs. Trinidad and Tobago
- June 13, 2017: at Mexico
- Sept. 1, 2017: vs. Costa Rica
- Sept. 5, 2017: at Honduras
- Oct. 6, 2017: vs. Panama
- Oct. 10, 2017: at Trinidad and Tobago