CARY, NORTH CAROLINA (Sept. 4, 2018) — The USWNT might be gearing up to face Chile tonight, but the team has learned who they will prepare for next.
On Tuesday morning, the groups were selected for the CONCACAF Women’s Championship, which will be played next month.
The tournament is the qualifying round for next year’s FIFA Women’s World Cup. European qualification is wrapping up currently. Meanwhile, the United States is finishing up tune-up friendlies against Chile, a team already qualified.
The USWNT learned it will face Mexico, Trinidad & Tobago and Panama in Group A. Meanwhile, Group B consists of Canada, Jamaica and Costa Rica. The top two teams from each group will advance to the knock out stage.
Group A will have their matches in Cary, North Carolina. The teams will play at WakeMed Soccer Park stadium Sahlen’s Stadium, which is the home of the North Carolina Courage of the National Women’s Soccer League. The stadium holds a capacity of 10,000 fans.
Group B will compete in their matches in Edinburg, Texas, at H-E-B Park. There is slightly less seating at H-E-B Park, with room for 9,735 fans.
Combined group action will be held from Oct. 4-11.
Teams that make the knockout stage will compete at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas. The stadium, which can hold up to 20,500 fans, is home to FC Dallas of Major League Soccer.
The knockout rounds will be held on Oct. 14 and Oct. 17.
Our World Cup Qualifying path is set:
🇺🇸🇲🇽🇹🇹🇵🇦 comprise Group A in Cary! pic.twitter.com/MYSaeBAdQA
— U.S. Women's National Soccer Team (@USWNT) September 4, 2018
How do teams qualify?
It’s fairly simple.
The two teams that make the championship game will automatically punch their ticket to France. However, the winner of third-place game will also qualify for the Women’s World Cup.
Meanwhile, the fourth-place team will enter a playoff match with the CONMEBOL playoff team. This year, Argentina is the opponent for the fourth-place CONCACAF team.
No specific date has been picked, but the playoff match will be held sometime between Nov. 5-13. There will be two legs — or two matches. The winner, decided on aggregate, will advance to the World Cup.
What Happened in 2014
In October 2014, the United States defeated Costa Rica, 4-1, to advance to the FIFA World Cup, which was held in Canada. Costa Rica also qualified, as “La Sele” claimed the second-place slot.
Abby Wambach led the entire tournament with seven goals. Meanwhile, Hope Solo picked up the best goalkeeper award, while Carli Lloyd won the award for best player. However, Costa Rica won the “Fair Play” award.
Third place belonged to Mexico, with Trinidad & Tobago claiming fourth place.
The team behind the team.
— U.S. Women's National Soccer Team (@USWNT) September 3, 2018
A Little More History: 2010
Eight years ago, the United States had its first-ever loss in the CONCACAF Women’s Championship.
Sending the United States to a third-place game was Mexico, the host country. Maribel Domínguez and Verónica Pérez scored goals in the first-half to seal the deal for Mexico. Carli Lloyd scored the United States’ only goal.
In the third-place game, the United Staets defeated Costa Rica, 3-0. However, back in 2011, the World Cup was limited to only 16 teams, so the third-place team was the playoff team.
In a playoff with Italy, the United States won both matches, 1-0. In the first match, Alex Morgan scored the game-winning goal. Only seven days later, Amy Rodriguez scored the game-winning goal, sending the United States to Germany the following year.
Good luck to our #USWNT as they close out their series against Chile tonight in San Jose, the final preparation match before qualifying begins for the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup. #OneNationOneTeam pic.twitter.com/37oKRm4Rxq
— Carlos Cordeiro (@CACSoccer) September 4, 2018