The preliminary draw for the 2018 World Cup in Russia was made on Saturday, and Jurgen Klinsmann and US Soccer have to be delighted at the draw, which saw they avoid the toughest teams they could have come up against in the fourth round of CONCACAF qualifying.
The USA was one of the six seeded teams, along with Mexico, Costa Rica, Honduras, Panama and Trinidad and Tobago. Klinsmann’s side will face Trinidad and Tobago, a decent, team, but probably the worst of the six seeded teams.
Then fortune shined on the Americans further as the other two teams in Group C will be the winner of a match between St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Aruba, and the Antigua and Barbuda vs. Guatemala winner. That means the U.S. avoided potential tougher draws against the likes of Canada, Jamaica and Haiti, which could have proven tricky.
The top two teams will advance from each group to the final round of qualifying. The fourth round of qualifying should begin in November and conclude in September of 2016. The fifth round, known as the Hex, will get underway in February of 2017. Three of the top six teams in that final stage will qualify directly for the World Cup, while the fourth-placed team goes to an inter-continental playoff against the fifth-placed team from Asia.
What do you think of the draw?