CONCACAF newest World Cup Qualifiers and Winners and Losers

So, in July 10th, CONCACAF decided to scrap the format that they have been using for decades to have a new one. Since the confederation has 41 national teams (35 in FIFA), the national teams will be divided in a new format. This format is based on the FIFA Rankings, so the best six teams on the FIFA Rankings in June 2020 will be in the typical Hexagonal. The other 29 will be then split into eight groups. Five of those groups are of four national teams (designated as Groups A-E) and three are of three teams (designated as Groups F-H). Both competitions will happen at the same time starting on September 2020.

Qualification Path

Three out of the 3.5 bids that CONCACAF has will be awarded to the top of the Hex. The .5 berth or the International Playoff team will be resolved as a home-and-away series between the fourth placed team of the Hexagonal and the champion of the 29 other team tournament.

Video of the announcement via CONCACAF

Current as of July 2019 rankings with chances of making the Hex

CONCACAF Ranking (FIFA) National Team
1(12) MEXICO
2(22) UNITED STATES
3(44) COSTA RICA
4(52) Jamaica**
5(67) Honduras*
6(69) El Salvador*
7(74) Panama*
8(78) Canada*
9 (79) Curaçao*

*=Mathematical Possibility of making it to the Hex albeit small or large

**= 99% in to the Hexagonal

Bold= Mathematically qualified to the Hexagonal, only case of not making it is if they lose all the games against bad teams (both the United States and Mexico play each other next and Costa Rica hosts Uruguay)

Winners 

Costa Rica, Mexico, United States

Already in, no need to play any friendlies whatsoever, Jamaica is 15 places below and that is the nearest competition. Not to mention that they have to play the Nations League which will make it harder for teams like Honduras, Panama and Canada.

Jamaica

The Road to Qatar 2022 couldn’t it be easier for the Reggae Boyz, if they win the group which is somewhat easy, they are in to the Hex. They are 17 ranks ahead of Honduras and 19 ranks ahead of El Salvador. So it would be hard not to be within the top 6.

CONCACAF Nations League

This time the tournament that was viewed as a wash by many national teams, now has become more interesting. El Salvador, Honduras, Canada, and Panama need a good tournament to make it to the Hex.

BIGGEST: El Salvador

Not only they are in League B which is a giant step down from League A of the Nations League but they lucked out as Canada faces the US twice, Panama faces Mexico twice and Honduras faces Martinique who is not even a FIFA member twice. While El Salvador faces St. Lucia, Monserrat, and the Dominican Republic twice all of whom are ranked 154 or below. Moreover El Salvador plays six games instead of Canada, Honduras and Panama play four. So the Cuscatlecos will see an easy road to the Hex.

 

Losers

Canada 

They have to face the US twice and have to be better than El Salvador. They are currently 30 points behind El Salvador and the best way to make that distance shorter it would be to play against the big dogs and not lose, and gain 18 points in the Champions League and hope that El Salvador trips up. Not only that, the Canucks need to play high level friendlies and also not lose those games.

 

Haiti

They had no chance to repeat their good run in the Gold Cup. Since there is no qualifying phase before the Hex, there would not be any sort of way that they can make it to the Hex. So Les Grenedines are about done of having a chance into the Hex.

 

Biggest: Panama

Since the formula for the FIFA ranking is Points=points before + importance of the match (Result-Expected Result) or p=pbefore+I (W-(1/(10^-difference/600 +1))*, they could’ve made some arrangements to have friendlies but the federation didn’t. In fact the next games is the series against Bermuda in September. So the only way is that Panama beats Bermuda twice and Mexico twice and it would surpass El Salvador by a point. That’s right by a point, so with no margin of error they can make it to the Hex. Likelihood would be less than 1% since they have to travel to the Azteca where Mexico has lost only twice since 1985 in qualifying games. While small, the Canaleros  could make it if they go undefeated, which could be easier if the rumors are true of the ex-Costa Rican and Honduran Manager Jose Luis Pinto joining them.

The result of the match has a numerical value of:

1 if it is a win

.5 if it is a draw

0 if it is a loss

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