Sounders Insider

USA opponent has about population of Federal Way

This just in from CONCACAF:

The Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) announced today the schedule of matches for the third round of FIFA World Cup qualifying in the region, starting next June.

In the upcoming round (also known as the semifinal round), winners of the six second round groups (El Salvador, Guyana, Panama,Canada, Guatemala and Antigua & Barbuda) join six teams that have thus far received byes (Costa Rica, Cuba, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico and the United States) to form three groups of four teams apiece.

Matchday 1 opens on Friday, June 8, highlighted by a Group A pairing between the USA, the nation with largest population in the confederation, and Antigua & Barbuda, which at approximately 88,000 inhabitants has the smallest population of any country remaining in the competition.Group B is led by 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup champion Mexico and is expected to be highly competitive. A game between El Salvador and Costa Rica on Matchday 5 could decide the group’s fate.

Honduras, which qualified for the 2010 World Cup finals in South Africa along with the USA and Mexico, heads Group C. The current Central American champion starts play on June 8 at home against regional-rival Panama.

Matchdays 3 and 4 promise much excitement, as the top seeds from each group will meet each other on both days in a home-and-home series.

Times and locations for all matches will be confirmed at a later date.

The top two teams from each of the semifinal groups will advance to round four of qualifying – commonly known as the “hexagonal”.

Three teams from CONCACAF are guaranteed to qualify for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, with the fourth-placed team from the hexagonal facing off against the Oceania winner.

CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying – Round Three

Group AUnited StatesJamaicaGuatemalaAntigua & Barbuda

Group BMexicoCosta RicaEl SalvadorGuyana

Group CHondurasCubaCanadaPanama

SCHEDULE OF MATCHES(home team listed first)

MATCHDAY 1Friday, June 8, 2012Group AUnited States vs. Antigua& BarbudaJamaica vs. Guatemala

Group BMexico vs. GuyanaCosta Rica vs. El Salvador

Group CHonduras vs. PanamaCuba vs. Canada

MATCHDAY 2Tuesday, June 12, 2012Group AGuatemala vs. United StatesAntigua & Barbuda vs. Jamaica

Group BEl Salvador vs. MexicoGuyana vs. Costa Rica

Group CCanada vs. HondurasPanama vs. Cuba

MATCHDAY 3Friday, September 7, 2012Group AJamaica vs. United StatesGuatemala vs. Antigua &Barbuda

Group BCosta Rica vs. MexicoEl Salvador vs. Guyana

Group CCuba vs. HondurasCanada vs. Panama

MATCHDAY 4Tuesday, September11, 2012Group AUnited States vs. JamaicaAntigua and Barbuda vs. Guatemala

Group BMexico vs. Costa RicaGuyana vs. El Salvador

Group CHonduras vs. CubaPanama vs. Canada

MATCHDAY 5Friday, October 12, 2012Group AGuatemala vs. JamaicaAntigua& Barbuda vs. United States

Group BEl Salvador vs. Costa RicaGuyana vs. Mexico

Group CCanada vs. CubaPanama vs. Honduras

MATCHDAY 6Tuesday, October 16, 2012Group AUnited States vs.GuatemalaJamaica vs. Antigua & Barbuda

GroupBMexico vs. El SalvadorCosta Rica vs. Guyana

Group CHonduras vs. CanadaCuba vs. Panama

About CONCACAFCONCACAF “The Confederation of North, CentralAmerican and Caribbean Association Football” is one of six continental confederations of FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Football Association) and serves as the governing body of football in this part of the world. It is composed of 40 national associations, from Canada in the north to Guyana, Surinam and French Guyana in the south.