Organizing body: CONCACAF
Region: North America, Central America and the Caribbean
Number of teams: 41 in 2019
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2019 CONCACAF Nations League
In late 2017, CONCACAF made the decision to join UEFA as the second confederation to set up a Nations League. One of the main reasons the league was founded was to increase the number of matches between member nations, and that should really help the smaller countries and lead to an improved level of play throughout the region.
The inaugural CONCACAF Nations League competition will start on September 2019. All 41 countries in the confederation will take part in the tournament, and they have been separated into three different leagues. League A includes the 12 top teams in the region. Six of those spots were given to the teams that made the hexagonal during World Cup qualifying, and the other six were awarded by cumulative performance over four matchdays from September 2018 to March 2019. The next 16 teams in qualifying were placed into League B, while the final 12 teams were placed into League C with then-suspended Guatemala.
2019-20 CONCACAF Nations League A
The winners of each group will advance to the CONCACAF Nations League Final Championship scheduled to be played sometime at the end of March in 2020. The exact dates and location of the inaugural championship have yet to be determined, but we know that the four teams will play single leg knockout rounds to determine the champion.
The last place teams in each group will be relegated to League B for the next CONCACAF Nations League, while the teams that finish in second place will maintain their spots in League A.
Three of the four groups in League A have an odds-on favorite to advance to the championship. The United States will be a hefty favorite over Canada and Cuba in Group A, and anything other than a first place finish would likely lead to the removal of head coach Gregg Berhalter. Mexico has long dominated the CONCACAF region and an aging Panama squad is unlikely to challenge them in Group B, while Costa Rica should wipe the floor with the other two teams in Group D.
Group C will be the group of death in League A. Honduras and Trinidad and Tobago are both considered top teams, and they both made the hexagonal for the 2018 World Cup too. Martinique is an interesting wild card too after drawing Trinidad and Tobago to nil last year.
2019-20 CONCACAF Nations League B
The top team in each group in League B will be promoted to League A for the next CONCACAF Nations League, while the last place team in each group will be demoted to League C.
El Salvador and Jamaica are the two best teams in League B, and both teams will be heavy favorites to earn promotion to League A. The other two groups are considered relative toss-ups though, and we could see some interesting League A debutantes as a result.
2019-20 CONCACAF Nations League C
League C is almost exclusively composed of Caribbean island nations with little international success, so it’s hard to know what to make of three of the four groups. However, Guatemala are going to be a massive favorite to win their group.
The only reason Guatemala were placed in League C was because the federation was suspended by FIFA for two years after a massive corruption scandal that brought down the entire national federation. Guatemala are rated as the eighth-best team in the region according to the CONCACAF Ranking Index, and they are likely to earn successive promotions.
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