The United States men’s national team learned its path to a potential berth in the 2022 FIFA World Cup on Wednesday, a path which will begin next June.
Thanks to its FIFA ranking — No. 22 — and its top five spot in CONCACAF, the Americans advance straight to the Final Qualifying Round. That round will be a 14-match slate, with the first four matches for the Yanks taking place in June. Following the summer break, the United States will play two matches in every international window through March 2022.
The lone months without international breaks are July and August 2021, along with December 2021 and February 2022.
The Americans will be away for the first match, to the winner of the Second Qualifying Round matchup between the winners of Groups A and F, which will be played in March 2021. The second match will be played on home soil against the winner of the tilt between Groups B and E, before traveling to Honduras for the third June match.
The final June 2021 match will be against Jamaica at home.
The two September 2021 matches will be against the Groups C and D winner and Costa Rica, respectively, in the United States, before hosting Mexico and traveling to Jamaica in October.
November will see a home and away against A/F and B/E, respectively, before the January 2022 matches will be home to Honduras and away to Mexico at Estadio Azteca. The March 2022 matches will be home to C/D, and away to Costa Rica.
The top three in the Final Round will automatically punch their ticket to Qatar, with the fourth-place team advancing to the Interconfederational playoff.
At this time, the draw for the playoff has not yet been held, and the CONCACAF side will either play an Asian, South American, or Oceania confederation side for a spot in Qatar.
The First Round groups are as follows:
US Virgin Islands
British Virgin Islands
Trinidad & Tobago
All Group Stage matches will take place in October and November 2020, with four matches in both months. Group Stages will be home-and-away. Only Group Stage winners will advance to the Second Round.
A vs F
B vs E
C vs D
The Second Round will take place in March 2021 with two legs, home and away. The winners of the Second Round ties will advance to the Final Qualifying Round with the opportunity to qualify for the 2022 FIFA World Cup.