Gold Cup draw set. Qatar to debut but Trinidad and Tobago on brink of oblivion

September 21 – Concacaf has scheduled its first ever Gold Cup draw for Monday 28 September. AFC Champions Qatar, who will guest in the competition, will be in the fourth pot with the winning three teams from the preliminary qualifiers which will be played the week before the finals start in July 2021.

What isn’t yet known is the exact composition of the 12 team preliminary qualifiers. Trinidad and Tobago (TTFA), one of the seeded teams in the preliminaries is set to face a ban if it doesn’t comply with a FIFA directive to withdraw all claims against FIFA in the Trinidad and Tobago courts by September 23.

If those claims aren’t withdrawn – and at this stage it looks unlikely – then the TTFA faces suspension which is likely to be immediate. That means the TTFA will then be withdrawn from the competition and replaced in the draw by the next highest Concacaf ranked team. There will be no way back for the TTFA who are currently guaranteed at least a place in the preliminary qualifiers to be played in the US.

The draw will be broadcast live and hosted by Emmy award winning TUDN sportscaster Lindsay Casinelli and Fox Sports Lead Soccer Analyst and United States Men’s National Team legend Alexi Lalas.

A number of the national team head coaches will participate virtually in the evening’s event.

Broadcasters include TUDN (Mexico and USA), FS2 (USA and Caribbean), One Soccer (Canada) and other local partners. For other territories, the event will be available on the Concacaf App, Concacaf Facebook page and Concacaf YouTube channel.

Gold Cup Prelims Draw
The draw for the Prelims will involve the 12 national teams which earned a place in the Gold Cup Qualifiers through their performances in the Concacaf Nations League group stage, which was played in September, October and November 2019. This includes the bottom placed finishers in League A groups, the runners-up in League B groups and the winners of League C groups.

The top six teams based on the Concacaf Ranking will be pre-seeded into match-ups one through six, and the next six will be drawn from a single pot. After direct elimination play over three match-days between July 2 through July 6, 2021, the 12 teams will be reduced to a final three who will qualify for the Gold Cup Group Stage.

Concacaf Gold Cup Prelims Seeded Teams and Draw Pot (to qualify three teams via knockout for Gold Cup group stage)
Pre-seeded teams: Haiti, Guatemala, Trinidad and Tobago, Cuba, Guadeloupe and Bermuda
Pot 1: French Guiana, Guyana, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Barbados, Montserrat and Bahamas

Concacaf Gold Cup Group Stage Draw Pots (based on August 2020 Concacaf Ranking)
Pot 1 (pre-seeded teams): Mexico (Group A), USA (Group B), Costa Rica (Group C) and Honduras (Group D)
Pot 2: Jamaica, Canada, Panama and El Salvador
Pot 3: Martinique, Curacao, Suriname and Grenada
Pot 4: Three Prelims Winners and Qatar (Group D)

Concacaf will announce venues, kick-off times, schedule, and other details for the 2021 Gold Cup in the coming months.

The Preliminary rounds will be played July 2 to July 6 in the US along with the Group Stages which will begin on July 10 and the 2021 Concacaf Gold Cup Final will be played on August 1.

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