- Posted by Drew Epperley
- On August 30, 2010
- 4 Comments
- CONCACAF, World Cup 2014 qualifying, World Cup qualifying
Count me in as another person to talk about this bit of news today. According to a Honduran paper (via USSoccerPlayers.com), CONCACAF is considering changing up how teams qualify for the next World Cup. In their eyes they want to give some of the smaller sides a bit of a chance against some of the big boys earlier in qualifying.
The biggest change according to this article is the final round of qualifying or what is now known as the Hexagonal.
The way this new form of qualifying is drawn up goes like this:
– 32 teams are drawn into eight groups of four, top two of those group advance.
– Those 16 are drawn into four groups of four, and the top to move on from that.
– The final eight teams are put into two groups of four with the top two advancing to the World Cup. Should CONCACAF get 4 bids in the next World Cup then the top two advance with the group winners, if CONCACAF only gets three then the group runner-ups compete in a playoff. I’d assume the loser of that series would likely go to another playoff with another region’s team should CONCACAF get that lovely 1/2 bid that they’ve received the last couple World Cups.
Now the number of games doesn’t change in qualifying, it remains at 18 games for the entire show. But the interesting thing will be to see if and how CONCACAF uses seeding for this. You’d think if they base the groups off of seeding that Mexico and the US would end up in separate groups throughout the entire thing and could end up not having to face one another in qualifying. How weird would that be though?
I’m not sure if I am a fan of this sort of qualifying. In honesty I’d love to see the final group just be eight teams, and you play everyone twice like you normally would with the top three moving on. I guess CONCACAF is trying to get something fresh into qualifying to spice things up a bit which is okay. But the possibility of not having to face a Mexico or a Costa Rica in qualifying seems odd.