MIAMI – CONCACAF confirmed Tuesday the programming for the official draw of the 2018 CONCACAF Women’s Championship USA, scheduled to be played Oct. 4-17, in Cary, N.C., Edinburg, Texas, and Frisco, Texas.
The competition will be used as qualifying platform for the 2019 Women’s World Cup in France.
The draw, which will sort the eight participating teams into two groups of four for the first round of the competition, will be conducted live from Univision Studios in Miami Tuesday, Sept. 4 at 10 a.m. ET. Fans will be able to follow the event through CONCACAF.com and the confederation’s rights partner networks, including Univision Deportes and Fox Sports in the United States and Yahoo Sports in Mexico and Central America.
The competition will include a field of eight teams. From North America, the United States will participate as host, along with Canada and Mexico. The five remaining participating nations will be confirmed in the coming weeks, as the regional qualifiers conclude in Central America and the Caribbean.
The Central American Women’s Qualifier will be disputed between Costa Rica, El Salvador, Nicaragua and Panama and is scheduled to take place Aug. 27-31. After round-robin play, the top two finishers will qualify to the championship.
In the Caribbean, the final qualifying round will be disputed from Aug. 25 – Sept. 2 among the five first-round group winners, Antigua & Barbuda, Bermuda, Cuba, Jamaica and Trinidad & Tobago. The top three finishers will qualify to the tournament.
The draw will be conducted will a double-blind system involving six pots – four team pots and two group position pots. The four team pots will each contain the name of two teams, while the two group position pots will contain the four possible positions for each group.
Six of the eight participating teams will be distributed in pots 2, 3 and 4, based on the Concacaf Women’s Rankings (to be published in the coming weeks), while the host, United States will be placed alongside Canada in Pot 1, as the seeded teams in groups A and B respectively. The team pots will be distributed as follows:
Pot 1: United States (host) and Canada (2nd ranked)
Pot 2: 3rd and 4th ranked teams
Por 3: 5th and 6th ranked teams
Pot 4: 7th and 8th ranked teams
The group position pots (A and B) will contain the group positions:
Pot A: A1, A2, A3, A4
Pot B: B1, B2, B3, B4
The draw will begin drawing the seeded teams from Pot 1 and their assigned positions from Pots A and B. Once these have been confirmed, the first team will be randomly drawn from Pot 2, followed by a position from Pot A. The second team from Pot 2 will then be drawn, followed by its position from Pot B. The same will be done for Pots 3 and 4, alternating between Pots A and B.
2018 CONCACAF Women’s Championship
Dates: Oct. 4-17
Venues: Sahlen’s Stadium (Cary, North Carolina), H-E-B Park (Edinburg, Texas) and Toyota Stadium (Frisco, Texas).
Teams: North America (3), Caribbean (3) and Central America (2)
Number of teams to qualify for the World Cup: 3 (Champion, runner-up and third place). The fourth place finished will dispute a home-and-away intercontinental playoff, with Argentina, the third-place finisher of CONMEBOL’s 2018 Women’s Copa America. The winner of the playoff will qualify to the FIFA Women’s World Cup France 2019.
Competition Format: The eight participating teams will be sorted into two groups of four for the Group Stage. After round-robin play, the two group winners, plus the two second-place finishers will advance to the semifinals. The semifinal winners will automatically qualify to the championship final and the FIFA Women’s World Cup. The semifinal losers will dispute the tournament’s third place match for the last direct available ticket to the World Cup.