The groups for this summer’s CONCACAF U20 Championship were drawn on Thursday morning, setting the opponents that Mikey Varas’ squad will face in their quest to qualify for the 2023 U20 World Cup and 2024 Olympics.
CONCACAF announced the groups for the initial round-robin stage of the tournament, to be played in Honduras from June 18 through July 3, dividing the final 16 teams into four groups of four.
The American U20 squad, which will be led into the tournament by head coach Mikey Varas, will face regional foes Cuba, Canada and Saint Kitts & Nevis in the first three group games.
The format of the tournament sends the top three of each group through to 16-team knockout round, where they will be joined by the top four finishers in last November’s qualifying tournament (Curaçao, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico and Nicaragua).
In the Americans’ group, only Canada would be expected to provide any significant threat to the squad that will likely be dominated by a large number of academy and fully professional players from MLS teams.
The tournament will serve both as the qualifying tournament for the 2023 U20 World Cup in Indonesia, and also the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris. The four semifinalists will earn a ticket to Indonesia, whereas only the two finalists will compete in the Olympics in Paris.
The Americans have not reached the Olympics since 2008, where they crashed out in the group stage.
2022 CONCACAF U20 Championship Group Stage Draw
Group E: United States, Cuba, Canada, Saint Kitts and Nevis
Group F: Mexico, Haiti, Trinidad and Tobago, Suriname
Group G: Panama, El Salvador, Guatemala, Aruba
Group H: Honduras, Costa Rica, Jamaica, Antigua and Barbuda