Tue, Oct

T&T to know Concacaf Nations League opponents May 16.

T&T senior men's football team will know their Concacaf Nations League (CNL) B opponents on May 16 when the official draw for the 2023/2024 edition of the competition is made in Miami, Florida from 7 pm and will be executed using a single-blind system involving six pots for League A, four pots for League B, and three pots for League C.

As announced in February, beginning with the 2023/24 edition, the competition’s format has been revamped to include more direct elimination matches that will qualify teams for continental summer competitions.

Furthermore, Concacaf also confirmed that the 2023/24 and 2024/25 CNL editions will serve as the qualifying tournaments for the 2024 CONMEBOL Copa America (six Concacaf nations will participate) and the 2025 Concacaf Gold Cup, respectively.

The distribution of teams for Leagues A, B, and C has been determined based on the results of the 2022/23 CNL Group Stage, including a promotion system from Leagues B and C to Leagues A and B, respectively.

The CNL will continue to be played in a three-League format (A, B, and C) and the region’s 41 men’s senior national teams will be distributed into the Leagues according to the results of the preceding CNL edition.

For the 2023/2024 edition, T&T will again compete in League B after national coach Angus Eve’s men entered their final League B Group C match against table leaders Nicaragua at the Dwight Yorke Stadium, Bacolet, Tobago needing a win to secure the top spot in the group, promotion to League A of the CONCACAF Nations League, and automatic qualification to the Gold Cup, but came up short in March.

T&T could only muster a 1-1 draw to end with 13 points, one behind Nicaragua to miss out on being among the 12 automatic qualifiers for the 2023 Gold Cup, alongside Qatar, League A group winners: Canada, Mexico, Panama, and the USA, the four League A runners-up Costa Rica, El Salvador, Honduras, and Jamaica along with the League B group winning quartet of Cuba, Guatemala, Haiti, and Nicaragua.

For the new season of the competition, the teams joining T&T in League B include Antigua & Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, Dominican Republic, French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Guyana, Montserrat, Puerto Rico (promoted), St Kitts/Nevis (promoted), St Lucia (promoted), St Vincent and the Grenadines, and Sint Maarten (promoted).

For the May 16 drawing of the groups, the quartet of T&T, French Guiana, Guyana, and Guadeloupe have all been drawn in Pot One and will be favourites to top their respective round-robin four-team pools which will be completed by one team each from the other three pots, Pot 2 (Antigua & Barbuda, St Kitts/Nevis, Dominican Republic, Bermuda); Pot 3 (St Lucia, Puerto Rico, Montserrat, and St Vincent and the Grenadines); and Pot 4 (Belize, Barbados, Bahamas, and Sint Maarten).

Before competing in the opening round of matches in the 2023/2024 CNL, the Soca Warriors will have their eyes focused on the preliminary round qualifiers for the upcoming Concacaf Gold Cup in the USA.

T&T is set to face Guadeloupe, coached by former Guadeloupe-born France-international Jocelyn Angloma at the DRV PNK Stadium, in Fort Lauderdale on June 16/17 in one of six first-round matches of the preliminary qualification to the 2023 CONCACAF Gold Cup.

Should 104th-FIFA T&T manage to get past unranked Guadeloupe whom they have an even record of two wins, three defeats, and two losses against in their first-round match, then they next face the winner of the Jamaal Shabbazz-coached Guyana, ranked 170th versus the 175th-ranked Grenada first-round clash for a spot in Group D of the 16-nation main draw with top-seeded Canada, ranked 47th in the world, 116th-ranked Guatemala, and Cuba, ranked 165th.

In the other preliminary round match-ups, Martinique was pitted against St Lucia coached by former T&T World Cup striker Stern John with the winner to meet Suriname and Puerto Rico for a place in Group C alongside the Central American trio of Costa Rica, Panama, and El Salvador, while the third and final preliminary round pairings see Curacao and St Kitts/Nevis winner meeting French Guiana and Sint Maarten winner for a place in Group A where USA, Jamaica, and Nicaragua awaits.

Group B of the main draw will feature Mexico, Haiti, Honduras, Asian Champions and guest nation, Qatar.

The 2023/2024 CNL League A has been expanded to include 16 teams (up from 12), and a new quarterfinal round has been created with the groups to be drawn from Canada, Costa Rica, Cuba (promoted), Curaçao, El Salvador, Grenada, Guatemala (promoted), Haiti (promoted), Honduras, Jamaica, Martinique, Mexico, Nicaragua (promoted), Panama, Suriname, and the USA.

For Group Stage play, the 12 lowest ranked League A national teams (based on the Concacaf Rankings) will be split into two groups of six teams each and will play in a “Swiss style” league system, with each team playing a total of four games (two at home and two away).

After Group Stage play, each group’s first and second-place finishers (four teams in total) will advance to the CNL Quarterfinals, where they will join the four top-ranked League A national teams.

League A’s new Quarterfinal round will be played in a home-and-away format, with the aggregate score winners in each quarterfinal matchup advancing to the CNL Finals. Specifically for the 2023/24 CNL, the quarterfinal winners will also qualify for the 2024 CONMEBOL Copa America.

The other two participants will be determined via a single direct elimination play-in between the four League A losing quarterfinalists.

For the League A draw, the seeded teams in the quarterfinals are Mexico, USA, Costa Rica, and Canada while the six pots will comprise Pot 1 (Panama and Haiti), Pot 2 (Jamaica and Guatemala), Pot 3 (Honduras and El Salvador), Pot 4 (Martinique and Cuba), Pot 5 (Curacao and Suriname), and Pot 6 (Nicaragua and Grenada)

And in the nine-nation League C competition, the teams have been divided into three pots, Pot 1 (Bonaire, Dominica, Aruba); Pot 2 (Turks & Caicos Islands, Cayman Islands, Saint Martin), and Pot 3 (Anguilla, US Virgin Islands, British Virgin Islands) from which three groups will be formed to play a home-and-away format as well, for a total of four matches per team (two at home and two away).

The 2023/24 Concacaf Nations League Group Stage will be played during the official FIFA Match Windows in September, October, and November 2023.

The 2023/24 CNL Finals, where a champion will be crowned, will take place at a venue to-be-announced in March 2024.

Promotion and relegation

Promotion and relegation between CNL Leagues will take place at the conclusion of the third edition, as follows:

League A: Fifth and sixth-place finishers will be relegated to League B.

League B: Group winners will be promoted to League A, and fourth-place finishers will be relegated to League C.

League C: Group winners and the best second-place finisher will be promoted to League B.

2023/24 Concacaf Nations League Schedule.