CONCACAF has announced that the official draw for the 2023 CONCACAF Men’s U-17 Championship (CU17C) will take place on Thursday, Sept. 29, in Miami, FL.
CONCACAF said the 2023 CU17C is scheduled to be played in Guatemala City and Antigua Guatemala, Guatemala, between Feb. 11 – 26, 2023, and will include the participation of a total of 20 CONCACAF member associations – the top ranked 16 nations according to the CONCACAF Men’s U-17 Ranking and the four group winners from the 2022 CONCACAF Men’s U-17 Qualifiers (CU17Q).
The World Cup qualifying competition will begin with a 16-team group stage, followed by a knockout stage involving the top three nations in each group stage group and the four nations that secured a round of 16 berth via the 2022 CU17Q.
CONCACAF said the entire knockout stage (round of 16, quarterfinals, semifinals, and final) will be played in a single match elimination format, and the semifinalists (four teams) will qualify for the FIFA U-17 World Cup Peru 2023.
Matches will be divided across two venues, Estadio Nacional Doroteo Guamuch Flores in Guatemala City and Estadio Pensativo in Antigua, CONCACAF said.
It said the official draw will be executed using a single blind system and four pots.
Based on the CONCACAF Men’s U-17 ranking, the 16 nations participating in the competition’s group stage will be distributed in Pots 1-4 as follows (top ranked nations in Pot 1 and listed in raking order per Pot).
Pot 1: Mexico (Group E), USA (Group F), Costa Rica (Group G), Honduras (Group H); Pot 2: Canada, Panama, Haiti, Jamaica; Pot 3: Cuba, El Salvador, Trinidad and Tobago, Guatemala; and Pot 4: Curacao, Suriname, Barbados, Guadeloupe.
CONCACAF said the draw will begin by placing the seeded nations (Pot 1) in their respective groups.
“Once these are confirmed, the nations from Pot 2 will be drawn and placed in sequential order in Groups E, F, G and H,” CONCACAF said. “The same process will be followed with Pots 3 and 4.”
At the end of the draw, CONCACAF said each group will consist of four teams, with no more than one team from each Pot.
Details regarding the official schedule will be confirmed after the draw, CONCACAF said.
It said that, in the previous edition of the CONCACAF U-17 Championship, played in Bradenton, FL, in 2019, Mexico won its eighth title at this age level, with a 2-1 extra time win over the United States in the final.
CONCACAF said nations participating in the group stage (16 and in ranking order) are: Mexico, USA, Costa Rica, Honduras, Canada, Panama, Haiti, Jamaica, Cuba, El Salvador, Trinidad and Tobago, Guatemala, Curacao, Suriname, Barbados, and Guadeloupe.
Nations participating in the knockout stage (16): Bermuda, Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, Puerto Rico, and the top three teams in each of the 2023 CU17C group stage groups (12 teams).
CONCACAF said the number of teams qualifying for the 2023 FU17WC are the semifinalists (four teams).