US to play El Salvador, Grenada in World Cup prep matches

APTOPIX WCup Panama US Soccer
United States’ Christian Pulisic (10) kicks a goal on a penalty kick against Panama during the first half of a FIFA World Cup qualifying soccer match, Sunday, March 27, 2022, in Orlando, Fla. The U.S. won 5-1.
Associated Press/Julio Cortez

MIAMI (AP) — The United States was drawn Monday to play 74th-ranked El Salvador and No. 170 Grenada in the CONCACAF Nations League in preparation for the World Cup in November.

The 15th-ranked U.S. has Nations League games on June 11 and 14 in Group D, and it also intends to play exhibition games on June 1 and 5, and on Sept. 23 and 27.

Back in the World Cup for the first time since 2014, the U.S. opens Group B against Scotland, Wales or Ukraine on Nov. 21. It faces England four days later and meets Iran on Nov. 29.

The U.S. beat Mexico 3-2 in extra time at Denver in June to win the inaugural Nations League.

No. 9 Mexico was drawn in Nations League Group A to play No. 64 Jamaica and No. 141 Suriname. El Tri, in its eighth straight World Cup, starts Group C against Poland on Nov. 22, faces Argentina four days later and plays Saudi Arabia on Nov. 30.

No. 38 Canada was drawn in Nations League Group C to play 82nd-ranked Honduras and No. 79 Curaçao. In its first World Cup since 1986, Canada opens Group F against Belgium on Nov. 23, plays Croatia four days later and faces Morocco on Dec. 1.

Costa Rica was drawn into Group B and plays 61st-ranked Panama and Martinique, which is part of the French Football Federation and not ranked.

The 31st-ranked Ticos are to play No. 101 New Zealand on June 13 or 14 in a one-game playoff at Qatar for a World Cup berth. The winner joins Germany, Japan and Spain in Group E.

In the draws for Nations League lower leagues:

League B

—Group A: Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Cuba, Guadeloupe

—Group B: Bermuda, Guyana, Haiti, Montserrat

—Group C: Bahamas, Nicaragua, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago

—Group D: Belize, Dominican Republic, French Guyana, Guatemala

League C

—Group A: Bonaire, Sint Maarten, Turks and Caicos Islands, U.S. Virgin Islands

—Group B: Aruba, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Martin

—Group C: Anguilla, Dominica, St. Lucia

—Group D: British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Puerto Rico