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The two rivals could begin the final step on the road to Russia 2018 against one another.

By The SI Staff
July 08, 2016

The U.S. men's national team might not have to wait long to face Mexico in the final round of CONCACAF 2018 World Cup qualifying.

Based on the draw conducted at CONCACAF headquarters on Friday, the USA could be in line to host Mexico in the first game of the hexagonal, should both finish atop their semifinal round groups. The USA, which currently trails Trinidad & Tobago by three points in its group, would finish first with wins at St. Vincent and The Grenadines and at home against T&T in September in the last games of the round. Mexico has already won its group, going a perfect 4-0-0.

They would also meet in the sixth of 10 qualifying matches in Mexico under the same conditions. If the USA finishes second in its group, it would host Mexico in the fourth game of the round.

At Friday's draw, each semifinal round finishing position was given a number, and those numbers were then drawn to corresponding match dates. Five of the six places are still up for grabs, with only Mexico having clinched its place in the hex thus far.

Position 1 – C1

Position 2 – B2

Position 3 – A2

Position 4 – B1

Position 5 – A1 (Guaranteed to be Mexico)

Position 6 – C2

Match day 1

C1 vs. Mexico

A2 vs. B2

C2 vs. B1

Match day 2

B1 vs. C1

B2 vs. Mexico

A2 vs. C2

Match day 3

C1 vs. A2

C2 vs. B2

Mexico vs. B1

Match day 4

B2 vs. C1

A2 vs. B1

C2 vs. Mexico

Match day 5

C1 vs. C2

B1 vs. B2

Mexico vs. A2

Match day 6

Mexico vs. C1

B2 vs. A2

B1 vs. C2

Match day 7

C1 vs. B1

Mexico vs. B2

C2 vs. A2

Match day 8

A2 vs. C1

B2 vs. C2

B1 vs. Mexico

Match day 9

C1 vs. B2

B1 vs. A2

Mexico vs. C2

Match day 10

C2 vs. C1

B2 vs. B1

A2 vs. Mexico

The hex begins in November, with two matches played in the FIFA window. Two more will be played in the following FIFA windows in March 2017, June 2017, August-September 2017 and October 2017. The top three finishers after each team plays the others home and away will automatically qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, while the fourth-place team goes into an intercontinental playoff against the fifth-place team in Asia's qualifying campaign.

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