USMNT's World Cup Qualifying Schedule Changes With FIFA Approving Triple-Header Windows

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FIFA’s decision to expand several international windows to accommodate three matches, thus relieving some of the congestion that’s burdening the global soccer calendar, has allowed Concacaf to reconfigure the schedule for its 2022 World Cup qualifying octagonal set to begin next September. 

The regional governing body unveiled a plan Friday afternoon that foresees the eight participants, including the USA and Mexico, playing the 14 required matches across five international breaks from September 2021 through March 2022.

Four of those five windows will feature three games instead of two. The one two-match window, in November 2021, includes Mexico’s visit to the USA.

The octagonal will include five automatic qualifiers—USA, Mexico, Costa Rica, Honduras and Jamaica—along with three nations that survive a 30-team first round. Those 30 sides were drawn into six, five-team groups that will play a single round-robin in March and June 2021. The enlarged June 2021 window also will include the subsequent two-leg playoffs between the six group winners, which will produce the final three octagonal participants.

The octagonal then will commence in September, following the 2021 Concacaf Gold Cup. The top three finishers at the conclusion of the double round-robin will advance to the World Cup in Qatar, and the fourth-place team will move on to the intercontinental playoff in June 2022.

Concacaf's 2022 World Cup qualifying schedule

Here’s the USA’s octagonal schedule:

September 2021

USA at Group A/F qualifier

Group B/E qualifier at USA

USA at Honduras

October 2021

Jamaica at USA

USA at Group C/D qualifier

Costa Rica at USA

November 2021

Mexico at USA

USA at Jamaica

January 2022

Group A/F qualifier at USA

USA at Group B/E qualifier

Honduras at USA

March 2022

USA at Mexico

Group C/D qualifier at USA

USA at Costa Rica