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What is CONCACAF Nations League? What does it mean for the World Cup?

Here’s everything you need to know about the 2022-23 CONCACAF Nations League.

United States v Mexico: Championship - CONCACAF Nations League Finals Photo by Omar Vega/Getty Images

CONCACAF Nations League is a newer tournament, with the first edition kicking off in 2019. The United States won the first edition with a 3-2 win over Mexico in the final, and they’ll look to defend their title this time around as well. Here’s everything you need to know about the CONCACAF Nations League as this year’s tournament gets underway.

All 41 nations belonging to CONCACAF participate in Nations League, which was founded with the idea of following the UEFA Nations League format. Its aim is to eliminate so many international friendlies by creating a competition where countries will get to play against each other in a meaningful, competitive setting. It doesn’t eliminate all friendlies, but it certainly cuts down on how many friendlies these countries will end up playing.

Much like the UEFA Nations League, the 41 teams in CONCACAF are split into different leagues, with each league being split further into groups. The four bottom teams from each group in Leagues A and B will be relegated to the next lowest league, while the four teams who finished at the top of each group in Leagues B and C will be promoted.

The four group winners from League A will participate in the final tournament.

The group stage started on June 2 and will be played throughout the season, with Matchday 6 being held at the end of March in 2023. The final tournament, which decides the CONCACAF Nations League Champions, will be held in June 2023.

While Nations League doesn’t affect World Cup qualification for CONCACAF teams, it does serve as a qualifier for the next edition of the CONCACAF Gold Cup.

Here’s a full look at the leagues and groups for this season’s competition.

League A

Group A: Jamaica, Suriname, Mexico
Group B: Panama, Costa Rica, Martinique
Group C: Curacao, Honduras, Canada
Group D: El Salvador, United States, Grenada

League B

Group A: Antigua and Barbuda, Cuba, Guadeloupe, Barbados
Group B: Guyana, Haiti, Bermuda, Montserrat
Group C: Nicaragua, Trinidad and Tobago, Bahamas, Saint Vincent & Grenadines
Group D: French Guiana, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Belize

League C

Group A: Bonaire, US Virgin Islands, Sint Maarten, Turks and Caicos
Group B: Aruba, Saint Martin, Saint Kitts and Nevis
Group C: Anguilla, Dominica, Saint Lucia
Group D: British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Puerto Rico