CONCACAF 2023 Outlook
With the World Cup completed and Argentina crowned champions, the international football calendar turns to 2023 (with slight apologies to the AFF Championships, going on now in southeast asia).
CONCACAF's outlook for 2023 includes:
- The conclusion of the CONCACAF Nations League group stage
- Nations League Finals
- Gold Cup Preliminaries
- 2023 Gold Cup
CONCACAF Nations League
With most of the Nations League calendar done with in 2022 already, there are only 2 remaining matchdays for each group, with some countries only having 1 game left to play.
League A only seems to have one interesting group remaining, with Costa Rica and Panama fighting for placement in the Nations League final, and the final 2 weeks of that group is projected as:
Costa Rica are obviously the favorites, but Panama has a real shot.
League B has 2 groups left competitive... in group C Trinidad & Tobago is slightly favored over Nicaragua to win promotion to League A (& automatic Gold Cup qualification). Here are match projections:
Assuming both win in their first matches, Nicaragua will have a 1 point lead on T&T heading into their matchup, so T&T will need an outright win to win the group.
Group D is heading towards a showdown between French Guiana and Guatemala, and these matches are projected:
French Guiana currently sport a 3 point lead on Guatemala, so if they lose in the final match away, then the group will likely come down to goal differential (French Guiana currently hold a 2 GD lead on Guatemala).
League C is almost entirely wrapped up, with the 4 teams very likely to be promoted being Bonaire, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, and Puerto Rico.
Gold Cup 2023
The Gold Cup Prelims are shaping up to be quite interesting, featuring strong mid-level CONCACAF teams battling for spots in the final tournament. It will likely be a preview of the teams likely to be strong contenders for bottom spots in whatever the final round of 2026 CONCACAF World Cup qualifying will be. With the USA, Canada, and Mexico (likely) quto-qualified, the field will likely be open for teams in the 12-15 rank in CONCACAF to have a legit shot. These are going to be teams such as Curacao, Trinidad & Tobago, and Cuba.
Once we move to the main tournament, the gulf of talent in CONCACAF will, as usual, likely start to show. There are only 9 teams with a >10% shot at making the semifinals of the Gold Cup, and only 11 with greater than a 0.5% chance. But if any of these "outsider" teams are going to make moves to legitimately contend for the 2026 World Cup, this is where I'd expect to see it.
Hopefully we see full team squads for the Gold Cup... but with the Nations League finals happening around the same time, who knows.
Let me know what you're most excited for in 2023!!!
Woah, how is Qatar in the Gold Cup? Is this real?!ReplyDelete
Yep, they made a deal a while ago to play 2021 and 2023 Gold Cups. Wahoo.Delete