Unlike previous Concacaf U-20 Championship tournaments that decided World Cup qualifiers, this year's tournament, hosted by IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida (Nov. 1-21), is not preceded by regional qualifiers in the Caribbean and Central America.
Thirty-five nations will compete in the tournament from which four will qualify for the 2019 U-20 World Cup in Poland (May 25-June 16).
The USA is aiming to qualify for the biennial world championship for the fourth straight time -- all with Tab Ramos as head coach -- having last failed to qualify in 2011, with Thomas Rongen at the helm.
The USA is defending U-20 Concacaf champion, having won the title for the first time in 2017.
“These are the games that make all your sweat, suffering and preparation worth it,” Ramos said. “We will also be defending champions for the first time. We have very competitive, technical players in this country, players who are committed to playing hard for the national team. This particular group is skillful and will represent us well.”
• The 35 teams will be drawn into six groups -- five groups of six teams and one group of five teams.
• The six group winners will advance to the qualification stage.
• The qualification stage will consist of two three-team groups. The two group winners plus the second-place finishers will qualify for the U-20 World Cup.
• The two groups winners will advance to the tournament’s final to determine the regional champion.
Seeded Teams (group and position): United States (A1), Mexico (B1), Honduras (C1), Panama (D1) Costa Rica (E1) and El Salvador (F1)
Cuba, Guatemala, Trinidad & Tobago, Haiti, Canada and Jamaica
Pot 2: Antigua and Barbuda, Bermuda, St. Kitts and Nevis, Curacao, Aruba and Suriname
Pot 3: Nicaragua, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Guadeloupe, St. Lucia and Guyana
Pot 4: Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Grenada, Cayman Islands, Barbados, Belize and Dominica
Pot 5: U.S. Virgin Islands, Martinique, Sint Maarten, Saint Martin and Monserrat