Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago are set to cross swords in the group stages of this year’s fourth edition of the Concacaf Nations League, as both were drawn in Group B of League A for the 2024/25 campaign which is scheduled to kick off in September.

This year’s Concacaf Nations League will again be contested in a three-league format –Leagues A, B and C –and will see the Confederation’s 41 senior men’s national teams doing battle during the FIFA match windows of September, October, and November 2024. The semi-finals and finals of the tournament, which serves as the qualifiers for next summer’s 2025 Concacaf Gold Cup, are scheduled for March 2025.

The teams have been grouped across the respective Leagues based on their results from the 2023/24 staging. The Reggae Boyz and their Soca Warriors counterparts, who contested the business end of the competition for the first time in that campaign, will be hoping to do so again on this occasion.

They are among 12 teams, split in two groups of six teams each to contest League A in a “Swiss style” league system, with each team playing a total of four games (two at home and two away).

Jamaica, last edition’s semi-finalist, and Trinidad and Tobago, who made the quarterfinals, are drawn alongside Honduras, Cuba, Nicaragua, and French Guiana, while Group A comprises, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Martinique, Guadeloupe, Suriname, and Guyana.

After group stage play in September and October, the first and second-place finishers of each group, will advance to the quarterfinals, where they will join the four top-ranked League A teams, Mexico, United States, Panama, and Canada. The quarterfinals will be played in a home-and-away format, with the winner of each fixture, on aggregate, set to secure a berth in next year’s Finals.

Meanwhile, League B will feature 16 teams divided into four groups of four teams. Each team will play every team in its group twice. The groups were drawn as follows:
 
Group A -El Salvador, Montserrat, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and Bonaire

Group B -Curacao, Saint Lucia, Grenada, and Saint Martin
Group C -Haiti, Puerto Rico, Aruba, and St Maarten
Group D -Dominican Republic, Bermuda, Antigua and Barbuda, and Dominic 
Matches in each group will be played at a centralized venue instead of the previous home-and-away format, to alleviate travel challenges that Member Associations face.

The third best-ranked teams in each group will host the September matches, the second best-ranked teams will host the October matches, and the best-ranked teams will host the decisive November matches.

Over in League C, which consists of nine teams, divided into three groups of three teams, the format takes a similar shape, where each team will play every team in its group twice.

Group A -Barbados, Bahamas, and US Virgin Islands
Group B -Belize, Turks and Caicos Islands, and Anguilla
Group C-Saint Kitts and Nevis, Cayman Islands, and British Virgin Islands

Where centralized venues are concerned, the second highest-ranked teams in each group will host the September matches, and the highest-ranked teams will host the October matches.

Schedule:

Group Stage: September 2-10, October 7-15, and November 11-19, 2024
Quarterfinals: November 11-19, 2024
Semifinals: March 20, 2025
Final and Third Place Match: March 23, 2025

As expected, Frazsiers Whip will be Jamaica’s representative in the inaugural Concacaf Women’s Champions Cup, a new annual tournament that includes the best clubs from North America, Central America, and the Caribbean and crowns the region’s women’s club champion.

The tournament is also the sole path through which clubs in Concacaf can qualify for the new FIFA Women’s Club World Cup, which FIFA has committed to launching in the near future.

By virtue of winning the 2022/23 Jamaica Women’s Premier League, Frazsiers Whip booked their spot for the first edition of the competition, which will feature 11 clubs from seven Member Associations.

The other confirmed participants are Canada’s 2023 League One Women’s Inter-Provincial Championship winners Vancouver Whitecaps FC, Costa Rica’s LD Alajuelense, Mexico’s Tigres UANL Femenil, as well as the United States trio of Gotham FC, San Diego Wave FC and Portland Thorns FC.

El Salvador and Panama are yet to confirm their representatives for their solitary spots, while Mexico’s two other representatives will be known at the conclusion of the Liga MX Clausura.

GILBERT...it is more football and more exposure for our local players.

Interim Reggae Girlz Head coach Xavier Gilbert, who guided Frazsiers Whip to league honours, welcomed the move by Concacaf, which he believes will offer some exposure for local players, despite the gulf in class between other leagues around the region and Jamaica's Women's League.

"It's important for local football, however, I don't think any of our local teams will be able to match up with the teams from Mexico or United States. Those clubs are professional clubs playing in a fully professional leagues, while ours is nowhere close to their standard," Gilbert told SportsMax.TV in a recent interview.

"But it is good, it is more football and more exposure for our local players. At the same time, I think it sends a signal of how important it is for us to look at what we are doing in terms of resources and surfaces for our local teams. So, it is good move by Concacaf, and I think it's for us now here in Jamaica to look at what we are doing and try to improve the quality of our league," he added.

The official draw for the tournament is scheduled for June 6.

Action in the Concacaf Women’s Champions Cup is expected to get underway in August, with a Preliminary Round, followed by Group and Knockout Stage play. The Preliminary Round Play-in will be a single-leg match between two clubs, with the winner advancing to the Group Stage. 

The Group Stage will feature 10 clubs divided into two groups of five clubs each. Each club will play every club in its group once, for a total of four matches per club (two at home and two away). At the conclusion of Group Stage play, the group winners and runners-up (four clubs) will progress to the competition’s final four. 

The semifinals, third-place encounter, and final, where the first-ever Concacaf Women’s Champions Cup winners will be crowned, will be centralized in a venue to be announced.

Jamaica’s young Reggae Boyz will have powerhouse teams United States and Costa Rica, along with Caribbean neighbours Cuba to contend with in the group stages of this summer’s Concacaf Men’s Under-20 Championships in Mexico.

Those teams will contest Group A of the tournament scheduled for July 19 to August 4. Honduras, Dominican Republic, El Salvador and Canada will contest Group B, while host Mexico, Panama, Guatemala and Haiti will lock horns in Group C.

The groups were revealed during a live draw on Thursday.

Jamaica's young Reggae Boyz, who topped Group F on their way to the Championships, will now be guided by Jerome Waite, who is looking forward to the challenge of possibly qualifying the country to its first Under-20 Men's World Cup since the Argentina feat in 2001.

To achieve the feat, Waite, who took the reins from John Wall after the Caribbean qualifiers, will have to first secure a top two spot from the Group, as only the top two finishers from each group, along with the two best-third-place teams, will advance to the quarterfinals.

From there, the four semi-finalists will secure qualification as Concacaf’s representatives at the FIFA Under-20 World Cup next year.

Waite, who is no stranger to high pressure situations, was at the helm when the young Reggae Boyz went into the 2018 tournament without much preparation or expectation, but surprised the entire nation when they finished level on 13 points from five games with Concacaf kingpins, Mexico, at the top of the group.

However, Mexico qualified for the second round by virtue of a better goal difference than the Jamaicans, as only the group winner advanced.

Since then, Jamaica's closest run to FIFA Under-20 World Cup qualification was when they made the quarterfinals of the 2022 tournament in Honduras.

"Qualification will not be easy, but it is something that can be accomplished," Waite said.

British Virgin Islands booked their spot in the second round of the Concacaf World Cup qualifiers, following a 4-2 penalty shootout win over US Virgin Islands in their play-off contest at the AO Shirley Recreation Ground in Road Town, BVI, on Tuesday.

After playing out a 1-1 stalemate in the first leg, both teams again failed to separate themselves in a goalless second-leg encounter and so it was down to the dreaded penalties to decide the outcome. In the end, it was British Virgin Islands that held their nerves best from the 12-yard spot to progress to the business round of qualification.

They will join Jamaica, Dominica, Dominican Republic and Guatemala in Group E for the second round of the qualifiers, which are scheduled to run between June 2024 and June 2025. A total of 30 countries will vie for spots in the final round. 

The final round which will be played between September and November 2025, will see teams battling for five spots to the 2026 FIFA World Cup to be hosted jointly by Concacaf powerhouses Mexico, United States and Canada.

Of the five teams, three will earn direct qualification, while the other two spots will be decided via a play-offs.

 

The United States clinched their third consecutive Concacaf Nations League title with a commanding 2-0 victory over Mexico in the final of the 2023-24 Concacaf Nations League Finals at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

Tyler Adams and Gio Reyna were the heroes for the USA, each finding the back of the net to secure the historic win against their arch-rivals.

The match kicked off with an electrifying atmosphere, and the intensity was palpable from the start. Christian Pulisic had an early opportunity to put the USA ahead but was denied by Mexico goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa in the 5th minute.

Mexico responded by applying pressure in the USA's half, and their best chance of the first half came in the 22nd minute when Luis Chavez's shot was saved by USA goalkeeper Matt Turner after a flicked-on header.

As the first half progressed, the USA began to test Mexico's defense from distance. Sergino Dest came close with a shot that sailed just over the crossbar in the 38th minute. However, it was Tyler Adams who broke the deadlock just before halftime with a stunning long-range strike from 35 yards out, giving the USA a 1-0 lead.

In the second half, Mexico looked to mount a response, but they struggled to break down the resolute USA defense. Instead, it was the USA who extended their lead in the 63rd minute when Gio Reyna capitalized on an initial clearance from the Mexican defense and fired a shot past Ochoa at the near post, making it 2-0 for the USA.

Despite Mexico's efforts to get back into the game, the USA defense held firm, denying their opponents any clear-cut opportunities. As the final whistle blew, the USA celebrated their third consecutive Concacaf Nations League title, reaffirming their dominance in the region once again.

 

 

Amidst the turmoil that has overshadowed the ongoing Jamaica Women's Premier League (JWPL), there is a light at the end of the tunnel for the seven participating clubs to chase after, as one of those clubs will be the country's representative in the inaugural Concacaf Women's Champions Cup.

This Women's Champions Cup, the region’s first official women’s continental club championship, follows the successful conclusion of the inaugural Concacaf Women's Gold Cup, which was won by United States on Sunday. The preliminary round and group stage matches of the club tournament are scheduled for August, September, and October this year, with a final four centralized semifinals and final set for May 2025.

Hailed as another strategic move in women’s football, the Women's Champions Cup will be an annual competition that will pit the best clubs from North America, Central America and the Caribbean against each other, and will crown a regional women’s club champion. The tournament will also be the sole path through which Concacaf region clubs can qualify for the new FIFA Women’s Club World Cup, which FIFA has committed to launching in the near future.

Well aware of the gulf in class between other leagues around the region and Jamaica's Women's League, interim Reggae Girlz Head coach Xavier Gilbert welcomed the move by Concacaf, which he believes will offer some exposure for local players.

"It's important for local football, however, I don't think any of our local teams will be able to match up with the teams from Mexico or United States. Those clubs are professional clubs playing in a fully professional leagues, while ours is nowhere close to their standard," Gilbert told SportsMax.TV.

"But it is good, it is more football and more exposure for our local players. At the same time, I think it sends a signal of how important it is for us to look at what we are doing in terms of resources and surfaces for our local teams. So, it is good move by Concacaf, and I think it's for us now here in Jamaica to look at what we are doing and try to improve the quality of our league," he added.