Barbados was the second last to be drawn and will face Guyana, El Salvador, USVI and Nicaragua
An unequivocal tension gripped the room today at the Temple House in Miami Beach, Florida where 40 member nations gathered for the launch and the draw for the qualifying round of the new CONCACAF nation’s league.
Prior to the draw CONCACAF took the opportunity to display its new brand identity with a stunning new logo and corporate colours.
For the draw, Barbados was pooled in pot C and this would be the last pot to be drawn which would be inputted into a computer-generated schedule. This was to ensure that no nation would play each other twice.
The new format means that there will be four match days within the qualifiers for the main competition which commences in 2019.
With all the other teams drawn but two, Barbados was among the territories remaining in the pot which would determine the last eight games of the round.
Ironically Barbados would be sitting next to it first opponent, Guyana when the penultimate draw took place. Expectant cheers rang out in the room as the Barbados tag was displayed. The Tridents will play their first two games away, firstly against Guyana in September, then, travel to El Salvador in October for the second. They then return home for a date against USVI who captured their first ever win against Barbados just over two years ago. At that time Barbados’ current Technical Director Ahmed Mohammed had orchestrated the win for USVI. Nicaragua will then come to Bridgetown cap off the round in the fourth window in 2019.
Technical Director Ahmed Mohamed (right) jokes with President of the Guyana Football Federation after the draw.
After the draw Technical Director Ahmed Mohamed said that it will be tough and that he prefers not to be the favorite. He feels that way the team can perform without unnecessary pressure. Mohamed indicated that he will be looking for to a positive result and will aim to collect a minimum of 8 pts for his four games in the process.
The results of the preliminary rounds will determine the ranking for each nation when the league kicks off in 2019. The top 10 teams will join the six 2017 hexagonal teams in the 2019 CONCACAF Gold Cup.