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Mexico drawn in Group F of 2020 U20 CONCACAF Championship

The draw of the qualifying tournament was held almost a year before the event and even before a venue has been chosen for the tournament.

Japan v Mexico - FIFA U-17 World Cup Brazil 2019
Eugenio Pizzuto should be one of the players chosen to lead Mexico in qualifying to the 2021 U20 World Cup.
Photo by Buda Mendes - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images

Mexico has been drawn in Group F of the CONCACAF U20 Championship, a year before the tournament is to take place and before even a seed has been chosen. Mexico will share the group along with Canada, El Salvador and Aruba. CONCACAF will have the same process as the 2019 U17 CONCACAF tournament, so this means the top three teams will qualify to the knockout stages. They group winner would face one of the group winners of Group A to Group D, who would be playing a separate qualifying process as the lesser ranked teams of the regions. The winners of the Round of 16 would move to the Quarterfinals where the winners would determine the four CONCACAF spots for the U20 World Cup to be held in Indonesia.

CONCACAF has decided not go back to the 2018 U20 Tournament format, which had all teams participating in the group stages. Under that format, Mexico got wins by scores of 7-0, 8-0 and 10-0. Although with the way the groups were drawn, it’s almost guaranteed that the three nations to qualify to the knockout stages is already set.

For Mexico’s group, it should be Mexico, Canada, and El Salvador, as Aruba should lose handily to all three countries. Mexico should be based on a mixture of the U17 World Cup finalist team from the 2019 U17 World Cup and the U18 team that is coached by Raul Chabrand. Chabrand’s team just went on a tour in the Netherlands where they lost twice and finished with a tie against the hosts. Mexico should be favored, but it still to early to say as Mexico still doesn’t have a U20 coach and the tournament still doesn’t have it’s calendar or a venue.

While Bradenton, Florida was the venue for the U20 and U17 qualifiers in 2018 and 2019, the recent U20 Womens’ tournament was just announced that it will be played in the Dominican Republic. If still up in the air especially after Visa issues hampered a couple of teams for the CONCACAF U15 tournament that was also held in Bradenton. Still, Bradenton could be favored because of the necessity of playing two rounds. The tournament should be played late in 2020, just like in 2018 when it was held in late October and early November.