In a very strange U20 CONCACAF Championship draw, Mexico found out their group stage opponents. Mexico was drawn in Group F where they will face Haiti, Suriname, and Trinidad and Tobago. The winner of the group will face Puerto Rico in the Round of 16 tournament, where the top four teams will end up with their ticket to the U20 World Cup in 2023, while more importantly the top two teams will qualify to the 2024 Olympic Games. The tournament will be held in Honduras from June 18th to July 3rd.
Mexico will be heavily favored to win their group, as they face an almost all Caribbean group stage. Mexico will start the tournament facing Suriname, the South American country being the only non-Caribbean nation. They will then face Trinidad and Tobago before closing against Haiti. Mexico has one of the (if not the) easiest group, although the fact that the top three teams of each group qualify to the Round of 16 means that there really is no Group of Death. The tougher groups in Group G and Group H both have a very weak team in Aruba and Antigua and Barbuda, which are almost assured to be the one team eliminated from those groups. So Mexico has one of the easiest groups and is favored to win it, which should be key for Mexico making it to the match against Puerto Rico. While it’s supposed to be an easy situation, in the 2019 U17 World Cup qualifiers, Mexico was in the same situation including facing Puerto Rico and although it was expected to be an easy victory for Mexico, they trailed 1-0 and had to battle back to only get a 2-1 win. It was the toughest match for Mexico up until the Final against the United States which they won 2-1 in Extra time. Mexico then proceeded to go to the U17 World Cup and finish in second place in the best tournament performance since their 2013 U17 World Cup, where they also lost the Final.
Mexico needs to be prepared for their performance of the 2022 U20 CONCACAF Championship. Because the tournament is set to give the two tickets to the Olympic Games, it’s a more important tournament than the 2023 U20 World Cup for Mexico. The tournament was set to be played in Honduras, and they will remain the host although when they first got the seed, the tournament was only giving the tickets to the U20 World Cup and not for the Olympic tournament. Coach Luis Perez thus has a huge undertaking in not only getting the ticket to the U20 World Cup, but also for an Olympic tournament which is a huge importance to Mexican football. They already got the good news that the Group could be the start for the best possible path to get to that very important final in Honduras.