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Understanding the Importance of the 2015 CONCAFAC Gold Cup

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    Better seeding. And not having to play an extra play-off match game in the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup. That's what's on the line for the Men's USA soccer team in the '15 CONCACAF Gold Cup.

    I know this because I had to look it up. ... I have just recently gotten into soccer, and I wanted to understand the system better. So I used my other sporting knowledge, and finally learned that the FIFA World Cup qualifying process is quite similar to most every other US-based sport's playoff method going. Biggest difference though, it takes YEARS (not just weeks or months) to decide the final 32 teams that get to go to the biggest stage in the world.

    Makes sense when you consider that soccer, or futbol (sorry), is really and truly a worldwide affair. Meaning that 208 countries' teams will have to be matched together and play in several mini-qualifiers before we can even get to the main show, in 2018.

    Right now, Russia is the hosting team and therefore gets an automatic bid. The other 31 are still very much up for grabs.

    Team USA... We are okay right now, as we already won the 2013 CONCAFAC Gold Cup. So that earns us an automatic play-off berth in the 2017 Confederation Cup (yet another qualifier). The Confed Cup is the pathway for any team in this confederation that the US plays in to make it to the 2018 World Cup Finals.

    Only 3 teams get automatic bids into the 2018 World Cup from the CONCAFAC, if they qualify. A fourth might get in as well, if they qualify as a runner up.

    So.. all that said.. Team USA needs to win this 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup. That will secure them NOT having to play in the play-off battle just for a spot on the Confed Cup lineup. And it will also secure them a better seed in that tournament, meaning they won't be forced to play the best team in CONCACAF (kinda like in March Madness/NCAA bracketing).

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    My question is, if we do not win the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup OR the sudden death play-off for the 2017 Confederation Cup qualifier, can we still possibly get a 2018 World Cup Finals spot, or is it all over at that point?

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    trump_card Wrote: My question is, if we do not win the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup OR the sudden death play-off for the 2017 Confederation Cup qualifier, can we still possibly get a 2018 World Cup Finals spot, or is it all over at that point?

    The World Cup Qualifying can be really damn confusing for even the most avid of soccer fans. If the USA doesn't finish in the top three of the CONCACAF Gold Cup then they still have the potential to make it to the World Cup by playing in the inter-confederation playoffs. If we don't get top three in the CONCACAF Gold Cup or make it through the inter-confederation playoffs then we won't be going to the World Cup.

    I don't want to get too far ahead of myself, but I would be absolutely shocked if we didn't win the CONCACAF Gold Cup, let alone place in the top three. There's a chance we may mess up and get second or third, but I see very few scenarios where we get fourth or, worse yet, fifth or lower.

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    Wow that is confusing.