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Costa Rica’s Road to the 2026 World Cup

FIFA recently conducted the draw for the preliminary rounds of the men’s soccer teams in the North, Central America, and Caribbean Confederation as part of the pre-World Cup qualifiers.

Costa Rica will start this pre-World Cup stage as the top seed in Group B against Trinidad and Tobago, St. Kitts and Nevis, Grenada, and Bahamas, all from the Caribbean.

As this is a one-round stage, the team coached by Gustavo Alfaro will have to travel to two of the destinations and host the other two.

La Sele will host the St. Kitts and Nevis team on June 6 and the Trinidad and Tobago team on June 10, 2025, and will travel to Grenada on June 9 and to the Bahamas on June 7, 2025.

“The most important thing is that we already have opponents, we know the dates, and we have the planning. From there, we will start working on the logistics required for this elimination process,” mentioned FCRF Sports Director Claudio Vivas.

The 2026 World Cup will be played in the United States, Mexico, and Canada. As the host nations, these three countries have already secured qualification, leaving the remaining CONCACAF teams to battle for coveted spots.

Group assignments have been finalized, featuring Group A with Honduras, Antigua and Barbuda, Cuba, Bermuda, and the Cayman Islands; Group B with Costa Rica, Trinidad and Tobago, St. Kitts and Nevis, Grenada, and the Bahamas; Group C with Haiti, Curacao, St. Lucia, Barbados, and Aruba; Group D with Panama, Nicaragua, Guyana, Montserrat, and Belize; Group E with Jamaica, Guatemala, the Dominican Republic, Dominica, and the British or US Virgin Islands; and Group F with El Salvador, Suriname, Puerto Rico, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and Anguilla or the Turks and Caicos Islands.

The draw held in Switzerland revealed the first part of the journey for La Sele, which will have to finish in one of the top two positions in the group to qualify for the third round to be played between September, October and November 2025, for which a new draw will be made.

At the end of the final round, the top three teams will qualify directly to the World Cup, joining the host teams of Canada, Mexico and the United States, while the two best runners-up will represent CONCACAF in the FIFA playoff tournament.

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