CanMNT seeded at 2023 Gold Cup, improve Copa America qualifying odds

On Thursday, Concacaf announced seeded teams and the draw procedure for the 2023 Gold Cup tournament. While the group stage draw does not take place until April 14, there were some significant notes as it pertains to the Canadian men’s national team.

Today’s release confirmed that Canada remains fourth in the Concacaf rankings, which significantly improves their chances of qualifying for the 2024 Copa America tournament. As a result, they will advance automatically to 2023-24 Concacaf Nations League quarter-finals, which will be played over two legs in November of 2023.

Win that match, and Canada will qualify for Copa America. Even a loss would give Canada another opportunity to qualify in a single-match playoff against another one of the quarter-final losers. What this also does is open up the September and October international windows, which could give Canada a chance to book some high-profile friendlies, something John Herdman has consistently preached the importance of.

Canada automatically qualified for the 2023 Gold Cup by finishing top of their group in League A of the Nations League. They will be seeded as the top team in Group D based on their confederation ranking, Concacaf confirmed today. As aforementioned, the other teams in that group will be confirmed on Friday, April 14 (3:00 p.m. ET/12:00 p.m. PT), at a live draw at SoFi Stadium in California. The United States, Mexico and Costa Rica have also been seeded, and therefore will not be in Canada’s group. Here are the full pots:

Pot 1 (Four highest-ranked teams): Mexico, United States, Costa Rica, and Canada.
Pot 2 (Four next best-ranked teams): Panama, Haiti, Jamaica, and Guatemala
Pot 3 (Four lowest-ranked teams): Honduras, El Salvador, Cuba, and Nicaragua
Pot 4: Qatar, Winner Prelims 7, Winner Prelims 8, and Winner Prelims 9

Qatar, the host of the 2022 World Cup, will once again be joining the tournament as a guest entry. A further 12 teams will compete for the three other spots in Pot 4 in the 2023 Gold Cup Prelims to be played June 16-20.

The tournament proper will kick off on June 24, concluding on July 16 with the Gold Cup Final on July 16 at SoFi Stadium.