In addition to No. 64 Trinidad and Tobago, the group will include 105th-ranked Guatemala or No. 107 Antigua and Barbuda, and 135th-ranked Aruba or No. 115 St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
The U.S. holds an all-time record of 16-2-3 against Trinidad & Tobago and swept the pair of matchups when it last met in World Cup Qualifying in 2009. Mexico, who meet Jamaica in the Gold Cup final on Monday, will play Honduras in their opening qualifying group as well as the winners of the earlier round ties – Curacao v El Salvador and Canada v Belize. The team’s shocking Gold Cup exit may change that, though, and it’s worth pointing out that last qualifying cycle, the U.S. needed a result in their final match of the round to avoid being eliminated before the Hex so it is not a given that the Americans will advance.
The MNT will play each of its Group C opponents twice, once at home and once away, in round-robin play.
The heavyweight group is undoubtedly A. Either France, Sweden or the Netherlands, which finished third in the 2014 World Cup, will not be going to Russian Federation.
If the U.S. finishes in the top two of their group, they’ll be one of six teams in the final round of qualifying, where the top three teams will automatically qualify for the World Cup. The top three teams will qualify for the World Cup with the fourth-placed team meeting an Asian qualifier bidding to take their place in the finals. The USA will first matchup with Peru at RFK Stadium in Washington D.C. on September 4 followed by a game with Brazil at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass on September 8.