11-team event is largest Beach Soccer Championship in CONCACAF history
NASSAU, Bahamas - Defending champion Mexico will face tournament newcomers Trinidad & Tobago and Guyana in group play, while the road to the semifinals for host nation the Bahamas includes two-time champion the United States in the first round of the 2013 CONCACAF Beach Soccer Championship.
The draw was conducted Tuesday by CONCACAF General Secretary Enrique Sanz at the Atlantis Paradise Island Hotel in Nassau, the Bahamas, and determined the first-round groupings for the May 8-12 event.
As the host, the Bahamas was pre-seeded in Group A, while Mexico and El Salvador, the first and second-ranked teams in the Beach Soccer Worldwide CONCACAF rankings, were pre-seeded into Groups B and C, respectively.
"Today's draw marks the beginning of a tournament that promises to elevate Beach Soccer across our region, marrying exciting football with world class infrastructure," said Sanz.
The eleven nations were separated into two groups of four and one group of three, all of which will engage in round-robin play over the tournament's first three match days. The top team from each group, plus the best second place finisher, will advance to the semifinals on Saturday, May 11, the winners of which will qualify for the 2013 FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup in Tahiti, September 18 - 28.
During the group phase, teams in Groups A and B will play three matches each. In Group C, each team will play two group matches, followed by a playoff match to determine seeding between the second and third place nations on the final day of group play. On the two final match days of the competition, those teams not involved in the semifinals will participate in placement games to determine the final position of each nation, making for a competition record of 25 total matches.
This event will mark the first-ever CONCACAF Beach Soccer Championship hosted in the Caribbean, and incorporates a record number of teams from across the Confederation. The previous record was eight for the last edition in 2011.
All tournament matches will be held at the Malcolm Park Beach Soccer and Futsal Facility in Nassau. The complete tournament schedule will be released later this week.
Mexico has won the CONCACAF Beach Soccer Championship twice, including the last edition played two years ago in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. The United States has also won two titles, while El Salvador has won the title once.
2013 CONCACAF Beach Soccer Championship
May 8-12, 2013
at the Bahamas (Nassau)
FIRST ROUND GROUPS
Group A: Bahamas, United States, Guatemala, Puerto Rico
Group B: Mexico, Canada, Trinidad & Tobago, Guyana
Group C: El Salvador, Costa Rica, Jamaica