Cuba (pictured) celebrates after winning its first Caribbean Cup title in 2012.
KINGSTON, Jamaica – The Caribbean Football Union revealed Monday results of the draw for the 2014 Caribbean Cup, the region’s biennial championship for national teams that doubles as a qualifying tournament for the CONCACAF Gold Cup.
The 18th edition will feature 26 sides of which the top four will qualify directly to the confederation’s showpiece event next year.
Jamaica received a bye into the eight-team final round, which it will host in Montego Bay, November 9-18, and will be joined there by defending champion Cuba.
Preliminary round play, involving seven nations drawn into two groups, will be played May 28-June 4:
U.S. Virgin Islands
British Virgin Islands
Turks & Caicos Islands
The first round, September 1-8, is comprised of four, four-team groups:
Group 1 winner
Puerto Rico (host)
Group 2 winner
Antigua & Barbuda (host)
St. Vincent & the Grenadines
St. Kitts & Nevis (host)
The first- and second-place teams from each group, as well as the third-place team with the best overall record, will progress to the second round. There, they will slot into three, four-team groups headed by hosts Trinidad & Tobago, Haiti and Guadeloupe. Those encounters will be played October 6-13:
Trinidad & Tobago (host)
Group 5 winner
Group 6 runner-up
Best overall third place
Group 6 winner
Group 3 runner-up
Group 4 runner-up
Group 4 winner
Group 3 winner
Group 5 runner-up
The second round group winners and runners-up will advance to the final round.
This will also be the first time that the Caribbean Cup’s qualifying stages will be played during officially-sanctioned FIFA match dates, allowing national associations the latitude to include overseas players.
Trinidad & Tobago has won the tournament on a record eight occasions.