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ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

2018 World Cup qualifying - how it works

The qualifying process for the 2018 World Cup began on March 12, 2015 with preliminary ties between the 12 lowest-ranked nations in Asia.

Chiquito Do Carmo of Timor-Leste had the honour of scoring the very first goal on the road to Russia in a 4-1 victory at home to Mongolia.

There are 31 places up for grabs, joining hosts Russia.

  

EUROPE:

13 places

• European qualifying home page

Qualifying for 2018 sees seven groups of six nations and two groups of five. 

Russia...

ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

CONCACAF prefers 2026 World Cup bid with U.S., Mexico, Canada - Moggio

Gab Marcotti explains why FIFA's decision to expand the World Cup to 48 teams has its benefits, but not everyone agrees.
Gab Marcotti and Shaka Hislop join Outside the Lines and have their say at FIFA expanding the World Cup to 48 teams.
Gab Marcotti joins Outside the Lines to discuss the reasons behind moving the World Cup from 32 to 48 teams in 2026.
Shaka Hislop expresses his disapproval at FIFA's decision to expand the World Cup to 48 teams.

CONCACAF general secretary Philippe Moggio has said that he favours a three-way 2026 World Cup bid with Mexico, the United States and Canada, echoing comments made last week by new CONCACAF president Victor Montagliani.

FIFA's decision last week to expand the 2026 tournament -- to 48 teams from 32, playing 80 games instead of 64 -- increased the chances of co-hosting to share the load. 

The U.S. has said they will aggressively bid for hosting rights for the 2026 World Cup and CONCACAF...

ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Bradley says blame for U.S. team stumbles is on everyone's shoulders

Michael Bradley admits the USMNT form has slipped but refuses to pass blame to anyone specifically.

United States captain Michael Bradley said the blame for the national team's slow start to the Hex phase of CONCACAF World Cup qualifying is on everyone's shoulders.

Bradley, 29, believes that everyone on the team has let "too many things slip" in their first two matches of the Hex -- a home loss to Mexico in Columbus, Ohio, and an away thrashing at the hands of Costa Rica that ultimately cost manager Jurgen Klinsmann his job. 

He told ESPN FC in an exclusive interview: "I think the best way...