By RENALDO DORSETT
Tribune Sports Reporter
The Bahamas Men’s National Beach Soccer side has learned its group of opponents and path to World Cup qualification against the top-ranked countries in the region.
The Bahamas was drawn into Group C at the official draw of the 2019 CONCACAF Beach Soccer Championships.
The tournament will be hosted May 13-19 in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.
Group C also includes the United States, Antigua and Barbuda and Bonaire.
Other participating teams include Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guadeloupe, Guatemala, Guyana, Jamaica, Mexico, Panama, Trinidad and Tobago, Turks and Caicos Islands and the US Virgin Islands.
The teams will compete in four groups of four teams. After round-robin play, the first and second place finishers of each group will qualify for the quarterfinals.
The top two teams at the tournament will advance to represent CONCACAF at the 2019 FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup in Asunscion, Paraguay, November 19-December 1.
Six teams have already qualified for the 2019 FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup: host Paraguay, along with Japan, Oman, the United Arab Emirates, Nigeria and Senegal. The remaining ten teams will qualify over the course of the year.
“We are very excited to bring the seventh edition of the Concacaf Beach Soccer Championship to Puerto Vallarta,” said Concacaf General Secretary Philippe Moggio. “This will be the fourth time that this great destination stages a top tournament that serves as springboard for Beach Soccer development, while providing fans with an opportunity to witness the passion, dynamic style and outstanding performances of the best from our region.”
The Bahamas finished sixth in the 2013 CONCACAF Beach Soccer Championship, the first event held at the beach soccer facility at Malcolm Park. A single goal was the difference between the Bahamas reaching the semifinal round and playing a match with a berth to the World Cup on the line.
The Bahamas became the first CONCACAF country to host a World Cup when the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup came to our shores in 2017. For their role as hosts, the Bahamas won the Best Event Award at the 2018 Beach Soccer Stars gala in Dubai, Al Habtoor City.