The tournament favorites Mexico may not be playing until October, but that doesn't mean there's not plenty to watch in September, the opening month of the first-ever Concacaf Nations League.
The inaugural competition is the only Concacaf tournament in which all 41 member associations compete, meaning that even the smallest nations — including Caribbean islands like Sint Maarten, with populations under 50,000 — get a chance to rise to the top. The tournament is composed of three leagues (A, B, and C), each with multiple groups. The top finishers in each group gain promotion to the next league, and the bottom finishers are relegated to the lower league.
For a complete breakdown of the tournament, watch this.
But without further ado, here are six must-watch games in the first month of play.
This game is huge for both countries. El Tri is the heavy favorite within the group, but Bermuda and Panama each have their own aspirations. For Bermuda, the goal will be to stay alive in the league and avoid relegation; Panama will be hoping to shock Mexico and punch their ticket to the Nations League semifinals in March.
First, though, they've got to take care of business against Bermuda.
Read more about the Panama-Bermuda battle here.
We've covered the Canucks extensively here on FloFC, and make no mistake: There's a reason for that. Canada are loaded with young talents like Alphonso Davies and Jonathan David, and they'll be chomping at the bit to make up for a disappointing showing in the Gold Cup this summer. Cuba, on the other hand, are a baseball nation growing in their love for soccer. But the fact is they've got a long way to go before they're going to compete against the likes of their North American counterparts.
Read more about the group here.
How's this for a headline: Montserrat's population is about five thousand. The Dominican Republic's is more than 10 million. In what will be one of the most interesting matchups of opposites in League B, this game is the epitome of the Concacaf Nations League.
Read more about League B here.
The Reggae Boyz, led by Leon Bailey, will aim to plow through their group and reach League A. They're certainly favored to make that move upward, but the Golden Jaguars of Guyana will have their eyes on an upset.
Read more about Jamaica here.
We pegged Guatemala as one of the three teams with the most to gain in the Nations League. They've endured a roller coaster of a few years reaching the mountaintops in Concacaf, then dealing with corruption within their federation, and now starting at the bottom of the barrel in the new competition. All that said, they should use this situation as an opportunity to keep developing some of their younger players as the next generation takes over.
Read more about Guatemala here.
Here's another stunning example of what the Nations League brings to the table, as these two islands face off in a Caribbean-only affair. Sint Maarten is the other team in this group, and it appears to be one of the more tightly contested groups in League C. Guadeloupe will be looking to advance to League B.
Read more about League C here.
Don't forget to tune into FloFC for all the Concacaf Nations League action. Go here to see the complete schedule.
Concacaf games on FloFC are restricted to United States viewers. The USA group games will not be streamed on FloFC.