Canada's national football squad, win-less in 14 matches over the past 16 months, will face Jamaica and Panama in post-World Cup friendlies, the Canada Soccer Association (CSA) said Tuesday.

The Canadians will host Jamaica at Toronto on September 9 and visit Panama on November 18 as North American teams which failed to reach this year's World Cup finals in Brazil try to jump start their hopes for 2018 in Russia.

"We believe that in order to improve our national teams must compete against the best and more often," CSA president Victor Montagliani said. "This will help our program build a stream of high caliber players."

Canada last won on October 12, 2012, beating Cuba 3-0 and since then have managed only two goals in 14 matches, sliding to 113th in the FIFA rankings and 12th in North America.

The Canadians are 7-3 with six drawn against Jamaica, with the Reggae Boyz winning their most recent meeting 1-0 in 2010 on home soil at Kingston.

FIFA has confirmed that the Brazilian national team will face Panama and Serbia in June, as part of the Seleção's preparation for the World Cup.

The game against Panama will take place at the Serra Dourada stadium in Goiânia on June 3rd, and Brazil will play again three days later against Serbia at the Morumbi Stadium in Sao Paulo. The 5-time World Cup champion will also play against the 2010 World Cup hosts South Africa at the Soccer City in Johannesburg on March 5th.

The opponents were chosen based on their supposed similarity to Brazil's opponents in the group stage of the World Cup. Serbia is deemed similar to Croatia, Panama is believed to be equivalent to fellow CONCACAF team Mexico while South Africa is considered not too different from Cameroon.

The Seleção is currently ranked 9th in FIFA's World Ranking and is also the Confederations Cup holder, but Julio Cesar's fitness and the lack of reliable strikers are big concerns for the World Cup. 

With first place secure, USA still has a role to play in World Cup Qualifying.

Having completed its home schedule with a 2-0 win against Jamaica that sealed first place in CONCACAF qualifying for the third consecutive cycle, the United States now stands with the opportunity to match the best performance in the Final Round in team history when it faces Panama on Tuesday, Oct. 15, in Panama City. Kickoff at Estadio Rommel Fernandez is set for 9:30 p.m. ET (8:30 p.m. local), and the match will be broadcast live on beIN SPORT. Fans can follow live on’s MatchTracker and on Twitter @ussoccer.

For Panama, the implications are much bigger. Sitting in fifth place and three points behind Mexico, Panama must beat the United States in order to have a chance to finish in fourth place to advance to the Intercontinental Playoff against New Zealand. A victory combined with a Mexico loss to Costa Rica would virtually guarantee passage.

Hexagonal Picture: In the other results from last Friday, second-place Costa Rica lost to Honduras 1-0, assuring Honduras of finishing no worse than fourth place which would require an Intercontinental Playoff against Oceania’s New Zealand. Mexico garnered a much-needed 2-1 victory against Panama at Estadio Azteca. Raul Jimenez’s dramatic bicycle kick in the 85th minute was the game-winner as Mexico moved to 11 points and sits in fourth place in the standings.

Only two of CONCACAF’s three automatic berths to the 2014 FIFA World Cup are secure (U.S. and Costa Rica), as Honduras travels to face Jamaica holding onto third place with 14 points. A draw would be enough for the Hondurans to book passage; a defeat along with a Mexico victory would leave them level on points and going to the tiebreakers to determine the outcome.

All three of the final matches of the group will kick off simultaneously.

After going a perfect 5-0-0 at home with eight goals scored and zero surrendered, the U.S. sits in first place in the group with 19 points (6-2-1 overall). A win against Panama would earn the U.S. a total of 22 points from the final phase, equaling the mark set by the squad in the 2005 cycle.

With only four more international fixture dates between now and the start of World Cup training camp next May, U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann is using these games as the start of preparation for Brazil. Competition for spots on the 23-man World Cup roster remains fierce, and good performances in qualifiers can translate into future opportunities for the players here in Panama City.


New Zealand already have half a ticket into the next year’s FIFA World Cup in Brazil, but they still have to play a final against the fourth place finishers in the CONCACAF Qualifiers to get the other half. The most likely candidates for that position at the moment are Mexico and Panama.

USA and Panama met in a Gold Cup final in 2005, ending in a 0-0 draw that was followed by a 3-1 penalty shootout that crowned USA champions. It seemed like Panama wanted history to repeat itself this time around, as they concentrated in defense and let USMNT keep possession for most of the game. It was a packed house at Soldier Field in Chicago, despite not being the final match that almost everyone had hoped for against bitter rivals, Mexico. 
Mexico's Gold Cup team under the management of "Chepo" de la Torre left everyone extremely disappointed with their performance. Captain Huiqui was a disgrace and most likely won't wear the national team shirt ever again. But they were beyond horrible not only with their performance against Panama, they weren't good through the whole Gold Cup, barely winning matches that were meant to be "easy wins". Excuses can be made that his was Mexico's B-team, some would even call it C-team, but this does not cover the fact that Mexico showed extremely poor quality in the world's eyes.

USMNT on the other hand, has been stellar under the wing of German coach Jürgen Klinsmann. Everything has been superb with the Gold Cup team as well as with their A-squad, though one can say that this Gold Cup team has more than a few players that should be on the A-team, especially Landon Donovan, who has proven to be a natural born leader for his country. USA besides dominating the competition, are acting as hosts and it has been a stroll in their own park for an international tournament. They ended up on top of their group, then beat El Salvador in the quarterfinals and Honduras in the semis. The only match everyone was looking forward to, was between the two CONCACAF giants, unfortunately Mexico did not live up to its expectations and have left USMNT hanging. 
As much as Mexico sees this as a chance to reassert themselves as they regroup under their under-fire manager Chepo de la Torre, this is Panama's big shot at making a splash on the international scene for the first time in the nation's footballing life.

Under Julio Delay Valdés Panama has undergone a fantastic transformation from Central American afterthought to a nation that is in serious contention for their first ever birth to the World Cup. In this edition of the Gold Cup alone, with a B squad that was looking to give fringe players the chance to prove if they have got what it takes to win on the international stage, they went head to head with Mexico in their first game of the tournament and were able to come away with a thoroughly deserved 2-1 victory.
That victory alone showed that the all Liga MX based Mexico squad was not exactly playing with the typical swagger that they normally have in this competition, especially considering they have won the previous two editions. This has only increased the already difficult pressure that Chepo has been under recently with the poor performances of the Mexican side in recent qualifiers, the Confederations Cup and now in the Gold Cup.

Not since the 2005 tournament when Panama finished as runners-up to the United States has there been a non-US v Mexico final but it would seem that there is an extremely high probability of that now.