Latest updates

Check the Important info page for latest updates! (15 February 2024)

Monday, August 28, 2023

CONCACAF Nations League 2023/24: 10.000 simulations (August 2023)

The upcoming September window starts a new edition of the CONCACAF Nations League. It will be the third edition and follows only one year after the previous one. It is used as qualification tournament for the Copa America 2024, the South American continental final tournament, which is in 2024 co-organized by CONCACAF (and hosted in the USA) and will be expanded to 16 teams, the 10 from CONMEBOL and 6 CONCACAF teams. It is still not clear if this is a one-off co-operation or the first of a real Americas Cup. Time will tell.


The structure of the Nations League is altered from 2022: League A now consists of 16 teams from which the top 4 according to the CONCACAF March 2023 ranking (Mexico, USA, Costa Rica and Canada) get a bye to the new quarter finals. The other 12 teams are grouped in two groups of 6 and play 2 home and 2 away matches against 4 selected opponents from the group in the September and October windows. After that the top 2 from each group also qualifies for the new home-and-away quarter finals which will be played in November.


The winners of the quarter finals qualify for the Final Four and for the Copa America 2024, the 4 losers play in two one-off 'play-in' matches in March 2024 for the remaining 2 CONCACAF berths in the Copa. The Final Four is also played in March 2024.


League B remains the same: 16 teams in 4 groups of 4 teams. League C consists of the remaining 9 teams in 3 groups of 3. These leagues play their last 2 match days in November.


Promotion and relegation between the leagues is reinstated in this edition: the numbers 5 and 6 in the two league A groups relegate to league B, while the 4 league B group winners get promoted to league A. 

The 4 league B group numbers 4 relegate to league C while the 3 league C group winners plus the best number 2 get promoted to league B.


The composition of the quarter finals follows strict rules:

4th seed - best ranked group winner

3rd seed - next ranked group winner

2nd seed - best ranked group number 2

1st seed - next ranked group number 2

The order of the 4 seeds will be based on the CONCACAF November 2023 ranking. As I'm not able to calculate the CONCACAF ranking on the fly during a simulation, I will assume for the following simulations that the order of the seeds remains the same as in the latest July ranking: so Mexico as 1st seed, USA next, then Canada and 4th seed is Costa Rica.


Here are the probabilities (in %) -generated over 10.000 simulations- with all match-results based on NT prediction formula's for goals scored in a match depending on elo win expectancy.


First the group results with teams ordered by average group position (in the last column):


group A-1

team

1st

2nd

3rd

4th

5th

6th

avg

Panama

56,37

18,57

11,94

6,70

4,25

2,17

1,90

El Salvador

12,91

25,27

19,69

17,22

13,87

11,04

3,27

Guatemala

11,08

14,16

15,60

20,54

21,18

17,44

3,79

Trinidad and Tobago

6,49

16,19

21,73

17,62

18,33

19,64

3,84

Martinique

7,79

16,02

16,44

21,04

18,81

19,90

3,87

Curacao

5,36

9,79

14,60

16,88

23,56

29,81

4,33

group A-2

team

1st

2nd

3rd

4th

5th

6th

avg

Jamaica

38,61

21,60

18,66

13,05

5,38

2,70

2,33

Honduras

22,80

32,15

24,36

12,46

6,55

1,68

2,53

Haiti

22,11

17,95

19,10

21,64

12,93

6,27

3,04

Suriname

12,10

17,88

20,49

22,63

14,92

11,98

3,46

Cuba

3,72

8,54

11,33

17,76

31,80

26,85

4,46

Grenada

0,66

1,88

6,06

12,46

28,42

50,52

5,18

group B-1

team

1st

2nd

3rd

4th

avg

Guadeloupe

63,73

25,81

9,58

0,88

1,48

St. Kitts and Nevis

24,35

41,42

29,36

4,87

2,15

St. Lucia

11,74

30,07

48,73

9,46

2,56

St. Maarten

0,18

2,70

12,33

84,79

3,82

group B-2

team

1st

2nd

3rd

4th

avg

Nicaragua

56,01

29,84

10,86

3,29

1,61

Dominican Republic

32,60

40,60

18,98

7,82

2,02

Barbados

8,04

19,42

42,41

30,13

2,95

Montserrat

3,35

10,14

27,75

58,76

3,42

group B-3

team

1st

2nd

3rd

4th

avg

French Guyana

64,24

23,96

8,91

2,89

1,50

Bermuda

21,32

37,72

23,83

17,13

2,37

Belize

7,95

19,78

35,39

36,88

3,01

St. Vincent and the Grenadines

6,49

18,54

31,87

43,10

3,12

group B-4

team

1st

2nd

3rd

4th

avg

Guyana

39,82

32,01

22,02

6,15

1,95

Antigua and Barbuda

34,39

33,24

23,93

8,44

2,06

Puerto Rico

23,64

28,18

36,11

12,07

2,37

Bahamas

2,15

6,57

17,94

73,34

3,62

group C-1

team

1st

2nd

3rd

avg

Bonaire

63,28

28,75

7,97

1,45

St. Martin

30,58

50,83

18,59

1,88

Anguilla

6,14

20,42

73,44

2,67

group C-2

team

1st

2nd

3rd

avg

Aruba

67,07

27,26

5,67

1,39

Cayman Islands

27,38

53,21

19,41

1,92

US Virgin Islands

5,55

19,53

74,92

2,69

group C-3

team

1st

2nd

3rd

avg

Dominica

76,70

19,98

3,32

1,27

Turks and Caicos Islands

19,30

58,75

21,95

2,03

British Virgin Islands

4,00

21,27

74,73

2,71




The probabilities for the teams in the league A groups to qualify for the quarter finals by position in the final ranking for both group winners and for both group numbers two. Also their total probability to qualify for the quarters is given in the last column:

team

best nr 1

other nr 1

best nr 2

other nr 2

total

Panama

31,13

25,24

8,50

10,07

74,94

Jamaica

21,29

17,32

12,63

8,97

60,21

Honduras

12,89

9,91

21,67

10,48

54,95

Haiti

10,77

11,34

9,98

7,97

40,06

El Salvador

5,88

7,03

12,35

12,92

38,18

Suriname

6,55

5,55

11,31

6,57

29,98

Guatemala

3,70

7,38

4,36

9,80

25,24

Martinique

2,27

5,52

4,88

11,14

23,81

Trinidad and Tobago

2,69

3,80

7,48

8,71

22,68

Curacao

1,59

3,77

2,89

6,90

15,15

Cuba

1,04

2,68

3,33

5,21

12,26

Grenada

0,20

0,46

0,62

1,26

2,54

placed in quarter final against

CRC

CAN

USA

MEX




The probabilities to win in the quarter finals (and qualify for the Final Four and the Copa America 2024). Also in square brackets the probability to win a quarter final, given a team qualified from the league A group stage:

team

QF-CRC

QF-CAN

QF-USA

QF-MEX

total

Mexico

0,00

0,00

0,00

81,50

81,50

USA

0,00

0,00

75,67

0,00

75,67

Canada

0,00

62,10

0,00

0,00

62,10

Costa Rica

47,31

0,00

0,00

0,00

47,31

Panama

21,14

13,57

3,65

3,60

41,96

[55,99]

Jamaica

12,13

7,68

4,05

2,43

26,29

[43,66]

Honduras

5,57

3,03

5,30

1,48

15,38

[27,99]

Haiti

5,24

4,17

2,90

1,73

14,04

[35,05]

El Salvador

2,56

2,39

3,15

2,49

10,59

[27,74]

Guatemala

1,65

2,58

1,15

2,08

7,46

[29,56]

Martinique

0,91

1,34

0,87

1,74

4,86

[20,41]

Suriname

1,75

1,08

1,18

0,66

4,67

[15,58]

Trinidad and Tobago

0,91

1,01

1,34

1,13

4,39

[19,36]

Curacao

0,54

0,73

0,38

0,78

2,43

[16,04]

Cuba

0,28

0,32

0,33

0,37

1,30

[10,60]

Grenada

0,01

0,00

0,03

0,01

0,05

[1,97]




The probabilities to qualify for the Copa America 2024, directly as a winner of a quarter final or as a winner of a 'play-in' in March. in square brackets the probability to win a play-in, given a team lost in the quarter finals. In the last column the total probability to qualify for the Copa America.

team

from QF

from play-in

total

Mexico

81,50

17,29

[93,46]

98,79

USA

75,67

21,20

[87,14]

96,87

Canada

62,10

28,40

[74,93]

90,50

Costa Rica

47,31

35,79

[67,93]

83,10

Panama

41,96

21,73

[65,89]

63,69

Jamaica

26,29

17,94

[52,89]

44,23

Honduras

15,38

13,88

[35,08]

29,26

Haiti

14,04

11,07

[42,54]

25,11

El Salvador

10,59

8,47

[30,70]

19,06

Guatemala

7,46

6,63

[37,29]

14,09

Martinique

4,86

4,74

[25,01]

9,60

Suriname

4,67

4,18

[16,52]

8,85

Trinidad and Tobago

4,39

4,27

[23,35]

8,66

Curacao

2,43

2,53

[19,89]

4,96

Cuba

1,30

1,67

[15,24]

2,97

Grenada

0,05

0,21

[8,43]

0,26




And for the title in the Final Four in March 2024:

team

1st

2nd

3rd

4th

Mexico

31,72

42,20

3,26

4,32

USA

27,95

13,58

29,05

5,09

Canada

22,67

17,12

17,94

4,37

Panama

8,78

7,51

10,81

14,86

Costa Rica

3,62

7,18

17,55

18,96

Jamaica

2,45

4,61

6,83

12,40

Haiti

0,74

1,95

3,46

7,89

Honduras

0,73

2,19

3,57

8,89

El Salvador

0,52

1,30

2,64

6,13

Guatemala

0,36

1,00

1,75

4,35

Martinique

0,16

0,43

0,90

3,37

Trinidad and Tobago

0,14

0,38

0,88

2,99

Suriname

0,09

0,25

0,85

3,48

Curacao

0,04

0,22

0,37

1,80

Cuba

0,03

0,08

0,14

1,05

Grenada

0,00

0,00

0,00

0,05




Finally the promotion/relegation probabilities:

Promotion

From league B to A

as group winner

French Guyana

64,24

Guadeloupe

63,73

Nicaragua

56,01

Guyana

39,82

Antigua and Barbuda

34,39

Dominican Republic

32,60

St. Kitts and Nevis

24,35

Puerto Rico

23,64

Bermuda

21,32

St. Lucia

11,74

Barbados

8,04

Belize

7,95

St. Vincent and the Grenadines

6,49

Montserrat

3,35

Bahamas

2,15

St. Maarten

0,18

From league C to B

as group winner or best nr 2

Dominica

86,45

Aruba

79,18

Bonaire

74,87

St. Martin

48,20

Cayman Islands

46,10

Turks and Caicos Islands

38,57

Anguilla

10,01

US Virgin Islands

8,96

British Virgin Islands

7,66

Relegation

From league A to B

as group nrs 5 or 6

Grenada

78,94

Cuba

58,65

Curacao

53,37

Martinique

38,71

Guatemala

38,62

Trinidad and Tobago

37,97

Suriname

26,90

El Salvador

24,91

Haiti

19,20

Honduras

8,23

Jamaica

8,08

Panama

6,42

From league B to C

as group nr 4

St. Maarten

84,79

Bahamas

73,34

Montserrat

58,76

St. Vincent and the Grenadines

43,10

Belize

36,88

Barbados

30,13

Bermuda

17,13

Puerto Rico

12,07

St. Lucia

9,46

Antigua and Barbuda

8,44

Dominican Republic

7,82

Guyana

6,15

St. Kitts and Nevis

4,87

Nicaragua

3,29

French Guyana

2,89

Guadeloupe

0,88



About me:

Software engineer, happily unmarried and non-religious. You won't find me on Twitter or other so called social media. Dutchman, joined the blog in March 2018.

6 comments:

  1. I'm glad that your simulations came to a similar conclusion to mine that this format is very unfair for the League A teams. Guatemala and Haiti are both higher seeds *and* have higher elos than El Salvador and Honduras respectively, but due to the schedule of games (incomplete round robin) they are less likely to be able to advance. Pretty weird.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Yeah, weird indeed and also not very fair. The selected 4 match-ups in the league A groups heavily favored the teams in pot 3: Honduras and El Salvador.
    I think the home and away match-ups between the pot 1 and pot 2 team in each group were just made because of all the dollar signs in CONCACAF's eyes.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Ed, haven’t commented in years, but would like to learn more about CONCACAF’s Nation League A group match assignment/draw. From your comment, that helps explain why teams would play each other more than once when each group has 6 teams and only 4 matches are played. Yes, weird, that each team would not play 4 different teams. Can you point me (or summarized) if the matches were either assigned (as it looks like the paired matches were) versus any sort of draw? Appreciate the additional information. Thank you.

      Delete
  3. Hi Dorian, indeed, that's quite a while back :)

    What I can gather about the match schedule for both league A groups in this edition of the CONCACAF Nations League is that the match-ups were not drawn but that the schedule was compiled after the group participants were drawn. As CONCACAF is used to do: at the Gold Cup the match schedule is never published before the group stage draw, they always draw teams in groups but no group positions.

    I can also refer you to this thread in UEFA European Football Forum, section National teams where especially in the first pages of this thread this weird match schedule was discussed in more detail.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. CONCACAF seems to have fallen in love with the incomplete round robin during the post-covid retooled 2022 World Cup Qualifiers, and can't stop themselves from using the format. The worst example is obviously this CNL, but the upcoming 2026 qualifiers use a single round robin as well, which has the potential to be lopsided.

      Delete
    2. Hi Ed, thank you for your comment and for the thread. Enjoyed reading it.

      Delete