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US to play El Salvador, Grenada in World Cup prep matches

MIAMI (AP) – The United States (US) was drawn on Monday to play 74th-ranked El Salvador and number 170 Grenada in the CONCACAF Nations League in preparation for the World Cup in November.

The 15th-ranked US has Nations League games on June 11 and 14 in Group D, and it also intends to play exhibition games on June 1 and 5, and on September 23 and 27.

Back in the World Cup for the first time since 2014, the US opens Group B against Scotland, Wales or Ukraine on November 21. It faces England four days later and meets Iran on November 29.

The US beat Mexico 3-2 in extra time at Denver in June to win the inaugural Nations League.

Number 9 Mexico was drawn in Nations League Group A to play number 64 Jamaica and number 141 Suriname. El Tri, in its eighth straight World Cup, starts Group C against Poland on November 22, faces Argentina four days later and plays Saudi Arabia on November 30.

Number 38 Canada was drawn in Nations League Group C to play 82nd-ranked Honduras and number 79 Curaçao. In its first World Cup since 1986, Canada opens Group F against Belgium on November 23, plays Croatia four days later and faces Morocco on December 1.

Costa Rica was drawn into Group B and plays 61st-ranked Panama and Martinique, which is part of the French Football Federation and not ranked.

The 31st-ranked Ticos are to play number 101 New Zealand on June 13 or 14 in a one-game playoff at Qatar for a World Cup berth. The winner joins Germany, Japan and Spain in Group E.

United States’ Christian Pulisic kicks a goal on a penalty kick against Panama. PHOTO: AP