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ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

2018 World Cup qualifying - how it works

The qualifying process for the 2018 World Cup began on March 12, 2015 with preliminary ties between the 12 lowest-ranked nations in Asia.

Chiquito Do Carmo of Timor-Leste had the honour of scoring the very first goal on the road to Russia in a 4-1 victory at home to Mongolia.

There are 31 places up for grabs, joining hosts Russia.

  

EUROPE:

13 places

• European qualifying home page

Qualifying for 2018 sees seven groups of six nations and two groups of five. 

Russia...

ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Sebastian Lletget needs surgery, will miss 4-6 months for U.S., LA Galaxy

Former U.S. international Herculez Gomez chooses his starting XI for the USMNT's World Cup qualifier against Panama.
Max Bretos and Herculez Gomez preview the U.S. versus Panama and talk about 18-year-old wonder-kid, Christian Pulisic.
Omar Gonzalez is adamant that every U.S. player is ready to be called upon in the World Cup Qualifier against Panama.

LA Galaxy midfielder Sebastian Lletget will have foot surgery and miss the next four to six months after suffering an injury while on U.S. national team duty.

Lletget scored his first international goal to open the U.S.'s 6-0 World Cup qualifying win over Honduras on Friday, but limped off 13 minutes later following a tackle by Ever Alvarado.

The 24-year-old returned to the Galaxy, whose official website reported on Sunday that there was no significant damage to his foot.

But after Lletget visited...

Jozy Altidore returns with the U.S. to scene of Panama's 2013 heartbreak

Herculez Gomez explains while emotions may be high for the USMNT vs. Panama, they must keep them in check.

PANAMA CITY, Panama -- It's a game that Jozy Altidore remembers "like it was yesterday."

The date was Oct. 15, 2013, and the site was Panama City's Estadio Rommel Fernandez. In CONCACAF, it was the final night of qualifying for the 2014 World Cup. The United States -- which had already punched its ticket with two games to spare -- was taking on Panama. The Canaleros trailed fourth-place Mexico by three points, but if they won and Mexico lost on the road to Costa Rica, Panama would qualify for a...

 By Tom Marshall

Sol Campbell warns Trinidad and Tobago to be wary of Carlos Vela

Arsenal legend and current T&T assistant Sol Campbell discusses Arsene Wenger's current situation and future at the Emirates.

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad and Tobago -- Trinidad and Tobago assistant manager Sol Campbell says the Soca Warriors will have to keep his former Arsenal teammate Carlos Vela subdued if they are to get a result against Mexico in World Cup qualifying on Tuesday.

"Carlos is a young guy, very skillful, he's always been quick, [with a] really good left foot," said Campbell in an interview with ESPN FC.

"Obviously we've got to watch him tomorrow. We can't leave him alone. We've got to make sure we take care...