Where does U.S. rank in the Hexagonal? 

October, 24, 2012

The U.S. national team's standing within CONCACAF appears obvious: After Mexico beat the Americans 4-2 in the 2011 Gold Cup final and defeated Brazil to win the Olympic gold medal in August, it's hard to argue that El Tri isn't the top dog in the region -- with the Yanks a distant second -- heading into the final round of qualifying for the 2014 World Cup.

But the rest of CONCACAF isn't far behind the U.S. Since 1998, Jamaica, Honduras and Costa Rica (twice) have played in a World Cup. Next year's qualifying tournament -- which also includes Panama, a team that upset the Yanks last year -- might be the most competitive final round yet.

With the six-team Hexagonal coming up in February, here's a look at how the Americans match up against the field, and how the table might shake out.

Doug McIntyre is a staff writer for ESPN The Magazine. He has covered American and international soccer since 2002.