RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Success for North and Central American teams in Brazil is fueling the region's ambitions for future World Cups.
Costa Rica and Mexico advanced from their groups and the United States will follow if it avoids defeat to Germany on Thursday. Even Honduras is in contention despite two defeats.
"To have three teams to the round of 16 I think will be the first time in history," CONCACAF President Jeffrey Webb told The Associated Press. "It would be phenomenal for our confederation."
It would also help CONCACAF press for a fourth guaranteed entry in the 2018 World Cup. FIFA talks are expected this year on allocating the 31 qualifying places to join host Russia.
"It puts us in a great position to confirm the fourth place," FIFA vice president Webb said. "This discussion has to take place between the September and December meetings of the FIFA (executive committee)."
Another big goal for CONCACAF is staging the tournament for the first time since the U.S. hosted in 1994.
"Everyone knows our desires of hosting the 2026 World Cup," Webb, said in a telephone interview from his native Cayman Islands after Mexico beat Croatia 3-1 on Monday.
Mexico, a two-time host in 1970 and '86, and the U.S. are expected to bid, and Canada could also join the contest which should be decided before the next World Cup kicks off.
CONCACAF was next in line for hosting duty when FIFA dropped a continental rotation policy after Africa and South America got their turns.