Taken from BigSoccer -> link
Translated from Panama FA website :
The Organizing Committee of the FIFA World Cup has formally ratified the
format of competition proposed by the Confederations, in this case CONCACAF,
for qualifying for the World Cup South Africa 2010.
The competition will begin in February of 2008 and will end in November of
2009. The draw will be held in Durban (South Africa) on 25 November 2007,
where the rival of Panama for the second qualifying round of CONCACAF will be
The 35 participating member associations of CONCACAF are seeded on the basis of
the FIFA rankings of May 2007, where PANAMA is number 5 on the list behind
Mexico, the United States, Costa Rica and Honduras.
According to the competition format, the first round will consist of the 23
participating member associations in positions 13 to 35. The round consists of
11 home-and-away series of matches, while St. Vincent and the Grenadines have
a bye. The winners and St. Vincent and the Grenadines advance to the second
For the second round, the 11 first round winners and St. Vincent and the
Grenadines will be matched against the remaining 12 participating member
associations, among them PANAMA.
The 24 teams will match up in 12 home-and-away series, where the winners will
advance to the Third Round.
The 12 winners will be grouped in the Third Round in three (3) groups of four
(4) teams that will play home and away round-robin against everyone.
The group winners and runners-up advance to the Fourth Round or Hexagonal
Final, where the six teams will form a group that will play home and away
round-robin against everyone.
The best three (3) teams of the Hexagonal Final qualify for the FIFA World
Cup South Africa 2010. The team in the fourth position will play a
home-and-away playoff with the fifth-place team in the South American zone.
The 12 teams with a bye to the 2nd round are not the 12 semifinal round teams from last cycle, but the top 12 teams in the May FIFA rankings:
3. Costa Rica
#13 St. Vincent & the G's also gets a bye but must play one of the top 12 teams.