U.S. Men's National Team

USA falls to 22 in latest FIFA rankings


Photo by Brad Smith/ISIphotos.com

The recent draw with Argentina and loss to Paraguay did not help the United States in the latest FIFA world rankings, as the results have dropped the national team from 19 down to 22.

Mexico, after its victory over Paraguay and draw with Venezuela, is up a spot to 26, closing the gap between the top two CONCACAF nations as the Gold Cup approaches.

There was minimal change in the top 10, as World Cup finalists Spain and the Netherlands maintained their posts at Nos. 1 and 2, respectively. Brazil rose two spots to No. 3 , followed by Germany and Argentina. Italy returned to the top 10 for the first time in seven months, climbing from 11th to ninth and displacing Greece from the top 10 in the process.

The top 10 CONCACAF countries are the USA, Mexico, Honduras (43rd), Costa Rica (55th), Jamaica (64), Panama (68), Canada (75), Cuba (82), El Salvador (87) and Trinidad and Tobago (94).

What do you think about the latest FIFA rankings?

Share your thoughts below.  

  • BJ's are the best

    At this point, who cares? These rankings have no meaning. It’s like if they came out with rankings for national teams for other sports. I do not care. It’s about competing in the games and tournaments that you’re involved in.


  • Capt. Ob(liv)ious

    Welcome to FIFA, where the rules are made up and the rankings don’t matter, like spy satellites over Canada.


  • Bill

    if you look at the teams ahead and below us, we should just have a permanent spot in the 15 to 25 range. anything higher is BS, anything lower is BS.


  • jim in Atlanta

    stop being a troll. He never said anything indicating he cared about the ranking. Saying that you don’t care about something doesn’t indicate that you do. this isn’t Facebook.

    He is stating his opinion, which is the point of the comment section. so get over yourself.


  • Ossington Mental Youth

    Fifa rankings are as about as important/notable as power rankings. Which is to say they are not important/notable at all. Im definitely not letting the CSA off the hook tho, we should not be up there with Sudan and Samoa.


  • Tim Stevens

    IF BB stops starting Jozy Altidore every single frickin’ game, we automatically jump two spots.


  • DC Josh

    2010 World Cup seeds were based on FIFA World Rankings, so they mean everything when it comes to the World Cup. The ranking system is a complete farce, but they will be very important when December 2013 rolls around.


  • away goals

    They will and they won’t. They’ll be very important to teams in the 7-12 range. I don’t think there’s anyway the usa will be in that discussion.

    And fifa will probably tweak the seeding formula at the last minute anyway.

    I’m in the “meaningless” camp. We could be ranked 100th for all I care, so long as we beat mexico in the gold cup.


  • Taylor

    yea who exactly decides on these? Italy no. 9? please. and why is Greece so high? that’s just dumb, it’s all politics and FIFA favorites


  • Matt S

    Teams like the US will never move up high in the rankings because we rarely play competitive matches against top countries. Europe has a leg up because they play each other by default in the run ups for the Euros and WC quals while all we get are World Cups and Confed Cup games to really play high level competition on a stage that means something.

    Whoever wins out between Mexico-USA is a mute point (from a ranking perspective) since we both only have each other to play off of to really raise our level in the world. If we go out and beat Cuba 7-0 it means little but if Italy go out and beat a team like Poland or Sweden it looks better on whatever criteria they use to figure out the points.


  • Judging Amy

    haha except for that time we were ranked as high as what 5th, 6th around 2006. complete joke.


  • abc

    I’m fine with falling in the rankings, I’d rather lose or draw against top teams than beat Grenada 4-0.


  • abc

    Yes, a 26th team will give a 22nd team a run for their money… You point that out like it proves the rankings are bogus, but 26 and 22 are almost exactly the same.


  • Dr. Robert Dobalina

    1. aren’t these ranking factored by some huge mathematical equation (not necessarily a corrupt FIFA admin)

    2. the rankings are only necessary for #1-8 during the World Cup draw.

    thats one of the beauties of the FIFA Tournaments Qualifying processes is that you have to play yourself in not just make the cut.


  • bottlcaps

    Under Bradley’s helm, the US has steadily sank in the FIFA ranks. I remember a time that we actually ALMOST got a seed at the WC when we were ranked about 8th or 9th. I think Italy got the final seeding due to some FIFA shenanigans and resulted in the recalculation of previous WC results to give lower ranked Italy (who you remember was in the 1994 final) the seed above the US.

    It is a tremendous slog to get to a WC quarters or semi’s if you are not ranked. This is true in any sport. Look at the lat WC and when we got England’s seed by winning our group, we played Ghana and maybe Uruguay on the way to the semi’s. England, which would have been our position as an unseeded group member, played Germany and then Argentina on the way to the semi’s. It is a no-brainer to see the advantage.

    FIFA seeding are important, and you cannot really see the disadvantage the US has put itself in by it’s slow steady decline. WE would need to qualify for the WC, but run the table on Mexico, we would also need to win the Confed cup outright to get even a low seed. We have put ourselves in a whole , and will have to have the luck of the draw to ensure we advance in the next WC. We should never be put in a position to depend upon the roll of the dice to determine if or how we will advance.

    We should not be losing at home to teams like Paraguay. But this is happening with all to frequent regularity.

    We make a big deal that we beat Spain in 2009. the effect of that win on our rankings will all but disappear next year, leaving us with a memory and little else. We have not built upon this victory as we should have, be have instead regressed.

    We cannot depend upon other teams to have bad games or bad tournaments to allow us to advance. We would have never played Spain had Italy not had a meltdown at the Confed Cup. We would have never won our group had England played badly against Algeria and Slovenia. We only advance, it seems, when others play worse than us. It seems from our rankings, and observing our play, coaching and player selection, that we are regressing.

    We need a change BEFORE qualifying starts. It is time for Bob Bradley to step aside for the good of the USMNT and our WC future.


  • bottlcaps

    sorry for the “whole” instead of “hole”..need to proofread my rants! ๐Ÿ™‚


  • bottlcaps

    For thos who may not know how we calculate the FIFA rankings, I found this on the “Best 11” website:

    Explanation of FIFA Rankings Point Calculation
    The calculations used to award points in the FIFA rankings.

    P = Total Points received in a match

    M = Was the match won or drawn?
    I = How important was the match? (ranging from friendly to WC)
    T = How strong was the opposing team in FIFA ranking position?
    C = How strong was the opposing Confederation?

    P = M x I x T x C

    M = Points for Match Result
    W: 3 points
    D: 1 points
    L: 0 points

    *In a penalty shootout the winner gets 2 points and the loser gets 1 point

    I = Importance of Match
    1.0 – Friendly Match
    2.5 – FIFA World Cup qualifier or confederation-level qualifier
    3.0 – Confederation-level final competition or Confederations Cup
    4.0 – World Cup

    T = Strength of Opposing Team
    no. 1 = 200
    no. 22 = 178
    no. 50 = 150
    no. 78 = 122
    no. 100 = 100
    no. 150 = 50

    *Teams ranked 150th and below are assigned a minimum value of 50

    C = Strength of Confederation
    1.00 – UEFA and CONMEBOL
    0.88 – CONCACAF
    0.86 – CAF
    0.85 – AFC and OFC

    *based on the number of victories by confederation at the last 3 World Cups

    Examples of recent USA games

    USA v Algeria 2010 World Cup (USA 1-0 Algeria)

    M = 3 points for USA win
    I = 4.0 for World Cup match
    T = 170 for Strength of Opposing team Algeria (30)
    C = 0.87 for Avg. Strength of Confederations (CONCACAF and CAF)

    P = 3 x 4 x 170 x 0.87 = 1,774.8 points

    USA v Spain 2009 Confederations Cup (USA 2-0 Spain)

    M = 3 points for USA win
    I = 3.0 for Confederations Cup match
    T = 200 for Strength of Opposing team Spain (1)
    C = 0.94 for Avg. Strength of Confederations (CONCACAF and UEFA)

    P = 3 x 3 x 200 x 0.94 = 1,692.0 points

    USA v Mexico 2009 Home World Cup Qualifier (USA 2-0 Mexico)

    M = 3 points for USA win
    I = 2.5 for World Cup Qualifier
    T = 176 for Strength of Opposing Team Mexico (24)
    C = 0.88 for Strength of Confederation (CONCACAF)

    P = 3 x 2.5 x 176 x 0.88 = 1,161.6 points

    USA v Poland Friendly October 2010 (USA 2-2 Poland)

    M = 1 point for USA draw
    I = 1.0 for Friendly Match
    T = 131 for Strength of Opposing Team Poland (69)
    C = 0.94 for Avg. Strength of Confederations (CONCACAF and UEFA)

    P = 1 x 1 x 131 x 0.94 = 123.1 points

    Four years are taken into account for current FIFA rankings. Matches older than 12 months are worth less points.

    100% = Match average from the last 12 months (2010)
    50% = Match average from the previous year (2009)
    30% = Match average from year 3 (2008)
    20% = Match average from year 4 (2007)
    0% = Matches older than 4 years

    The point totals listed on the FIFA rankings are the average points per game over the past 4 seasons added together (using the percentages listed above).

    Here is a quick made up example of how it works using round numbers.

    Year – Pts. – GP – PCT = Total
    2007 – 8000 / 10 x 20% = 160.0
    2008 – 5000 / 10 x 30% = 150.0
    2009 – 9000 / 10 x 50% = 450.0
    2010 – 6000 / 10 x 100% = 600.0

    Total = 1360 (This is the number you see in FIFA rankings)

    Points from a single match can range from 0 for a loss to about 2400 for a win over the top ranked team in a World Cup Final.


  • Charles

    Let’s take Mexico who makes the final 16 EVERY World Cup and put them 26th….yeah that makes sense.

    I just worry these joke ratings affect our World Cup. As in England, who the US finished over in group stage gets a huge ranking and the US a bad one. So now we will seed accordingly. US you are a 3rd seed of the group and England you are a 1 seed.

    The US ( as an underrated 3 seed) automatically gets in the toughest group at that point or has to get a very lucky draw.


  • Be Serious

    Except that is NOT how the World Cup draw works. Therefore your entire point is meaningless.


  • biebs

    I have to say, this has got to be one of the weirdest ways to criticize Bradley I’ve ever seen.

    Even if the US did almost get a seed in the WC in 2006, there’s no way the was a top 10 team. It had to do more with a fundamental problem in how the rankings were done, rather than a sign of how good the US program was. I don’t there is anytime where the US was a top 10 team in the world (even if they did make the quarters in 2002)


  • biebs

    The draw is based on location and has nothing to do with seeding beyond top 8

    2010 draw:

    Pot 2 (Asia, North/Central America and Caribbean & Oceania):

    Pot 3 (Africa & South America):

    Pot 4 (Europe):


  • Big Chil

    The rankings are taken into account for Pot A of the World Cup seeding, unless, of course, you’re the #8 ranked United States at the time of the ’06 draw. THEN they use a “past performance” formula to knock us out.

    In 2010, USA not in the top 8 at the time of the draw? No problem. Seeds 1-8 straight into Pot A!


  • Jacob

    That’s because they’re moving forward. We’re slowly inching forward with basically the same people


  • Jacob

    Good points and spot on. We are going nowhere under BB except to waste 8 years (last one, next one)


  • bottlcaps

    Maybe the US did not deserve a 10th place ranking, but are we really a 22nd ranked team?
    Unfortunately the ranking DETERMINE our seed in the WC, which is the point I’m trying to make. We need to make our way based on our ability and not luck. If we are ever to make the WC quarters again, or make the semi’s, our current woeful ranking almost guarantees we will have to get lucky rather than just be good. The FIFA ranking are just a numerical qualification of what many on this board think; we are not getting better under Bradley.


  • Big Chil

    The U.S. has a tendency to dip in the rankings between World Cup years. The UEFA gets to play the two best tournaments in the world every two years (UEFA & World Cup) along with the attendant qualifying games.

    The U.S. only has friendlies, the Gold Cup, and hopefully the Confederations Cup. Plus, all our qualifying games are against teams lower ranked than us.

    Nonetheless, the U.S. tends to rise at the end of the World Cup cycles. We just missed the top 7 in South Africa (10th) and in 2006, we were #8 at the time of the draw, and then, of course, FIFA screwed us in order to get Italy into Pot A ahead of us.

    I do think it should be a next step priority for us to consistently earn a top seed for the World Cup draws.

    1. Win our region in qualifying.
    2. Win the Gold Cup, qualify for Confed Cup.
    3. Make the knockout round of Confed Cup / win Confed Cup.
    4. Play the A team against higher ranked teams in friendlies (we do).
    5. Be a seeded team in the World Cup, earn more trips to the bracket, earn more rankings points to stay atop the next cycle.


  • Warren

    Yawn. Yes in our dreams we are in the best of all possible soccer worlds with the best of all possible coaches. Right dream on.


  • SilverRey

    BC has got it right. To say the rankings are meaningless and you don’t care about them is just sticking your head in the sand. At the same time, month to month swings are like watching stocks, you can’t really overreact to the short term. You just have to hope that your stock goes up every four years…

    Here’s to more friendlies against Argentina and Spain and the like.


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