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U.S. Men's National Team

USMNT moves up nine spots in latest FIFA rankings

Photo by Mark J. Rebilas/USA Today Sports

The U.S. Men’s National Team’s run through the Gold Cup helped propel a major jump in the latest FIFA rankings.

After winning this summer’s Gold Cup, the USMNT jumped nine places to 26th in the August FIFA rankings. The move is the biggest move in the top 50. Costa Rica also experienced a nice leap following the Gold Cup, rising five spots to 21st, while Mexico also sealed a two-spot leap to 14th to round out CONCACAF’s place in the top 50.

Jamaica, who fell to the USMNT in the final, sealed a 19-spot jump, meanwhile, moving all the way to 57th.

There was a shakeup at the top of the rankings as Brazil assumed the No. 1 spot while Germany fell to second overall. Argentina, Switzerland and Poland round out the top 5 while Portugal falls to spots to sixth. Chile, Colombia, Belgium and France complete the top 10 in that order with traditional powers Spain, Italy and England sitting ahead of 14th-ranked Mexico.

The USMNT returns to action in September for the latest round of World Cup qualifiers with matches against Costa Rica and Honduras.

13 comments
  • Twomilerule

    Poland is tearing it up in their WC qualifying group against the highly ranked countries of Romania, Denmark, Montenegro, Armenia, and Kazakhstan.
    I hope the US makes the WC and gets put in a group with Poland first and another higher regionally ranked country second. Putting the US in the third spot and ultimately in a great position to advance.
    The only teams the US would need a “miracle on ice” match against would be Brazil, Germany, Argentina, Chile, France, and Italy.

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    • Twomilerule

      Oh and add Belgium to toughest teams. Martinez will have them ready to compete and succeed

      Like

    • NC Jeff

      First, let’s worry about the US’ chances against those teams after the US has qualified (and France and Italy too for that matter).

      I agree that the rankings are kinda silly … Last month, the US dropped simply because other confederations had their championships, and now the US rises after they had theirs and did well. Plus, the US win over Martinique didn’t even count since they’re only recognized by CONCACAF, but not FIFA.

      Like

    • MidWest Ref

      Poland kicked our ass in 2002 Japan -South Korea and we eked into the group stage because the host country South Korea got tired to Portugal kicking them and decided to win the last group game.

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  • TheFrenchOne

    I don’t give this ranking any credence when they drop USMNT, and I’m not going to when it moves us up.

    Besides, no one believes Poland is a top 5 team (or even top 20). I get that FIFA has some algorithm to come up with the ranking. But does an actual person with average soccer IQ actually look at the list before publishing it to see if it passes the smell test?

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    • UclaBruinGreat

      I guess I must be in the minority but I like these rankings. People don’t like them because they interpret them to mean something that they aren’t meant to mean.

      Looks like the majority of people would prefer an opinion based ranking? I hate those, they are usually wrong, and based solely on the “prestige/perception” of a team. Look at college football for example. Teams that never play against each other and play against different opponents in different conferences are ranked against each other purely based on opinion. “Clearly this team would beat this team blah blah”, and then by some miracle we actually get to see the game between the two teams in question and the “clearly inferior team” sometimes easily wins and dominates the “better” team. Opinions are usually based on regional bias and favoritism.

      Imagine the USMNT ranking when we have mostly Europeans deciding what they should be ranked based off of their opinion/eye test. Then we will be complaining even more.

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      • PabloSanDiego

        I’m not going to say I like the FIFA ranking, but I agree with your points. A lot of people don’t understand it’s a 100% mathematical formula and not an opinion poll. There are big issues with the formula, and it’s probably something that can be gamed by the teams.

        I agree that any sort of opinion poll would be far worse. I think that a huge Euro bias would result that isn’t warranted anymore. Other than the top handful of UEFA teams, the rest have not done very well at recent World Cups, even the traditional “big” teams. Plus, who would do the rankings? Politics and bias would dominate over anybody doing any “fair” ranking. We all have our biases.

        And in the end, other than who makes the top 7 for the draw in December, who really cares? What a team does on the pitch in June and July 2018 is what matters, not if you’re ranked 9th or 39th. Your team will end up in the same pot in the draw as the other teams in your confederation unless you’re top 7.

        I do think the current formula could be improved. It would be nice if FIFA invested some of the hundreds of millions it makes into making a better ranking system instead of paying for its members’ first class travel to 5-star hotels on massive expense accounts and lining their pockets. But that’s wishful thinking.

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  • johnnyrazor

    Poland has only lost three times since January of 2014, they do draw a lot, but they’ve been pretty good. Their only big victory of that period is a Euro qualifier at home against Germany, but when you don’t lose and all your matches are against European squads that count more in the algorithm than Concacaf, AFC, CAF you are going to move up.

    Like

    • johnnyrazor

      Gone 10-1 since Copa America including 8-0 in WCQ with victories over Uruguay, Colombia (2), Argentina, Ecuador, and Peru.

      Like

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