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USA falls to No. 34 in FIFA rankings


Photo by Howard C. Smith/

With the results not going the United States national team's way, it's no surprise that Jurgen Klinsmann's side continues its slide down the FIFA rankings.

The United States fell three spots to No. 34 — sandwiched in between 2010 World Cup foes Ghana and Algeria — following its win over Honduras and loss to Ecuador.

The U.S. opponents for next month's friendlies, France and Slovenia, come in at Nos. 15 and 27, respectively, while former U.S. coach Bob Bradley inherits an Egypt team ranked No. 29.

Mexico remains the highest-ranking CONCACAF team at No. 22, followed by the United States and then Jamaica (No. 50). 

The top four teams in the world remained unchanged, with Spain leading the way followed by the Netherlands, Germany and Uruguay, respectively.

What do you make of the latest rankings?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. Cherrypicking results from large competitions is a very poor and UNobjective way to judge how good a team is.

    Friendlies are not perfect, but they’re pretty good, and they vastly expand the sample size of games, which in turn vastly expands the predictive power of a ranking system.

  2. US wouldn’t be a lock to qualify, but it would usually qualify, albeit with the periodic white-knuckle playoff game or two. Might get out of the group stage once per 3-4 competitions, and win an elimination game once every generation. In a lifetime and hosting a few times, it might even win one.

    Long run, the US has (once you rule out all the top athletes playing other sports) a player pool of similar quality to Denmark, Sweden, Switzerland, Hungary, teams of that level. Not great, not terrible.

  3. Hey, the results don’t lie. The team has sucked pond water (under both coaches) since it came back from South Africa.

    This is not we’re-all-going-to-die alarmism– I think it’s just a run of bad play– just facts. I think the US might be under .500 in that time period, or at best just over .500, against a quite mediocre schedule. Not the way you stay in the top 20 teams.

  4. This is literally just made up.

    The US both scored and gave up a LOT of goals under Bob Bradley. Go look up the US’s rankings in Nate Silver’s system prior to the last World Cup (9th in the world in offense, 29th in defense), or for that matter, just go look up the USA’s scorelines in the Hex (2-0, 2-1, 2-2, 1-3, 3-0, 1-2, 2-1, 1-0, 3-2, 2-2). At the Confederations Cup, the team put five goals past Spain, Brazil and Italy. (Of course, it gave up nine.)

    Facts > spouting off random nonsense.

  5. These rankings are difficult at best because you’re putting together results from teams with often vastly different personnel from match to match. The U.S. may field a B+ side against one opponent, then an A side against another, then a C side against another, then another FIFA ranking comes out that takes those three games into account.

    Having said that, Klinsmann has been fielding some vastly different line-ups since being in charge. He has to do this in order to figure out the best core of players to play his system. Klinsmann also knows that friendly results don’t mean squat in the grand scheme of things, and the real measure of his success will come in WCQ, the next Gold Cup, and WC 2014.

  6. yeah that is a fair point. but, to play devil’s advocate, a lot of our advancing was simply due to other teams failing. 2002 is a great example. as is the confeds cup. having said that, the US did do enough to put themselves in a position to move on. so they deserve credit for that. i think a lot of people look at 1998 and 2006 as examples of the US’s inconsistency too.

  7. The thing everybody above is leaving out is that the US has averaged a round of 16 spot at the last three world cups and a finals appearance at the last Confederations Cup and most observers would expect that trend to continue-that seems to be the most objective way of determining how good teams across different continents are, not friendly results.

  8. the fact that you can list our good results from memory is a perfect example of why. we shouldn’t be able to list out a few results and be like that is why. instead, we should have a whole host of quality wins against quality sides. in other words, consistency.

  9. but to be fair, we never really scored that much anyway. so in that regard, nothing is different. the US still cannot finish. the good news is at least now we are creating more chances.

  10. I seem to remember a couple of World Cups ago when we were ranked high enough that we should have been seeded, but FIFA, when they put together the draw, decided not to seed us (even announcing a day or two before that the US would not be happy).

  11. Fifa rankings are a joke. Considering that Greece is ranked higher than Argentina, we should not be complaining that the US is ranked just below Ghana, a country that knocked them out from the last WC.

  12. Since the rankings weigh historic results over a multi-year period, an easy way to increase our ranking is to either drop bad results from the tail-end of that window or pick up good results on the current side.

    Unfortunately, our better results are losing their influence (e.g., Confed Cup) on our rankings while we haven’t had a notable win since WC 2010, if not earlier. (Gold Cup wins somewhat count but a victory against Mexico is the only “notable” win that could’ve come from that tourney.)

    Even if we win the next two friendlies, they’re only friendlies; with Euro qualifying playoffs and WCQ already underway for some countries, and the US not in any meaningful games until their own qualifiers start next year, we might even find ourselves deeper in the hole no matter what we do.

    We will never sniff Top-10 again without playing (and winning) more meaningful games against more challenging opponents more often. That’s the curse of CONCACAF, folks.

  13. in South Africa, the USMNT scored 3 goals vs. Slovenia in one half. Slovenia won their Euro qualifying group and conceded only 4 goals in doing so

    that’s how I’d judge last cycle at least, to answer your question re. Euro qualifying

  14. another thought on this

    there is a time and place for counter attacking style, bunkering, etc.

    what I like is the attempt to add to the USMNT quiver, although I sincerely hope the idea isn’t to scrap other tactical elements for the sake of attempting to play one style all the time

    I hope to see some of the old strengths integrated into Klinsmann’s work and upgraded instead of discarded…kind of like with how I see Gooch fitting in

  15. It’s also exciting to see the ball in the back of the opponent’s net, but that isn’t happening thus far either. Somebody, anybody, needs to start scoring or else all of the beautiful football in the world is for naught.


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