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USMNT drops to 36 in FIFA rankings


photo by Douglas Zimmerman/

The U.S. men's national team may have lost just once in their five early summer matches, but that did not stop them from falling eight spots in the latest FIFA rankings.

The United States dropped to the 36th spot in the rankings after a few weeks span that included a rout of Scotland, a lopsided defeat to Brazil, a scoreless tie with Canada, a narrow win over Antigua and Barbuda to start World Cup qualifying and a draw on the road with Guatemala.

The Americans were not the only one to suffer a big drop. Brazil dropped six spots to No. 11 behind Denmark in 10th, Croatia in ninth, the Netherlands in eighth, Argentina in seventh and Italy in sixth.

The top team was once again Spain, followed by Germany, Uruguay, England, and Portugal.

Mexico, CONCACAF's top-ranked team, stayed the same at No. 19.

What do you think of the U.S. team dropping eight spots? Surprised Brazil fell to No. 11? Agree with Spain, Germany and Uruguay being the top three?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. this is a basic mathematical formula. results are all that matter and in a tournament the results are worth more.

    friendlies dont help as much.

    figure it out!

  2. Let’s face it the FIFA rankings have nothing to do with which team is better than any other. Spain’s ranking as #1 is because of the WC and Euro championships and losing no meaningful games in the last 2+ years. You do have to be good to get ranked #1, but #4, not so much, all that is needed is to have few loses in meaningful competitions.
    The rankings emphasize meaningful games played in the last 12 months. The US has played only 2 non-friendlies in that 12 month span, have a less than great record in the friendlies, won and tied in 2 WC qualifiers. the earlier GC wins are over 12 months old, I am surprised the US came out so high.
    Uraguay won CONMEBOL last July so had lots of wins in regional competition in the last 12 months, Brazil dropped because they lost and did not finish in the top 4 (also the recent losses to Mexico and Argentina did not help)
    Assuming the US wins most of its qualifying matches, it will move up over the next several months.

  3. It’s on the damn FIFA site!! Read the post below to see it detailed. The fact is that England while sucky plays in a better confederation and don’t lose very often. Its all based on pretty simple math and I actually think it’s pretty fair.

  4. England is the Notre Dame of International soccer. Most overrated team in history and most delusional fans on the planet. Hate to admit it but 36th or so is about right for us;. Still USA!USA! When our boys take the field.

  5. The explanation is on the FIFA site:
    A team’s total number of points over a four-year period is determined by adding:

    · the average number of points gained from matches during the past 12 months;

    · the average number of points gained from matches older than 12 months (depreciates yearly).

    Calculation of points for a single match

    The number of points that can be won in a match depends on the following factors:

    • Was the match won or drawn? (M)

    • How important was the match (ranging from a friendly match to a FIFA World Cup™ match)? (I)

    • How strong was the opposing team in terms of ranking position and the confederation to which they belong? (T and C)

    These factors are brought together in the following formula to ascertain the total number of points (P).

    P = M x I x T x C

    The following criteria apply to the calculation of points:

    M: Points for match result

    Teams gain 3 points for a victory, 1 point for a draw and 0 points for a defeat. In a penalty shoot-out, the winning team gains 2 points and the losing team gains 1 point.

    I: Importance of match

    Friendly match (including small competitions): I = 1.0

    FIFA World Cup™ qualifier or confederation-level qualifier: I = 2.5

    Confederation-level final competition or FIFA Confederations Cup: I = 3.0

    FIFA World Cup™ final competition: I = 4.0

    T: Strength of opposing team

    The strength of the opponents is based on the formula: 200 – the ranking position of the opponents
    As an exception to this formula, the team at the top of the ranking is always assigned the value 200 and the teams ranked 150th and below are assigned a minimum value of 50. The ranking position is taken from the opponents’ ranking in the most recently published FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking.

    C: Strength of confederation

    When calculating matches between teams from different confederations, the mean value of the confederations to which the two competing teams belong is used. The strength of a confederation is calculated on the basis of the number of victories by that confederation at the last three FIFA World Cup™ competitions (see following page). Their values are as follows:

    AFC/CAF 0.86 OFC 0.85

  6. The fact that England even made the top 20 (never mind #4!), or that Denmark and Croatia are somehow keeping Brazil out of the top 10, just shows what an epic idiot failure the FIFA rankings are, even years after they were supposedly “retooled” for greater accuracy. It’s also nice to see, from several of the comments here, that quite a few Americans seem to be finally getting the fact that English-style soccer is a joke. Now, if we can just convince the imbeciles who keep on hiring Brits to coach U.S. youth clubs of this fact, this country might have a chance to make some real progress on the international scene…

  7. The U.S. being ranked behind Slovenia and Algeria is laughable. The U.S. has beat both of those countries in the past two years.

    Anyways by the time the WC comes around the U.S. will be in the top 25.

  8. The system is based on an aggregate of past results combined with recent results. The USA has had few meaningful matches (non-friendlies) against quality teams that would have given us ranking points. Thus, we fell in the rankings as many Euro and South American teams had opportunities to progress in ranking points.

    We really do take a hard hit not having any great regional competitions.

  9. This is a joke. Until they tell us how these rankings are made they will continue to be a joke. The bad part is they mean something and actually matter, which is funny in a sad way.

    The US may not be deserving of a higher ranking (although I feel they are), but other teams sure are. Mexico is one as is Brazil.

  10. USA is lucky to be ranked where they are. Besides the Scotland match, they have not been impressive at all, and dare I say it, they look like they have regressed as a unit.

  11. There’s a secret clause that halves England’s position because they claim to have invented the modern game. There’s no other plausible explanation.

  12. England doesn’t make the top 4 in Europe, but still 4th best in the World.
    Bloggers should do Power Rankings, it would be better.

  13. Well, they were actually the only team besides Spain to never lose in regular time. I have a suspicion that when comparing win-loss records, the FIFA rankings don’t take into account shootouts, so therefore England’s record in the Euros was 2 wins and 2 ties against fairly high-ranking opponents.

    That’s the only reason i can possibly think of…and since they were already 6th (christ, how were they 6th before the tournament?!), moving up 2 spots with that record sounds feasible.

  14. I’ve given up on trying to figure out this ranking system. Hell, I’m no longer sure of it’s intent. Here’s the current top 15. Can someone explain to me how England is ranked ahead of teams ranked between 5 through 11 as well as Russia and Chile?
    1. (1) Spain
    2. (3) Germany
    3. (2) Uruguay
    4. (6) England
    5. (10) Portugal
    6. (12) Italy
    7. (7) Argentina
    8. (4) Netherlands
    9. (8) Croatia
    10. (9) Denmark
    11. (5) Brasil
    12. (15) Greece
    13. (13) Russia
    14. (14) France
    15. (11) Chile

    Mind boggling stuff.

  15. I think we’re (USA) ranked about right. England has no place in the top ten. England ahead of Brazil? Just shows how bogus these ratings usually are.

  16. England ranked 4th? Ha! Anyone who watched them play in the Euros can clearly see they aren’t the 4th best team in the world…not by a long shot.

  17. Sounds about right to me. With Euros going on those teams are bound to jump others since they weigh more in the rankings.


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