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USA sticks at 36 in latest FIFA rankings


After a quiet month, the U.S. men's national team's place in the FIFA rankings is unchanged, and the Americans remain at their lowest point of the Jurgen Klinsmann era in the international standings.

The U.S. men held firm at 36th in the world, sandwiched in between Serbia and Wales, ahead of next week's matchup against Mexico at Estadio Azteca. El Tri is up one spot to 18th and remains the highest-ranked team in CONCACAF.

The biggest surprise in the rankings comes near the top, where England has risen to third — an all-time high for the country. Spain and Germany remain first and second, respectively. Brazil, meanwhile, is down two spots to 13th.

Elsewhere, Bob Bradley's Egypt is up two spots to 40, while the next five teams in the CONCACAF standings after Mexico and the United States are Panama (54), Costa Rica (62), El Salvador (64), Honduras (65) and Jamaica (66).

With little action on the senior level over the last month not much movement was expected in the latest rankings. That should change for next month with the Aug. 15 international fixture date looming.

What's your take on the latest rankings? Does England at 3, Brazil at 13 and USA at 36 seem appropriate to you?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. Calm down. Nobody believes Brazil aren’t a top five team. But the rankings aren’t a subjective system.

    Brazil aren’t playing any qualification matches, so their ranking will continue to drop. Then they will be seeded for the final draw.

  2. This is correct, but only 7 teams + the host nation are seeded. All remaining teams are assigned a pot based on region.

    Since we aren’t in any danger of being a top 10 team, our place in the rankings is meaningless.

  3. Brazil are automatically seeded as the host nation. Think of it as them being ranked 0th in the world, if it helps.

    England just went undefeated in the euros. Even if they were just an average team with a favorable draw, the results are what matter for FIFA rankings.

  4. … and if they use FIFA rankings, it won’t be the ones from August 2012. It’ll be some set of rankings from 2013, likely either the October and November ones, after all/most of the WC Qualifiers are done, and the Confederation Cup and the Gold Cup are in the books. If you think England at 3 is bad, then you must not remember/know about the US being ranked 5 prior to the 2006 WC draw–a fact which led to the committee adding additional criteria to the seeding factors. Getting all upset over these rankings now is silly.

    tl;dr–FIFA rankings do odd things all of the time and are hardly worth the trouble of being upset.

  5. Mexico struggled to defeat both Guyana and El Salvador, they really got lucky with El Salvador. The U-23 group, for any nation, is completely different than playing for the full MNT. For the past 8 years it’s the same old thing: Mexico are the kings. This was said during the last semi- finals and Mexico barley got out by the skin of their teeth from the semi-finals on only goal difference and probably should not even qualified; then they did well to finish in second in the hex as they have done the last two WC cycles. They will end up in second once again and the U.S. will win the group.

  6. The senior Honduran national team beat the World/European champion Spanish side? I must have missed that one–silly me thought the Olympics were 15 U23s + 3 senior players.

  7. All the rankings tell us is that the formula FIFA uses to calculate them is broken.

    I recognize this isn’t a vote, it isn’t a representation of “best in the world,” but if FIFA is planning on continuing to use this ranking for anything more than s**ts and giggles, they need to create a better formula.

  8. We technically don’t know how they will seed teams for the 2014 world cup yet. 2010 was based solely on FIFA rankings, like I said above. 2006 used the rankings plus performance in the 2 world cups before. 2002 used the FIFA rankings and 3 world cups.

    While it seems likely that they will use FIFA world rankings, it’s not guaranteed.

    Also, FIFA has an explanation on that website as to why England are #3– it’s the formula that they use to figure out rankings.

  9. Gang, while the rankings have real challenges (i.e. are not that good), don’t dwell on Brazil being ranked so low. FIFA’s Valcke came out yesterday and noted that Brazil’s “low” ranking was primarily due to the fact that they are the hosts for 2014 and so are not playing any qualifiers. Since you gain more points for quals than for friendlies, this accounts for Brazil’s low points and therefore ranking. England being #3 however, is an absolute joke and FIFA has NO explanation for how that happened. Unfortunately, these rankings WILL BE used to seed the groups for the WC2014. Scary!

  10. No favors? How about easy advancement? When’s the last time we failed to qualify, what, 1986?

    Cause to me this join CONMEBOL stuff is like a new Europhilic slant. “I want to play harder games and not qualify as much on the theory maybe I do better at the bigger tournament.” Just send the thank you card for the gift and schedule the hard teams for friendlies TYVM.

    I have found the US performance of late underwhelming, and not worthy of the Klinsi sales pitch of supposed improvement internationally, but let’s be real, a home win and road draw is about par for the course as long as it’s not Antigua we’re tying on the road….

    I think the rankings must be tied too much to the past couple years if the lessons of 2009 and 2010 South African tournaments seem absent.

  11. I don’t see how anyone can defend these rankings when England is ranked Third. They’re not even third in Europe, or even third in Western Europe!

  12. Look, they state pretty plainly what criteria is used for the formula. If only the bidding process for world cups was so transparent. Euro 2012 just happened, so all Euro teams will have an advantage over a team (Brazil), which didn’t have a tournament.

    England drew the 14th ranked team, lost (maybe drew because I don’t know how they handle shootout results) the 6th ranked team, beat the 17th ranked team and the 46th ranked team. (*edit* should have read more closely, it says that it gives a 2/1 split to the winner and loser of the shootout)

    It’s no ‘ridiculous’ that England are ranked this high. If you want to call the way they decide rankings, fine. But I wouldn’t want some eyeball test to decide rankings either.

    Oh wait, I know, why don’t we just rank teams according to average possession stats…

  13. Mexico beat Guyana 3-1, so WTF are you talking about. Mexico didn’t look the great against El Salvador, so Concacaf is a lot better then you think.

  14. It’s time for the FIFA rankings to go buh bye.
    An independent company with actual credibility needs to handle the rankins. This is beyond ridiculous and messing with people’s money.

    England’s ranked 3rd? I don’t care how good you are at FIFA (pick a year) you couldn’t achieve this ranking. Brasil is ranked 13th? What the Hell!!! Greece, Croatia, Russia and Denmark and Portugal are also ranked ahead of Brasil?
    This is an embarrasment for the game.

  15. We can’t be a top 20 nation if we routinely lose friendlies against smaller underdeveloped nations or when we beat Antigua 3-1. We’re on our way. Be patient you guys

  16. Anyone who saw England at Euro 2012 would know that these rankings cannot be taken seriously just on the basis of England being ranked at 3. Is there anyone who actually thinks England are better than Brazil? Didn’t think so. Apparently Denmark, Russia, Croatia and Greece are better too.

  17. people, these are not like NCAA rankings where people vote its an enormous equation that is based on results vs. higher ranked teams.. so when you draw to Guatemala and Canada, lose to Brazil and the only win is vs. Antigua you are not gaining any ground. Also being inactive while others are gaining ground in the Euro Cup, etc. does not help.

    Thankfully this system is not used for anything other than this monthly publication by fifa.

    in more relevant news: when do we think the US-MEX rosters will be out? Maybe by Friday? I wonder if Mexico will bring the gold/silver medal group?

  18. Japan and SKOrea have some top players. Do we have the same? We have Donovan, Dempsey, Howard and Bradley. Not elite CL types. The better players we have, the better NATIONAL team we have. These players will play for the best teams. That’s more attention and younger players will seek soccer to play and develop and get better and go on to bigger and better clubs and we rise in the rankings as we do well in international competitions

  19. Since this site reports on MLS which is partially Canadian, can you at least report a tiny blurb on Canada’s spot in the FIFA rankings?

  20. Altidore is improving but even of he reaches his potential we need some new firepower up top. Losing CD9 Holden and Rossi really set us back.

  21. I agree with some points. BUT when we only beat quality opponents in friendlies then draw with mid-level opponents when it counts, why should we be ranked higher? Nobody can argue that it’s harder to play in Concacaf vs. Conmebol or Uefa, so not playing meaningful games agains that quality opposition does us, or Mexico, no favors.

    Mexico should be top 10, we should be top 20, but we don’t put ourselves through the ringer enough to warrant that. Nobody’s fault, it’s just what it is. Having a unified federation for all the Americas could help with this.

  22. +1

    We really need to start developing better players especially on the offensive end. A healthy Holden and the old CD9 would do wonders but it doesn’t look that will happen.

  23. True and it can effect the higher seeds when they get lower ranked teams in their bracket who are much better then their ranking.

  24. England at three is a joke I would put them at 15 at the highest.

    US has not done much and losing next week to the pollution and altitude and smog won’t help.

    Aside from the influx of German-Americans we really haven’t developed any young players lately. The lone exception being Bradley.

  25. Go look at who is where? They have us behind, for example, Australia, Hungary, and right behind Bosnia, then just ahead of Wales, Libya, and Mali.

    Used to be I wouldn’t give a hoot but inevitably what this will be used to do, is to seed us 3rd in some group and make it harder to get a favorable World Cup draw.

    This looks clearly broken and needs a re-assess, either that or go back to it being an informal ranking that just provokes discussion.

  26. The rankings are obviously goofball but their use for seedings makes them meaningful (fair or not) in a BCS-type way. The inevitable “who cares” calls miss the mark because FIFA and the regions do in fact care, and if you have some inexplicable mess that places crash n burn England ahead of Brazil by a big margin, how can I even rely on the seeds that produces?

  27. When we have more Bradleys at Roma, more Dempsey’s at a CL club, more Altidore/Boyds at bigger clubs, I think we can solify a top 20 permanent placing in the FIFA listings.

    But of course we need better competition. Drawing with El Salvador in a friendly doesn’t help, neither does beating Latvia 2-0 in a friendly.


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