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USMNT climbs five spots in FIFA world rankings

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The U.S. Men’s National Team’s World Cup qualifying victories against Antigua & Barbuda and Guatemala not only booked their place in the Hexagonal Round of qualifying, it also gave them a boost in the latest FIFA World Rankings.

The United States moved up five places to No. 27 in the latest rankings, which came out on Wednesday.

The team the U.S. will play next week, Russia, also moved up in the rankings, their perfect World Cup Qualifying campaign earning them a three-point bump to No. 9 in the world.

Spain remains the top team, with Germany second. Italy moved into the top five at No. 5 while Mexico also climbed up five places to No. 14, just one spot behind Brazil.

What do you think of the latest rankings? See the U.S. beating Russia next week? Think the Americans can catch Mexico before the 2014 World Cup?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. come on guys, Brazil is that low because they are only paying friendlies which are not weighted as much while everyone else is playing qualifiers. stop freaking out about it. that’s one ranking that can be explained as to why it is so low.

    with that said, FIFA rankings are still pretty ridiculous.

  2. Oh, here we go again. Metrics of FIFA ranking and win-loss records, while important, are NOT how we need to be measuring the progress or quality of this team right now.

    Progress/Quality is:
    – long stretches of one-and-two touch passing,
    – creative and patient problem solving in varying the attack against bunkered opponents,
    – consistent patience when being pressured one-on-one,
    – a consistent level of high pressing from every player as soon as the ball is turned over,
    – maintaining a high backline (and learning how to deal with the risks that tactic involves),
    – fitness levels that have players working as quickly and smartly in the 90th minute as in the 1st…

    Those are the milestones we as fans need to measure this team by.

    Remaining committed to those concepts will result in mistakes and disappointing losses sometimes. However, abandoning the pursuit of those values should be more unacceptable would represent a return to the “a reliance on toughness and athleticism” style that I think we’re finally ready to put behind us as a soccer nation.

    That’s not to say there won’t be ugly matches that need to be grinded out, but that’s different.

    Screw rankings. Give me quality.

    That’s what we as fans should strive to recognize, take pride in, and celebrate.

  3. only because yesterday was election day….this headline did not garner any attention….
    USA climbs over world soccer power Mali in latest FIFA rankings. Next goal is to pass another dominant country, Norway. Yeah baby. The Yanks are Coming!!!!!

    • I have seen on another Web site that Concacaf plans to do a live stream of the drawing from its web site at 8 p.m. ET. Klinsmann is going to be there.

      • I foresee a big half time report from the MLS playoff game on the draw.

        Taylor Twellman with biting analysis concludes that it is a rough draw, but the US should get through. Alexi Lalas says it is impossible for Europeans to understand how tough it is to play away games in CONCACAF and Klinnsman better get his tactics and call-ups right. Bob Ley asks whether the US can challenge Mexico for dominance in the Hex, and Alexi says it doesn’t matter – the goal is to get to Brazil.

        How did I do?

      • Be sure that if you want to watch the live stream of the Hex draw that you sign up for CONCACAF TV in advance. If you log on right at 8PM EST and do not have an account, you will not be able to watch it without setting up your account first.

      • When was the last time Norway qualified for anything? They won’t even qualify for this World Cup out of the weakest group (by far) in UEFA.

        This is not a new phenomenon, though. I think Norway was in the top 10 a short time ago.

  4. why do they produce these rankings like each month? They should be done like twice a year if you ask me. Otherwise it’s just produced to stroke the ego of a few nations.

  5. Do they have to call us “Mr.” United States now from respect or something?

    I’d dismiss it as meaningless except it informs seedings and groupings at major tournaments, so it matters in spite of itself. I mean, Spain is probably right but after that……..Greece ahead of Brazil?

    • Again, rankings are a component of deciding Pot A, the top seeds, but after that teams are typically placed in pots by comfederation not rank. All Concacaf teams will be in the same pot and have an equal chance of being drawn to any of the 8 groups. The US drew England in 2010 but could have easily gotten any Pot A team even South Africa.

      • If Mexico continues to do well and ends up as one of the top 7 teams in FIFA rankings, they will be in Pot A, which is in a different pot from other Concacaf teams, and avoid facing 7 top seeded teams and the host (Brazil). The same is true for the USMNT.

      • Mexico probably will not get a seed unless they are top 5 in the rankings. They usually combine FIFA Rankings with results of past 2-3 World Cups. Even though Mexico got out of its group (in second) the last two World Cups, they were eliminated in the Round of 16 both times.

      • No kidding. Making the assumption Mexico not a Top seed. I think still pretty safe unless the sweep through the Hex and win Confed Cup.

    • We’re top 16-20, and there’s no way we should be behind an Algeria team we beat in South Africa and that couldn’t even make ACON.

    • I agree. This really just helps to put in perspective the countries outside of the top 32 or so because we all really have no idea once it gets to that point. I think we can all discuss and come up with a solid top 25 or so that would be hard to dispute.

      • I’m with him about England being far too high, as usual. Using Holland as comparison wasn’t the greatest choice.

      • Actually, Hobo Mike’s use of the Netherlands as an example is not as bad as it might seem. Not only they are much more skillful side than England, but they are also getting better results now. Holland is at the top of their group in the WC qualification with 4-0-0 record, while England has 2-0-2 record with draws against Ukraine at home and Poland on the road. As for their respective performances at EURO 2012, it is hard to compare them. England clawed out the results against the run of play in a relatively weak group, while the Dutch choked in the group of death. If one were to switch the groups for these two teams, I am not convinced that England would have advanced from the group group of death or that Holland wouldn’t have advanced. Not trying to speculate, but simply pointing out that the Dutch had a much stiffer competition.

  6. See…we are making progress under Klinsmann!!!!

    But seriously, these are a nice tool to compare and contrast but there is always an outlier or two or three. The fact that Brazil is only playing friendlies leading up to the WC 2014 (aside from the Confed. Cup) will keep them outside the top ten which is absurd.

    • Referencing Brazil is a real good example to make your point … for those not aware, rankings are weighted based on “importance” of the games played, so Brazil won’t have many “important” games they even have an opportunity to win.

      I think the USMNT has a chance to beat Russia, but I’m really more concerned with how they match up (and hoping any newbies that get used do well).

      Could the USMNT catch El Tri before WC2014? … uh no, would require over the next 18 mos. that the US does great (really great) AND El Tri fully collapses – the former is possible to a degree, but the latter is hard to even imagine.

      • US would have to win most (if not all) qualifying matches, plus run the table at the Gold Cup to get there.

        And let’s not forget that these rankings are important. FIFA uses them for their draws and pot allocation at major tournaments.

      • Yes. Sort of for top 8 seeding. Which is not possible.

        After that teams are typically placed in pots by confederation not by seed/rank.

  7. I’m really looking forward to the Russia friendly. We’re playing one of the best in-form countries right now on their soil. It’ll be a good measuring stick of where we are as a footballing nation.

    • No, a good measuring stick is barely getting by Antigua and Barbuda and allowing an early goal to Guatemala on home soil.

      It doesn’t matter if we beat Russia because if we smoke them, and lose to Mexico, Jamaica, etc… then what happens?

      I think a “good measuring stick” is how badly we beat other Concacaf teams. To be honest, we should be getting the same results as Mexico against weaker opposition.

      • Mexico is the better team now. What about the last 10 years? The truth is, Mexico and the rest of Concacaf got better (hence Jamaica beating the US for the first time ever) while the US has stayed stagnant.

        In my opinion, the USMNT has been very inconsistent recently. We show up for big, irrelevant games (at Italy, friendly at Mexico) and take serious ones for granted. With that kind of attitude, we will struggle mightily in the hex, especially with away games.

      • You can’t use as a mud hole field, barely bigger than tennis court as a measuring stick unless you are measuring for an AYSO team. Spain would have struggled to win under the same conditions. Guatemala would be a better gague.

      • Hmmm. In our group, we got exactly one away win, which was the result of a fortunate very late goal against a minnow, Antigua & Barbuda. Nothing solid there.

      • Josh, I think TC was talking about catching Mexico in the rankings after the hex and before WC2014, and not whether we deserved the current bump in FIFA rankings.

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