Photo by ISIPhotos.com
The U.S. Men’s National Team has tumbled out of the Top 30 of the latest FIFA World Rankings, released on Thursday.
The USMNT fell four places to No. 32, a result no doubt precipitated by the team’s disappointing home draw vs. Canada in January and last week’s World Cup qualifying loss in Honduras.
Honduras and Costa Rica were big climbers after posting impressive World Cup qualifying results last week. The Catrachos climbed eight spots to 51, while the Ticos jumped 13 places to 53 after posting a World Cup qualifying draw against Panama, which sits at 42. Mexico remained at No. 15, the highest ranking of any CONCACAF team.
England was the only team in the Top 10 to climb more than one spot, moving two places to No. 4 after beating Brazil in a friendly last week. Brazil, which has seen its ranking suffer greatly because of the absence of World Cup qualifiers on the team’s schedule, remains at No. 18. Recently-crowned African Cup of Nations champion Nigeria made the biggest jump at the top in the rankings, catapulting 22 spots to No. 30.
What do you think of the latest rankings? Think the USA is too high? Think it’s crazy to have Brazil at 18th?
Share your thoughts below.
12 Côte d’Ivoire
26 Czech Republic
Its sad to see some of the countries ahead of us. Right when you want to feel terrible for the USMNT (with all these countries ahead of us) and blame Klinsmann for everything “under the sun” it gets worse, you see Brazil at number 18, Mexico at 15 (and we play them), Montenegro, Japan, Bosnia, Chile, Norway, Denmark, Sweden and Belgium ahead of us. Why do other countries seem to be developing and becoming competitive but us?…….you can’t help it but worry…where will we be after the HEX with the way the team is playing now?
When Bob Bradley left I thought he took our losing ways with him……Man, Was I wrong about that..
Well, maybe it’s time to face the music. Donovan, Dempsey, Howard, Boca and co just might have been our Golden Generation. Look, there are four countries that matter in international soccer: Argentina, Brazil, Germany, Italy. Below them is a tier of nations that often matter, producing mercurial talent above their weight class quite often: England, Netherlands, Spain (yes, Spain needs to prove they have more than a ten year run of Iniesta and Co). If you look at the quarterfinals of the last five world cups, every time, at least five spots were taken up by those seven teams. That means the rest of the world, all 220 nations are, in reality, fighting for three spots. So let’s say there are 40 teams that, under the right circumstances, with the right players, coach and a few breaks, can crash that party. Welcome to that club.
FIFA is smart.
Erroneous rankings generate much more discussions about the game than correct and sterile ones.
Make same point for use of technology in the game…
ranking shmanking. none of us would care what the ranking was if we weren’t all still stewing about how piss poor their last performance was (present poster included).
I’m trying to hold off on full on panic until we see how they play against Costa Rica, because in between these flat deeps we’re also seeing flashes that represents a HUGE jump in technical ability (whether it was Deuce’s goal of MB’s goal in Russia) If that game is a flat performance and we go into Mexico with on or no points I’ll need valium on a drip.
A lot of time growth results in inconsistency, and sometimes you have to take a step back to make a jump forward.
It’s still nerve-wracking though…
When was the USMNT rated this low? Maybe 1998 when they finished dead last at the WC. Anybody know?
How do they determine pots at the World Cup draw? I know the host is in the top pot, but for the rest, isn’t it based on FIFA Ranking? That is about the only reason to take these rankings seriously.
As long as the USMNT continue to play like they don’t have it in their heart to play like they want to be in the World Cup, they won’t be. Every game should be like they were at the World Cup and they don’t act like that. No passion at all.
as it has always been for the USMNT, we must play better as a team than our opponents because typically they have more talent…what’s new? nothing except we do have more talent and a deeper pool than ever before.
as Herc said before the Honduras game, the game which saw him on the bench even when we needed a late goal, JK’s task is to field the best TEAM, not just the best collection of talent. I think he’s been woeful at understanding this distinction.
BTW, just now purchased my tickets for the March 22 game quali vs. Costa Rica…Go USA!!!
If Klinsmann doesn’t start three or four defensive midfielders, as expected, but instead only two d-mids (maybe Jones and MB) behind some true attackers/wingers, are you going to demand your money back?
if that happens I’ll be rooting for them all the way, and if it doesn’t happen I will be rooting for them all the way
I just want a win, really don’t care about anything else in that game
“A” has it right. The US struggles for talented technical players. Keep pulling players from the same pool and keep getting the same results. Even our so called “best” players would struggle to make any of the top 10 teams in the world. Youth talent in the US is there, but it is lost in the transition from club, to college, to pro. The values taught at a young age are lost in the transitions to the MLS, the least technical league in the world. The league places value on anything other then skill and creativity. The US player is so bad at the MLS level, that the league itself is begging foreigners to come play. Its the last option league to any player with potential to play in quality leagues around the world. Even Klinsman knows the MLS is bad, as he has openly challenged UNMNT players to play for top clubs in Europe and get into the Champions League and become a starter.
Klinnsmann is a fraud and a de-motivator. The biggest problem with the US Team right now is lack of cohesion. The MLS is a good enough league to produce teams to win CONCACAF. What about all the great Bundesligue players Klinnsman is bringing in. They got schooled by Honduran MLS players.
Donovan what’s your problem? Your country needs you.
So Klinsmann is also keeping Donovan out of the Galaxy? Wow he’s really affluent!
You are absolutely right, A, Klinsmann is affluent to the tune of 2.5 million bucks per year, four times what Bob Bradley was earning and probably many more times the salary of the Honduran coach, who out-coached Klinsmann bad last week. You don’t always get what you pay for.
Doesn’t the US team play at least four times better than when coached by Bradley? If you listen to Herr Klinsmann (masquerading as A here) it certainly does.
Bob Bradley made 1/20th of what most top country national team coaches made.
Klinsmann still makes 1/4th to 1/3rd of what most top nation coaches make.
And Jurgen Klinsmann is an American citizen. Keep your anti-German nonsense out of here.
First off, we’re not talking about salary.
We’re talking about the ridiculous accusation that Jurgen is the reason Donovan isn’t playing for the USMNT, which completely ignores the fact that he is also not playing for the Galaxy.
Haven’t we heard from Bruce that he will be back to the Galaxy this year? Did I hear wrong?
Bruce said that if Landon was coming back to MLS it would be with the Galaxy.
Landon just two days ago said it would be months before he returned.
hey A, where’d you see that? would like to read about it. last I heard Arena said it would all be sorted out in the next 2 months. do you have a link please?
Biff, but Howard, Dempsey, Bradley, etc. also make more than Honduran players do. Perhaps, the loss is not all Klinsi’s fault. If these big league players were outplayed by Honduras, perhaps they should also share the blame.
In the 2011-12 season Clint Dempsey was one of the world’s top 100 footballers. He clearly rose higher than any other US player ever. More so than Donovan and Howard and Friedel though it can be argued at their peaks both Howard/Friedel were among the worlds top 20 goalkeepers if not top10
The issue for the US is simple – talent, or lack thereof. Check out the Guardian’s annual list of the world’s top 100 footballers. 13 Spaniards,ten Brazilians, eight Germans, seven Italians and seven Argentines. European non-contenders like Belgium and Croatia have four and three respectively. And even soccer minnows like Armenia, Ghana, Zambia, Gabon and Wales are represented by a player apiece.
Number of Americans: zero. Number of Americans even close: zero.
Go deeper and and look at the top 400 or so players in the world, the guys who don’t qualify as stars but are highly-paid, respected leaders on good teams in top leagues (Spain, Germany, England, Italy, Brazil) and maybe the top 2-3 teams in lesser leagues. How many Americans qualify? I count three – Howard and Dempsey in England and Bradley in Italy — plus, if he’s not retired, Donovan as the king of MLS. (Forget Altidore – third in scoring in the second-rate Eredivisie doesn’t cut it.) So the simple fact is that what the US wins, it wins on hard work and intangibles. Not on talent.
dude you’re depressing me
And how many Hondurans or Mexicans are on that list? Zero
Do you mean the Honduran team made up mainly of MLS players and the coach who had them fired up and playing a highly disciplined offensive game and in the process thoroughly humiliated Klinsmann?
JK leading us to glory. I really hope we qualify for the WC
Hey, Chris. Why in the heck do you have to be so sarcastic. Give Klinsmann a break. Think of all the great stuff he has done so far, stuff like letting Danny Williams play right wing two or three games and Maurice Edu play attacking midfielder. Sure he could have been testing attacking, offensive-minded midfielders the past 18 months. But why? Who needs them when we have so many defensive midfielders to clog up the midfield? And rather than call in Eric Lichaj or other fullbacks last year for a look, he let Jose Torres fulfill his life-long dream of playing a game at left back. Nice. And best of all he had that guy come into camp and show the USMNT players how to bend a frying pan with his bare hands and rip a big city telephone back in two. That was cool.
…rip a big city telephone *book* in two…
following from a prior thread, Real Madrid should have bought Clint Dempsey. There I said it.
scream it on the mountaintops hm. say what you want to say, world be damned
These rankings are favorable to the UEFA teams – England is not the Fourth best in the world.
With the way the USMNT is playing right now – I have no real argument that we are better than a 20-30 ranking. Hopefully the next tier of CONCACAF will do better in the next tournament to show that CONCACAF is not any easy draw.
agreed. we all know UEFA is the toughest federation but its bloated with crap teams like say Moldova, Luxembourg, Liechenstein, Estonia, Faroe Islands etc
The CONCACAF teams have clearly leapfrogged the development scale that we’re progressing on.
They are getting players in better leagues more consistently and are training their homegrown players better than we are.
how about this, which of our players could you see starting for any of the top 10 nations in the world?
Spain, Germany, Argentina, Holland, Uruguay, Brazil, Italy, Croatia, Colombia, England?
Tim Howard would start for Argentina, Holland, Uruguay, Croatia and Columbia
Dempsey could start for Croatia and England
Fabian Johnson could play for Argentina and Croatia
Sad to say that’s probably it.
Michael Bradley could probably start for Argentina, Holland, Croatia, Italy and England
Michael Bradley wouldn’t sniff the field for Argentina Holland Italy or England.
For Argentina that would mean Bradley starting over one of these…
Italy would be one of these…
Holland would be one of these…
Van Deer Vart
England would be…
Take your pick. Bradley wouldn’t touch those lineups and I like Michael.
Bradley is fluent in Italian, German and Dutch
I love this meaningless comment. Truly.
it is relevant. the topic is could start for so and so team. how do you start for a team if you can’t communicate with your teammates? Communication is the key! Do the Germericans speak english?
That doesn’t deny Bradley as our best player. It’s just that the other top 10 teams have their best player in the same position.
I’m not a Bradley fan, but to say he can’t touch De Jong and Milner screams eurosnob. It’s that kind of thinking that would make Jermain Jones, Danny Williams and Chandler automatic starters for the US National Team.
I’m sorry, but Bradley cannot touch de Jong and that’s not eurosnobbery. De Jong is one of the top defensive midfielders in the world.
And Jermaine Jones is an automatic starter because he is the best player. And that is why he starts for a Champions League Bundesliga side.
There is a reason these player start in the Bundesliga. They are good.
Yes, I agree, De Jong is one of the top D-Mids in the world.
One of the top 60 or so.
de jong USED to be one of the top defensive midfielders in the world. he’s dropped off a lot in the past couple of years. (i like to think it coincided with holden’s injury).
as for this bradley argument, i think it’s kind of dumb, so no comment on that.
Doesn’t Bradley start over DiRossi at Roma?
De Rossi got in a fight with Zeman and Zeman benched him. Zeman then lost a lot of games and was fired.
Andreazzoli took Zeman’d job after he was canned mid-season and is now reinstating De Rossi as captain and starter.
I understand all that, but Bradley has started over De Rossi, therefore he could start over De Rossi.
I doubt that would be England’s midfield these days but… he could easily take Barry’s spot prehaps Milner. (only cause coaches never play Milner)
Bradley would start ahead of Barry, Lampard, Milner for England. Mascherano and Rodgriguez for Argentina .Montolivo for Italy and Afellay for the Netherlands. You have posted entirely too much inappropriate information on this recent drop for the USA and regretably don’t know what you are talking about.
Off the bat, no USMNT player at any position would start for any of the following teams:
Spain (no us player makes the reserve)
Germany (no us player makes the reserve)
Brazil (no us player makes the reserve)
Healthy Donovan starts for Mexico.
Sweden, Croatia and Colombia and a few others are a little more complicated because I’m not familiar with their teams to the extent of the others–but even with Sweden we probably have 1 or 2 players that could start.
I could definitely see Bradley, Dempsey and Howard starting for Sweden, Croatia and Colombia. Though that’s only for likely nations ranked 11-20th
Dempsey would be competing with Falcao and Jackson Martinez. Not to mention James Rodriguez, Muriel, Dorlan Pabon and Cuadrado. He may have a higher (or slightly higher) pedigree than some of these guys but they are all younger than Dempsey with a higher ceiling.
Bradley would have to take Guarin’s spot and as good as Bradley is, Guarin, IMO, is better.
Not sure about Croatia to be honest.
I could see Bradley starting for Colombia. Howard possibly over Ospina. The trouble would be finding a spot for Dempsey. Don’t see him playing over Falcao or Rodriguez. Maybe at RM. Four years ago we would have placed several guys in the starting 11 for Colombia. Not the case these days though.
Howard pretty clearly starts for England bro. Even Guzan starts for England. Get out of here with this nonsense.
Neither Howard nor Guzan would supplant Joe Hart, widely regarded as one of the top 5 keepers on the planet.
In fact, keeper is one of England’s most set positions.
Joe Hart may be “widely regarded” as one of the top 5 keepers on the planet, but his play has been shaky this year. Seems to have his share of brain cramps.
LMFAO at “widely regarded” as definitive proof…ghosts are widely regarded as being real -that does not make them so…
I suppose starting from a false premise will make your argument pretty unstoppable. I would like to see this list of “top 5 keepers on the planet”. I’ve seen people put Victor Valdes in their top 5 too…
Field players, maybe, GK’s I disagree.
does Donovan speak Spanish?
All part of the FIFA circus. Up next:
Elephants jumping through rings of fire while riding tricycles.
what would be AWESOME!
can we set the elephants on fire?
Can we please ignore FIFA and just look at ELO? Brazil is 3 there.
No excuses. JK needs some help with a better assistant with technical and tactical savvy.
Id like to see how many of the “top 50” teams can get a win in Honduras. Imo they are underrated probably because they have to play minnows like canada and belieze all the time.
Yeah, my first thought was that there’s something wrong one way or the other if we’re about 20 places higher than Honduras…
England is so overrated in these dumb rankings. why rank friendlies? it’s stupid. England won’t get pass the quarter-finals so what does it matter if they’re ranked no5 or no12 or 99
“Think it’s crazy to have Brazil at 18th?”
Well, that’s a bit of a silly question. Nobody placed Brazil at 18. That is where the algorithm has moved them over time due to their lack of matches. An impartial computer decides placement.
Just the same that in this specific instance it is unfortunate that we suffer from FIFA scheduling in regards to the Canada match–which was a rookie reserve squad for us. But alas the algorithms make no distinction, so we have to make do with what we have. All in all, the rankings are fair over the long haul.
“That is where the algorithm has moved them over time due to their lack of matches. An impartial computer decides placement.”
Maybe, but the computer didn’t design the algorithm. FIFA should dump said algorithm and go with an Elo type of rating system, such as that used in other sports (and that FIFA itself interestingly accepts and uses in ranking women’s soccer).
There is ELO for soccer, you know?
But FIFA’s system works well enough for measuring recent performance.
Yes, I know (as I indicated in my post). But FIFA doesn’t use it for men’s soccer, only for women’s
I think FIFA’s system for ranking the men’s side of the game rather sucks, but of course people’s opinions will differ on that. The point is that it’s not at all just a computer deciding placement. Garbage in, garbage out.
That is true.
After all, robots and computers only do what we tell them to from the get go.
Well at least we don’t have to worry about being the favorites in our upcoming matches…
So right. ranked 32. On our best day we’re a top 20 nation.
Haven’t seen our best day in a while.
The USA Will Continue To Fall Under The Current Management. The Team Is Like A Ship Without A Rudder. Klinsman Needs To Go With Hi Clowns.
but at least he gives us great PR. Europeans know him and now they know us
Yeah, they know him, and they have no respect for his coaching abilities.
Because no one knew about the US national team before? Our MLS players moving to Europe and European players moving to MLS has done more for the international game.
We just had the best winning USMNT year in modern history.
And Omar Gonzalez/Tim Howard lost us the Honduras match, not Jurgen Klinsmann.
And yet, no one feels good about it because we’ve all seen the regression on the field. This team has more questions than answers at this point. That’s Klinsmanns fault, he’s had plenty of time to have this better figured out.
Klinsmann isn’t responsible for the voices in your head. You create this fictional world and wonder why someone else isn’t helping you deal with it?
Not our problem.
A draw was a win for us. We had a draw. Two players–a long time veteran keeper and an upcoming CB–screwed up and cost their team the game.
That’s not on the coach and blaming the coach for the player that should be there not executing is ridiculous.
Hahaha its funny cause I bet you said the opposite when Bradley was coach. The fact is this is the deepest player pool we’ve had and JK has this team barely qualifying for the hex and in the first game we look even less cohesive and much worse than before. JK’s tactics were horrible and there is no denying that. Keep drinking that kool-aid boy, because acting as if JK is not at fault or midseason friendlies matter is laughable
This is not the deepest player pool we’ve had, and I did say the same thing under Bradley.
If a player screws up–a player screws up. Bradley needed to go because he had been here too long and his style of play was becoming antiquated.
The funny thing is Bradley has Egypt playing good attacking soccer while JK has us playing 3DM’s and no counter attack
We are not that deep. Hence why everyone is going crazy about CBs who are good enough to start, a striker who can score, and creative midfielders capable of making simple passes.
Klinsi has taken over during a time of rebuilding. It’ll take until 2014 to finish. I have faith. He did the same for Germany in 2002.
yes, the players made a mistake, but it was Klinsmann who decided to play them – a back line composed of players who had NEVER played in a hexagonal match before, who had never played together before. It was simply Klinsmann’s fault. People blamed Rico Clark’s WC mistake on Bradley
You can’t fault Klinsmann for injuries. Chandler certainly played better than a Steve Cherundolo on crutches would have. Playing a backline that has the potential to be the future of USMNT was the best choice out of Klinsmann’s options.
With how Chandler played, I would have preferred a handicapped ‘Dolo.
But he certaintly didnt play better than Lichaj or Cameron at RB could have
Really? Jurgen’s poor roster decisions weren’t responsible for us losing the game? (ie starting an untested backline, two of whom [zee Germericans] weren’t fit for the heat, playing CMs as wingers, playing 3 defensive mids in the middle, calling up no true wingers despite Gatt and Beasley playing well for their club teams, letting Jozy stay in the entire game, starting Gonzalez in back for his first competitive cap in a road qualifier, subbing off Johnson so early, not subbing Chandler [who was terrible], not calling up Lichaj, not calling up a creative CM [Feilhaber], etc)
I’m not even going to address the fact that you claimed neither Chandler nor Johnson should have been on the field. That’s ludicrous.
So you think you understand soccer better than a world class coach?
And no, Jurgen was not responsible for Omar Gonzalez and Tim Howard letting a Honduran player waltz untouched into the net with the ball.
Jurgen Klinsmann did not tell this site’s golden boy and the MLS defensive player of the year to forget the number 1 most important rule of defending–marking your man.
Jurgen Klinsmann did not tell Tim Howard to not be in control of his box and not be a leader with a young centerback.
That loss isn’t on Jurgen. It’s on Tim Howard and Omar Gonzalez.
And a “creative CM” had nothing to do with the defense screwing up.
This loss was the fault of every single player, the coach, and the heads of US Soccer. Landon Donovan actually has a vagina so were not going to even address that. JK has been tasked with something of vast proportion. We are not rebuilding the USMNT, we are rebuilding soccer in America. This change is starting in the youth level, just like germany, and building into the national level. What JK has been asked to do, I wouldn’t expect to see until 2018. But God I hope it comes quicker, because you are ALL right. What we are seeing is miserable. Cameron, Gonzo, and Chandler….definitely an new combo, but if it is the future of this teams defense, and will help expedite the process then JK made the right call…hopefully the learned their complacencey lesson. The thing that stood out to me most was WHY IS GERMAN JONES taking corners???? No Brad Davis or Zusi till late? are you kidding me?? That is our strength! For as far as I am concerned Dempsey is, again, the only one who pulled his weight. WHy? Well, he finished. I wouldn’t hold your breath for 2014, but in the long run I could see some exciting things. JK is more the messenger.
Klinsmann is our coach through World Cup qualifying, win or lose. Get with the frickin program.
All true. It was JK’s dangerously inexperienced back line that cost the US the game. JK may be a great motivator and visionary, but his lineup and tactical decisions can be truly baffling. One could argue that the mix-up that led to the winning goal (just one of several very iffy plays by the back line) was almost fated to happen.
Not sure about the great motivator thing — calling in the guys who rips phone books in half isn’t exactly “visionary.”
sometimes dreamers have nightmares…
Wins in a non WC, non Hex qualifying year are pretty cheap. Anyone can design a schedule to collect wins. I think the FIFA and ELO algorithms are much more accurate gauges. Our best FIFA ranking ever is 2006 where we were #4 in the World and our best ELO ranking is in 2009 after the Confed Cup. Our worst FIFA ranking ever is #36 last year, so you can see that we’re not in good shape right now. I’m not saying fire Klinsi. I think he should get the full WC cycle unless he fails to qualify, but make no mistake, we are not performing well right now and you could argue that we are at our worst in a long, long time.
While I’m not necessarily arguing against your conclusion that we are struggling, saying that Klinnsman or anyone else set up a schedule last year designed to collect wins is just plain false. While the games we had control over scheduling were only friendlies we still played some tough teams many of which were in tough places (@Mexico, @Italy, @Russia, Brazil, Venezuela). That doesn’t sound like a bunch of gimmies to me.
Yep, it’s all his fault, just like it was all Bob Bradley’s fault as well.
Pretty soon chuckleheads like you think all we’ll need to do is give JK and Gulati the heave-ho.
Thank you Gulati!!! For USNT being mediocre!!!
Yep, it’s all his fault, just like it was all Bob Bradley’s fault as well.
Pretty soon chuckleheads like you think all we’ll need to do is give JK the heave-ho.
^^ My sentiments exactly PD.
re. JK, depends on what happens in the next two matches, but particularly the Costa Rica quali. if that makes me a chucklehead, I accept
It’s what happens when you don’t get results.
Yup. Just about right… could be worse.
Goldilocks territory: Better than half the teams in the World Cup, but also worse than half.
As flat as we’ve looked, I couldn’t complain if it was lower.
With that said, as always, it’s fairly irrelevant when you’re not a top nation.
Has the US made any progress in the past 10 years? Let’s see…..
Goals For Goals Against
2003 1.35 0.68
2004 1.46 0.69
2005 1.65 0.60
2006 1.25 1.16
2007 1.47 1.11
2008 2.00 0.87
2009 1.69 1.56
2010 1.35 1.66
2011 1.00 1.17
2012 1.74 0.85
It appears 2008 was our most productive year. So WHO spent the most time on the field that year?
Heath Pearce 77%
Onyewu 67% (before his injury)
The last 2 spots were a tie for minutes between Adu, Ching, Clark, Edu, and Klejstan
Interesting point…… all of these players (except Onyewu-post injury is horrible, currently injured Cherundolo) are available today.