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USMNT rises two spots in latest FIFA rankings

Photo by Kelvin Kuo/USA Today Sports
Photo by Kelvin Kuo/USA Today Sports

After three months of stagnation, the U.S. Men’s National Team rose in the latest FIFA rankings.

The U.S. climbed two spots to No. 30 in the world, just behind the Republic of Ireland and in front of Cape Verde Islands and Poland. Costa Rica fell two spots to No. 33, meaning the U.S. is the second-highest ranked CONCACAF team.

Mexico remained No. 22 in the rankings, while only one change occurred in the top 25 teams in the world. Italy swapped positions with the Netherlands, and so the Azzurri are now 14th while the Dutch are 15th. Belgium is No. 1 in the rankings, followed by Argentina, Spain, Germany and Chile.

One of the biggest risers in March’s edition of the rankings is Venezuela, which climbed six spots into 75th in the world. Israel also climbed six spots into 67th.

What do you think of the USMNT’s new ranking? Too high? Too low?

Share your thoughts below.


    • Dear ignorant American –

      Why shouldn’t a small island nation be able to produce great soccer players ? It produced one of the world’s great female singers… The population of Cap-Vert happens to be bigger than Iceland’s. You’ve surely heard of Iceland.

      Size doesn’t matter ! The (second?) best player in the world right now was born and raised on an even smaller island out there in the Atlantic.

  1. Crazy as always.

    I had to look up Cape Verde islands. Population 525K. Joined Fifa in 82, never qualified for the WC. Made the quarters in the 2013 AFCON, group stage in 2015. seems like a mix of players from portugal, France (including one on Bradley’s team) and other lower league teams.


      • This is the only comment that anyone really needs to post each time these rankings are released, perhaps with one detail. Today, it’s “These rankings are a joke, as illustrated by the #31 ranking for the Cape Verde Islands, but . . .”

      • However, even FIFA realizes that they don’t mean much and twist the seeding qualifications just as they did for Brazil, when they added performance in previous World Cups to make sure they had the correct teams.

    • I would argue that it is also a joke to dismiss teams as bad even after admitting that you know nothing about them and have not seen them play. Let’s just say I would be very interested to see a USMNT vs Cape Verde game. After seeing the game then we can talk. For the record I also know nothing about Cape Verde but I’m not going to assume they are bad.

      People on this site always make assumptions about how good a team is just based off of the country’s name and history and are always proven wrong. My favorite was during the U-20 World Cup. So many SBI posters put their foots in their mouths match after match.

      • I agree 100%. Hate it say it, but it’s unfortunately a typical American attitude. Country I never heard of = must suck.

      • My comment wasn’t specific to the Cape Verde Island ranking but there are plenty of countries everyone has heard of that haven’t done anything in the last 20 years that are ranked ridiculously high – Austria (#10), Wales (#17), Hungary (#19), Northern Ireland (#28).

        How are Cape Verde Islands ranked above WC quarter finalist Costa Rica? CVI have never qualified for a world cup and before 2013 had never qualified for the ACN.

        Surely we don’t have to be so PC that we can’t admit that whatever formula they use for these rankings is flawed.

      • Perhaps you’d like to explain what you mean. My comment has nothing to do with the USMNT and I actually think #30 is a reasonable ranking for them. But the rankings for the teams I mentioned in my original post are not reasonable.

        Austria are ranked #10 yet they haven’t qualified for a world cup since 1998 and never qualified for a European championship prior to Euro 2016 when the field expanded to 24, except then they qualified as hosts in 2008 (when they went out in the group stage). Why are they the tenth best team in the world? Because they did well in one qualifying group stage? Seems like it should take more than that to have a ranking that high.

      • Slow the answer to your question is yes. Although previous four years are weighed into the ranking, your most recent 12 months are the most important. Also, continental cup qualifiers are weighed more highly than friendlies and they went 9-1-0 in their group. That’s impressive, so yes the EURO expanded, but they would have still qualified in any other year with that record. Matches against European competition and S.American competition count for more points as well. This to some extent also explain the Wales, N. Ireland, and Hungary rankings.

        Not really sure how CV is ranked so high, other than they play few friendlies so almost all games count extra, and they did beat Portugal last year.

      • Slow- you did it again. You’re assuming all of these teams are crap because they haven’t done anything in 20 years? Its a good thing the ranking ONLY looks at the last 4 years, and every year after the current depreciates its value (1 year ago-50% of that years average; 2 years ago-30% of the average; 3 years ago-20% of the average).

        Honestly, did you watch the Euro qualifiers? Wales qualified only 2 points behind Belgium, the #1 ranked team, also giving Belgium their only loss in qualifying. Austria CRUISED through qualifying, undefeated, and tying only Sweden once. I watched a lot of Austria’s qualifiers on replay, since I was in Austria for 2 weeks in February; not overly flashy, but a very strong team. And not a single other nation below them, except for France (who are victims of not having to qualify), could I see as out-right beating Austria.

        Its a terribly flawed ranking system, but it does do a semi-decent job of comparing where countries are currently at. 10th Place may be a bit high for a country like Austria, but no more out of the ordinary than when US were 13th in 2013. Hungary and Romania are really the only countries this round benefiting from the pointing system. Both were in an easy qualifying group with each other.

    • Santos Laguna actually has a player from Cape Verde: Djaniny. He’s been one of their best strikers. Also fun fact, Massachusetts has the largest Cape Verdean population in the world outside of Cape Verde.


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