A pair of regional trophies was enough to give the U.S. men’s national team a major boost in the latest FIFA rankings.
The USMNT jumped up 10 places to 10th overall in the newest FIFA rankings after winning the Concacaf Nations League and Concacaf Gold Cup titles. The Americans couldn’t quite overtake Mexico, which is ranked ninth, but closed the gap to the narrowest of margins heading into Concacaf World Cup qualifying in September.
The new ranking is the highest position the Americans have had in the FIFA rankings since May of 2006, when they were ranked fifth. FIFA reconfigured its ranking criteria after the 2006 World Cup,
Reaching the top 10 puts the USMNT in range of potentially securing a top-eight seed for the FIFA World Cup. It is still a long shot because the Americans would likely have to climb as high as seventh in the rankings before the 2022 World Cup, which will require both a dominant run in World Cup qualifying and at least three teams stumbling in the rankings (jumping ahead of Mexico would likely happen if the Americans finish in first place in the final round of World Cup qualifying). That is all assuming FIFA maintains the same criteria for World Cup seeding, and the criteria for the 2022 World Cup seeding has yet to be decided.
The new ranking is a major positive for American players aspiring to play in England, with the top-10 spot meaning USMNT players need a lower percentage of national team games played to secure UK work permits.
The Americans compiled eight wins over the course of the two summer Concacaf tournaments, including a pair of victories over Mexico, which now holds a slim 10-point lead on the Americans in the FIFA rankings.
The USMNT returns to action in September, with World Cup qualifiers at El Salvador on September 2, then against Canada in Nashville on September 5, and then at Honduras on September 8.