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USMNT drops to 13th in first FIFA rankings of 2022

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The U.S. men’s national team ended 2021 as the highest Concacaf ranked nation, but starts 2022 behind its biggest rivals by one spot.

The Americans dropped to 13th place in the first FIFA rankings, which were released on Thursday. Gregg Berhalter’s side posted a 2-1-0 record during their World Cup Qualifiers to start the new year, defeating both El Salvador and Honduras on home soil.

A 2-0 road loss to Canada though hurt the Americans’ chances of moving into the top ten.

Mexico moved ahead of the USMNT into 12th place, jumping up two places in the overall rankings. After a disappointing end of 2021, El Tri earned qualifying wins over both Panama and Jamaica to remain in the fight for automatic qualification to the World Cup.

Canada was among one of the big movers, jumping up seven places into No. 33 after an unbeaten opening window to 2022. John Herdman’s side remains unbeaten in the octagonal round table after earning victories over Honduras, the USMNT, and El Salvador earlier this winter.

The top ten spots in the FIFA World Rankings remained the same, with Belgium and Brazil currently occupying the top two places. France, Argentina, and England round out the top five while eight of the top ten come from UEFA.

The USMNT will close out its World Cup Qualifying schedule from March 24-30, starting with a trip to Estadio Azteca to visit Mexico.

Comments

  1. “Right now we aren’t as good as Canada. A realistic rank at this point is probably around 20th, IMO.”

    If anyone wanted realism, they ‘d wait until qualifying was over. It’s just a little over a month.

    The next sensible time would then be after the World Cup.

    There will be no competitive games between the end of qualifying and the World Cup.

    The only vaguely objective thing that will change between then and Qatar is players getting hurt or getting healthy.

    For example, Davies getting healthy and fit before Qatar, will I expect, make , Canada even better.

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  2. I finally looked at their methodology. It’s quantitative (ok I’m the last to know). I’m a quantitative guy, and maybe as a college project I would have tried something like this, but the lesson would have been that models like this need a lot of data to produce a meaningful result.
    There are just too few games, and even when there are games, there are way way too many flukes like PK’s, red cards and mistakes that would make a rational person discount the result. It will have no hope of ranking across regions even if it can get relative regional rank correct, since there aren’t any competitive cross-regional games except once every four years (and btw Concacaf sucked in the last WC with two teams last in their group)
    It’s truly futile. As a data guy, I’m pretty shocked that any big organization would even try something like this. There are always absurd results that immediately jump off the page (we’re two spots behind Germany but we can barely survive Concacaf qualifying?)

    They should really just give up on this and turn it to a vote. By the players! Not the biased fans or the corrupt beaurocrats, and certainly not the pundits.

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    • Those Coca-Cola rankings are a mixed bag but I’d say they’re generally pretty accurate, at least as accurate as college football rankings. No, they do not tell the whole story but it’s the best we got at the moment.

      I’d say 11th-15th is pretty close for us. That means we’re probably good enough to get out of Group at the WC, which I think we’ll do, maybe 50/50 to get into the Round of 8, and unlikely to go further since at that point we’re bumping into the actual elite teams. That sounds about right.

      Until we get an actual elite striker and a true 10 who can unlock a D in the final third, we’re going to be an athletic flank team that has a lot of possession but is one-dimensional in attack, and we aren’t going to be there with the truly big boys. But a middle-of-the-pack Top-25 squad? Sure. I’d say we’re there already.

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      • Yeah you’re right. it’s odd, because if the model were doing a good job using recent competitive results and opponent quality, we’d have be lower. But somehow it fails just right and we end up where we should be. Germany and Canada not so.

      • Dave p, you recognize in your first post that the rankings are quantitative, now you want to go back on that and use some other metric of your whim? Canada, hasn’t been to a World Cup since 1986, I mean, is that a big enough sample size for you? Did you factor into your equation the USA winning nationals league and gold cup, beating Mexico twice. Same number of qualifiers and we are ahead of them in the Ocho. Hmm

    • Gman, I was curious if your comments had any weight behind them. Sweden recently lost to Georgia 2-0. no, not the state, but the country. Colombia in her last 15 games is 4 wins 5 losses, and 6 ties. One of those wins was 2-1 v Honduras.

      I feel like a lot of fans have the gee willies from last cycle, USA have been to the knockout round in 3 of our last 4 world cups, which does put us around on par with Switzerland, or say a Paraguay.

      I’d like to think that come next November, the USMNT will be running on all cylinders. Navigating these next three international dates, should hopefully help get us there.

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