USA rises in latest FIFA rankings

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Photo by Bernd Feil/ISIphotos.com

The U.S. men's national team's victory over Italy allowed for the Americans to make some more headway in the FIFA world rankings.

The 1-0 win in Genoa propelled the U.S. men up four spots to No. 27, marking the highest they've been ranked since Jurgen Klinsmann took over as manager last August. They had been as low as 34th as recently as December before beginning to climb incrementally since then.

The U.S. men closed the gap on Mexico for the highest ranking in CONCACAF, with El Tri falling a spot to No. 22 after a loss to Colombia. Panama is the next-highest team in the region behind the United States, coming in at No. 50, followed by Jamaica at 54, El Salvador at 58 and Costa Rica at 59. Canada dropped eight spots after its loss to Armenia to fall to 79.

World champion Spain maintained its place atop the rankings, followed by the Netherlands, Germany, Uruguay, Brazil, England, Portugal, Argentina, Italy and Croatia, respectively, to round out the top 10.

What's your take on the latest rankings? Happy to see the U.S. men on the rise?

Share your thoughts below.

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54 Responses to USA rises in latest FIFA rankings

  1. kpugs says:

    I think it’s safe to say that literally no one on Earth gives any value to these rankings anymore. It’s amazing how FIFA can be one of the richest and most powerful sporting bodies on the planet and also be one of the dumbest.

    Uruguay, England, Croatia, Denmark…the idiocy of this system never ends. It’s laughable.

  2. Mig22 says:

    Uruguay winning the Copa and having a great World Cup makes their ranking entirely valid.

    Have a system, stick to it, and then all the complaints about it are just noise. That said, I like to see the math on Croatia. I assume they must have been a beast in Euro qualifying.

  3. kb says:

    Uruguay made the 3rd-place game at WC2010, followed with winning COPA America. I’d say right now, they deserve their ranking. The others you mentioned…yup, what? Even Italy is not a top 10 team right now.

  4. elgringorico says:

    So FIFA rankings aside, where do WE (IVES and people of this site) think we realistically are overall. Just humor it for a moment, knowing that it doesn’t mean anything.

    I say we belong around 17-20 in the world.

  5. 2tone says:

    Yeah I would say realistically we should be around 20th to 22nd in the rankings. But if the USMNT goes on to beat Scotland, Brazil, and Canada heading into WC Qualifying they will probably jump up to 20th in the world for the June Rankings.
    I fully expect the USMNT to be ranked anywhere from 15th to 20th come WC 2014.

  6. NE Matt says:

    Countries we are arguably better than in the rankings:

    Denmark
    Greece
    Switzerland
    Australia
    Norway
    Serbia

    Countries we might be better than:

    Republic of Ireland
    Sweden
    Russia
    Bosnia-Herzegovina
    Paraguay

    So I’d say we should be around 21, with the possibility of rising as high as around 16

  7. Mig22 says:

    Well, Elgin, I think it’s entirely valid to look at current form so if I had to guess as to our strength vs those around us, we might be 4 of 5 places better. Serbia, Bos-Herz, Norway, Switz, Australia a couple of others may be living on dated performances while Korea, Japan, Colombia, Turkey might give us a handful. Maybe 22nd or 23? Maybe a bit higher if we want to be optimistic.

    Cheers!

  8. Annelid Gustator says:

    Well, we’re a consistent threat to advance past WCF group stage. That puts us in the neighborhood of ~16 if you believe that the federation allocations are correct. I’d personally guess UEFA is a little underrepresented even as heavy as it is, so probably add 1-4 places. Right about 20 seems good.

  9. Tim Ream says:

    We’d be higher if I was starting.

  10. Polo says:

    We are not better than Denmark and Serbia.

  11. P. Zimmerman says:

    First in the whole world. At everything.

  12. Eurosnob says:

    Croatia finished second in their qualifying group 2 points behind Greece. They finished ahead of Israel, Latvia, Georgia and Malta. They also did not qualify for the last world cup finishing third in their qualifying group behind England and Ukraine.

  13. Polo says:

    The system is an algorithm. And really? Uruguay won Copa America and then made the semi-finals of the World Cup.

  14. Eurosnob says:

    Are you talking about Bolton?

  15. MicahK says:

    We are better than Bosnia.

  16. MicahK says:

    Today must be opposite day.

  17. THomas says:

    Well considering that they use these rankings to help format qualifiers and who enters in what rounds, etc. I’d say they’re important and well run.

    Uruguay is one of the best teams in the world right now, England qualified top of their group, Croatia has had a bad run lately but they take into account the last four years so a slumping team isn’t dropped too much and Denmark is just good.

    The idiocy of FIFA is apparent in many ways, but not the world rankings.

  18. hush says:

    The U.S to me is always going to be a top 20 team. 15-20 is where I would rank us.

    For those always bashing on England for being a top 10 are delusional. England will and always will be a top 10 team in the world no matter how they play in tournaments. It’s just the way it is. I think some people here just try to rank the Futbol system according to “what have you done lately”. Sort of like we do in the states with every sport. Unfortunately it doesn’t apply fully in the Futbol world.

    England will always be a top 10 team because they are expected to win a Euro or a W.C.. they have the league and players to win it all. Sadly it can’t be said for the U.S or Uruguay. 6 years ago Spain was still considered a top 10 team to the Futbol world no matter there outcomes… again, they are a powerhouse and are always expected to win it all.

    Top 10 powerhouse IMO no matter the outcomes. No order.
    Brazil Top 10+ Historically:
    Argentina Serbia
    England Uruguay
    Germany Croatia
    France Colombia
    Spain
    Portugal
    Italy
    Czech Republic
    Holland

  19. elgringorico says:

    Finally the answer I was looking for!

  20. kev says:

    USA is definitely close top to being a regular top 20 country. probably should be no23 though

  21. Jeff says:

    Just because it’s an algorithm, doesn’t mean it’s the right algorithm.

  22. Tim Ream says:

    I don’t disagree with your post, at all. However, it only highlights why these rankings are largely irrelevant.

  23. hush says:

    My comment above got all tangled up. Sorry.

    10 and up teams historically are below. Any of these teams are a top 10 through 30 IMO no matter outcomes.

    Serbia
    Uruguay
    Croatia
    Colombia
    Poland
    Russia
    Sweden
    Belgium
    Montenegro
    Romania
    R.O Ireland
    Paraguay

    This is my ranking system. USA,Japan, and Turkey along with the Africans are noobs to me. If any of the above teams beat us in the W.C or any FIFA tournaments, I wouldn’t be surprised is what I’m saying.

  24. Andy says:

    Denmark – 11, Greece 13, and Australia – 20 are all jokes…

  25. Andy says:

    I’d say that’s pretty generous. I wouldn’t put us ahead of Serbia or Switzerland, and probably not Denmark.

  26. away goals says:

    England should still be a top 10 team the way notre dame and army should still play for the national championship every year.

  27. Jeff says:

    England finished top of a qualifying group including Switzerland (18th, win and draw), Montenegro (44th, two draws), Wales (48th, two wins), Bulgaria (85th, two wins). Not sure that screams 6th in the world. Their performance in the fall is what still has them up there. But to me, as to many, they are ranked too high.

  28. A good sign is in the top 30 teams on the FIFA site, the US has moved up 4 spots (Korea also moved up 4 spots. Most of the teams only moved 1 or 2 places.

    Hope this is a indicator to things to come. GO USA!!

  29. Mig22 says:

    yeah, thanks. Your response had me go look at their results. It is a bit of a quandary where that ranking comes from considering they weren’t even that great in international friendlies. Oh well, there are always oddities in a ranking system although not usually right at the top.

    I’ve never looked into the durations used by FIFA but now I think I will.

    Salud.

  30. Jeff says:

    No higher than 20 right now, no lower than 25. Maybe 22? Methinks we are clearly better than Australia. Probably better than Ireland. We play at the level of the teams from Switzerland to Serbia in the rankings (aside from the two mentioned above). I also think Korea, Turkey and Japan are at that level. I think we should be able to beat most all of those teams on aggregate in a home/away though. I think we should be battling for 18th with teams like Mexico, Ghana and Switzerland.

  31. away goals says:

    I agree with you that there are 15 or so ‘midtable’ national teams that belong in the same tier as the usmnt. So we could realistically be ranked anywhere from 16-30 without much argument.

    Fortunately, we are one of the few countries with potential for sustained improvement. Italy and the like already maximize their resources and will fluctuate only marginally from generational to generation.

  32. NE Matt says:

    That’s laughable. Denmark has no one special and Vidic and Stankovic quit Serbia

  33. Michael Stypulkoski says:

    +1

  34. NE Matt says:

    I thought so too until Brazil only beat them by an own goal in the 90th minute. They looked very strong

  35. wilyboy says:

    By the time we get to the world cup, our ranking will be closer to 15. Top ten? Aint going to happen. We’re not going to get a top ten birth until we at least progress out of the group stages in three consecutive world cups (a huge factor in seeding, 2006 hurt us a lot.)

    Even though this is a transition cycle, we need to give 2018 a chance, and this u23 generation comes of age.

  36. Jeff says:

    Ha! Yes!

  37. Vic says:

    In the last 3 World Cups we got to the quarterfinals once and round of 16 another time. We also won our group in 2010. I think that justifies a top 20 ranking. I find in funny how some people rank countries ahead of us that haven’t been out of the first round of the World Cup the past three times.

  38. jamesey says:

    Soccer is difficult to describe with stats. The FIFA rankings should be based on a coaches/journalism/experts poll.

  39. Kevin_Amold says:

    I agree completely about Uruguay.

    I do disagree a little bit with the ccomplaints being just noise. I kind of fall into the camp of believeing that just because there is a system doesn’t mean it’s a good system.

  40. H2Oman says:

    “England will always be a top 10 team because they are expected to win a Euro or a W.C.”

    To win? Really? By who? Based on…? Never having won a Euro and having won one WC in England 50 years ago.

    Mind you in “66”, the African nations did not attend, because at the time, they and Asia were held to a different standard, than Europe to qualify for the finals… they had to win a separate playoff to against each other to qualify.

    Lets be honest, FIFA, it’s entire institution, their ranking system, is about power, influence, politics and money. THAT is why ENG will always be a top 10 team and the root of the dissatisfaction with the ranking and FIFA in general.

    There are those who long for a game, ranking and structure that is a bit more pure and gives an even playing field to all. A desire for results and ranking, to be based on what players do competing on the field within the parameters of the rules of the game.

    That will take a lot time and sacrifice to accomplish, but is hardly an outrageous standard to expect. In spite of the corruption and dirt, the beauty and purity of the game- what drew us to it as children- manages to shine through and keep us all coming back for more. If an even playing field is naive or unreasonable, then we may as well fold up the tent and call the thing off… go back to the park.

  41. Shounen Bat says:

    Weren’t we ranked really high, like top 5, leading up to World Cup 2002? I could’ve sworn I read that recently…

  42. Air Jordanz says:

    Germany’s waaaay too high!

    All their best players are invading the USMNT, amirite?!

  43. eric says:

    World Cup 2006 we were 4thish

  44. bryan says:

    yeah, makes no sense that Croatia is a top 10 squad. i was skeptical about Portugal too given they haven’t played anyone decent in awhile (only Denmark, Norway was playing well but still isn’t ranked high). but i think they are still being lifted by the 19 match undefeated streak they had prior to the World Cup.

  45. bryan says:

    i would say we are behind Denmark, Serbia and Russia for sure. Sweden, Paraguay, and Bosnia would be hard fought.

    i do agree about Greece, Switzerland, Australia, Norway and Ireland though.

  46. bryan says:

    correct, but in 2006. and after that, they changed the way they “weight” games so that kind of thing wouldn’t happen again. in other words, CONCACAF games aren’t weighted as heavy as UEFA games.

  47. DCLee says:

    Great post H2Oman and can’t believe the arrogance of Hush’s post! This post IMO is the problem with peoples views on MLS and the way some people(and this number seems to be shrinking thankfully) turn their nose up at the league here because it wasn’t around in 1910 and want jump into spending itself into administration now. The world isn’t black and white. Things evolve and change and the rankings should reflect this if correctly done not based on how good a certain country was in the 1960s. A half century ago!!!

  48. FIFABCS says:

    It still amazes me after all these years that people still perceive these rankings as some indicator of “which team is better” and gripe about it accordingly. This isn’t a college football poll. FIFA has very specific uses for these rankings, and the algorithm is tailored to that purpose. Disambiguate, folks.

  49. Annelid Gustator says:

    Need the lebensraum.

  50. Four Cents says:

    Just ask the oracle octopus Paul what the ranks should be. He’s never wrong- except that one time… :p

  51. Robin says:

    England have won many qualifiers and friendlies in the last 4 years. That is why they are where they are. Plus I think a 1-0 win over Spain (no matter how much Spain was better in that game) counts a lot.

  52. Ezra says:

    “Denmark has no one special”

    I think most people who aren’t US or Everton fans would say the same thing about the USMNT. Even with the great year that Dempsey is having. Not to downplay the US players, merely pointing out it’s a matter of perspective.

  53. John says:

    look up the definition of quandary and quit trying to impress us with your vocabulary.

  54. John says:

    Please forgive my snark, I was mistaken. I stand ashamed.