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USMNT back up to 13 in last FIFA World Rankings before World Cup

Jun 5, 2014, 1:23 PM EST

us soccer

For whatever FIFA’s World Rankings are worth outside of the actual World Cup draw, the United States is one of several Top 15 teams moving upward in the last rankings before the beginning of this year’s tournament in Brazil.

The Yanks have climbed back into No. 13 on the list one month after dropping to 14. Wins over Turkey (mostly) and Azerbaijan (a little) propelled the States past Chile, which beat Egypt 3-2 in its only match of the month.

England has ascended into the Top 10, while tournament hosts Brazil have reached No. 3 (behind Germany and Spain).

Around CONCACAF, Mexico drops one place to No. 20, while Costa Rica has taken a leap of six spots up to No. 28. Panama is up four places to 31, while Honduras drops to 33. Aruba is the biggest CONCACAF mover, up 35 spots to 120, while Montserrat has gained 22 spots to No. 166.

Sierra Leone is perhaps the biggest mover, jumping up 17 spots to No. 54. Senegal’s drop to No. 74 is an 11-place fall. New Zealand is up 14 spots and back into the Top 100, but that’s nothing compared to Palestine; The Middle Eastern club is up 71 spots to No. 94.

Other big movers around the globe:

- Scotland is down five spots to No. 27

- Sweden has dropped seven to No. 32, while Egypt is down 12 to No. 36.

- Wales is up six spots to No. 41.

  1. jslip1 - Jun 5, 2014 at 1:49 PM

    FIFA’s rankings are about as objective as Sepp Blatter.

    • geojock - Jun 5, 2014 at 2:26 PM

      You may not like their results but they are about as objective as can be. They are based on a traceable, quantifiable process. People dont like them because they look at them with a biased and these rankings have individual biased removed.

      • jslip1 - Jun 5, 2014 at 3:19 PM

        “As objective as can be” doesn’t mean it is truly objective. They certainly tell a version of the story, but it’s really hard to say if it’s the correct telling of said story.

      • mknow406a - Jun 6, 2014 at 1:01 AM

        No, it’s because the calculations make no sense. Brazil drops in the rankings because it is hosting the tournament, and hence plays ONLY matches with a lower index since it has no qualifiers. That has NO bearings on the team’s quality. It also weighs its own tourney’s heavier than anything else… Should Nigeria beating Tahiti in the Confederations Cup REALLY be worth more than the US beating Mexico in WC qualifiers or Spain beating France in qualifiers? Not to mention going back 4 years skews the standings for countries with deeper talent pools… Belgium is in the up swing of their cycle (much like the Danes when they won the Euros), but because the failures of the past ‘generation’ don’t go away, the perennial big boys continue to gain an advantage (think Portugal having to qualify via play-offs for two straight WCs and 1 Euro Championship, while Belgium won their group.straight up.) This is important because it is used to dictate the seeding, and hence likely hood for advancement, in the next big tournament. If Belgium can win a group straight up, why should Portugal, that had to win play-offs to get in, be ranked higher? It makes no sense and only serves to ensure that the old guard continues to get the easier draws…

    • talgrath - Jun 5, 2014 at 5:10 PM

      The FIFA rankings are, in fact, objective instead of subjective, you plug the numbers in and you get a result; that is in fact objective, even if the rankings aren’t necessarily accurate. I will say this for the rankings, compared to subjective ones, they’re traceable (even if they are flawed); if you do the math you can figure out exactly how your team got its rank and it’s not really difficult to do, just time consuming. I’d vastly prefer these rankings to say, somebody’s opinion based on the couple of matches they watched and the play of a teams’ members for their clubs.

      Could the rankings be improved? It has been argued that slamming home 5 and keeping a clean sheet should count more than a 1-0 victory, and there is some merit there, but finding a good way to factor in the goal differential given the current format is tricky. Most of the complaints I hear are that a player’s form for his or her club is not considered in the rankings, but then I don’t see that necessarily being a factor. If a player does extraordinarily well for his country, does his club form really matter that much for the purpose of determining how good his country is? Arguably the biggest flaw is that you can beat up on your local opponents, who even if they aren’t very good, gives you point; while Germany and Spain might play each other and the loser might fall in the rankings; but in an objective system it’s hard to find a good solution to that, since giving points to someone for losing isn’t objective (even if they played very well). Yes, the USMNT is almost certainly not better than say, the Netherlands, but the rankings aren’t as bad as people make them out to be; usually they at least come close to things being in the ball park.

    • mikeevergreen - Jun 5, 2014 at 8:09 PM

      Ret of the World’s answer to the NCAA’s RPI.

  2. digbysellers - Jun 5, 2014 at 1:55 PM

    True, these rankings always make me lose control of my Blatter. Completely meaningless for the most part.

  3. lyleoross - Jun 5, 2014 at 4:53 PM

    If England plays the same defense in the WC as they used against Ecuador, they won’t stay in the top 10 long.

    • mikeevergreen - Jun 5, 2014 at 8:11 PM

      Specious argument at best. England and US are in the same boat. Suspect defense, offense capable of explosions. Killer counter-attacks.

      • lyleoross - Jun 6, 2014 at 10:50 AM

        In what way does it not stand up? Their defense stunk, if it looks the same in the WC, they will get beat, and they will fall below the ten spot. I’m pretty confident in that position.

        Or is it that you’re trying to say that England can beat Italy and Uruguay with no defense? I can see them beating CR like that, but not the other two.

        Of course my comment wasn’t really meant to be taken seriously. I don’t see any real manager, who has the kind of talent that England has to work with, will put up that same defense.

  4. chicagoed61 - Jun 5, 2014 at 10:28 PM

    It’s amazing how the US got screwed in the World Cup brackets when they have to face Germany and Portugal while Colombia is with Japan, Ivory Coast and Greece.

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