Following an international window that included a draw, win and loss in rapid succession, the USMNT has fallen another two places to 15th in the latest FIFA rankings.
Somewhere lost in the jubilation of qualifying for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar after an eight-year absence was the release of the latest rankings of national teams by FIFA.
With the US having always been unlikely to climb high enough to grab one of the coveted “Pot 1” seeds for the drawing of World Cup groups in Doha tonight, these have little effect other than some vague sense of national pride.
Nevertheless, after the mixed results of the latest international window, the Americans have fallen to 15th, directly between Switzerland and 2018 World Cup finalists Croatia.
The only major movement in the top ten was a switch between Belgium and Brazil, with the latter now claiming top spot after they swept through CONMEBOL qualifying with an astounding record of 14 wins in 17 games. While, as in every edition since their last win in 2002, they will almost certainly find a way to humiliatingly fail in the final tournament well before the final finish line, a return to the top spot is a justified reward for their dominant record over the last 17 months.
Mexico has also entered the top ten, climbing to ninth after finishing the final round of CONCACAF qualifying in second place. Nevertheless, with an embarrassing record against both USA and Canada since the beginning of 2021, it’s hard to see them as anything other than third in line in the region.
The Americans had previously occupied 13th place in the previous ranking released in early-February, which was itself a two-spot drop from their other recent high-point of 11th back in December.
FIFA World Rankings, including CONCACAF WCQ Pool rankings for comparison:
- France (reigning World Cup Champions)
- Italy (not qualified for the World Cup)
- Mexico (who can’t beat the US or Canada anymore)
- USA (qualified for the World Cup)
- Costa Rica (Inter-Continental Play-off against New Zealand)
- Canada (CONCACAF qualification winners)
- Qatar (World Cup hosts)
- Panama (did not qualify)
- Jamaica (did not qualify)
- El Salvador (did not qualify)
- Honduras (did not qualify)