DAVID SMITH - Wednesday, July 1, 2009
Following a formidable June schedule, the US climbed two spots to reach number 12 in the latest FIFA Rankings released on July 1st.

While the Stars & Stripes lost four of their seven games on the schedule, strong wins in the Confederations Cup against Egypt and the former number one team Spain were enough to provide the small bump, and further widen the margin above the rest of the CONCACAF teams.

Inclusion in the world's top dozen teams represents the highest ranking for Bob Bradley's men since their 2006 World Cup collapse, and the team could see a further rise with the Gold Cup getting underway over the weekend.

Neighboring rivals Mexico fell seven spots to number 33 in the list, their lowest-ever ranking, and more significantly were passed by Costa Rica, who climbed 11 spots to number 30.

This represents the first time since the inception of regular rankings by FIFA in August 1993 that the the US and Mexico did not occupy the top two spots in CONCACAF, and is further evidence of a shift of power in the region away from the now even more appropriately nicknamed "El Tri".

The influence of the Nats' participation - for better and for worse - in the Confederations Cup was also clear at the top of the ranking.

Semi-final victims Spain fell out of the top spot for the first time since prior to their Euro Cup victory in June 2008, while Brazil returned to the apex for the first time since August 2007 thanks in part to a pair of victories over the Red, White & Blue in South Africa.

Rounding out the top five were traditional European powers Netherlands, Italy and Germany.

FIFA Rankings

1. Brazil
2. Spain
3. Netherlands
4. Italy
5. Germany
6. Russia
7. England
8. Argentina
9. France
10. Croatia
11. Greece
12. United States

30. Costa Rica

33. Mexico
Saturday July 4, 2009 3:57 pm
Well the chances of us being a seeded team are slight to nil, but it wouldn't hurt if we managed to FINISH first in CONCACAF qualifying... as it stands right now we have AWAY games against both Mexico and Honduras, matches that are by no means a given of getting ANY points, as well as an away match at Trinidad & Tobago, which at least on paper we should be able to win. That leaves home matches against Costa Rica and El Salvador... at the moment we're in second place, but we've got some hard road matches to come and they're not gonna be won by our World ranking, whatever it is, no it'll take going out to Azteca and Tegucigalpa and actually playing well and maybe picking up a point or two.
Friday July 3, 2009 1:59 pm
Regardless of the draw, we have to be able to play top flight football and I don't think we are there yet. Blaming the draw for our problems is bush league. To be in the top ten, we need to be able to win anywhere, anytime. The team that play the first half against Brazil deserves to be that high, but the team on the pitch the second half might make the top 25.

I'm waiting for August and the start of non-USA league football to see how our players are going to do. Maybe they can continue to improve and overcome our lack of management.
Thursday July 2, 2009 12:39 pm
My question is does getting a ranking this high and not being a seeded team make us more likely to be in a Group of Death? We need to be in a group that has us as the second highest seed as opposed to having the seeded team and a high ranked European team. In past World cups they do four groups. Seeded, European, Combeola/Concacaf, Asia/Africa and pull a team from each category. If they do that again and we are in the same grouping we could easily end up in the group of death again.
Wednesday July 1, 2009 7:03 pm
Ray. The current ranking system does not take goals or goal differential into account.
Wednesday July 1, 2009 5:36 pm
I don't think we can make the top eight. I'm pissed at the fact. We probably have found a good lineup for the rest of our tough matches.

We're still subject to the horrible luck of the draw.

ps. Let's play Greece. Kick their ass.
Wednesday July 1, 2009 5:17 pm
COMNEBOL and CONCACAF should be consolidated. Until then, the "high rankings" that the USMNT enjoys can not be considered an accurate reflection of the USA's place in the soccer world--no offense to Costa Rica or Mexico.
Wednesday July 1, 2009 3:21 pm
Why is Argentina ranked so high? Didn't they get crushed recently 6-0, and then beat again 1-0?
Wednesday July 1, 2009 2:16 pm
world cup seedings are based on performances in previous world cups so the US would have had no chance of a top 8 seeding even if they beat the samba kings by 10 goals.
Wednesday July 1, 2009 1:27 pm
Would a win over Brazil have assured the USA of being one of the top 8 seeds in South Africa?

I believe that 'all' we need to do now is win out (Gold Cup, qualifiers) and we will receive the benefits bestowed on Mexico in '06 (Portugal, Angola, and Iran in Group D)

Go Eagles!

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