USMNT climb to top 10 in latest FIFA World Rankings

The United States Men’s National Team have pushed into the top 10 in the latest edition of the FIFA World Rankings. After winning the Nations League and the Gold Cup this summer, the Yanks move up eleven spots into 10th place, one place behind ninth-ranked Mexico. It’s the first time since 2006 that the U.S. have been in the top 10.

FIFA’s World Rankings have been published since 1992, and while largely unimpactful, they’ve grown more important in recent years. Starting in 2010, the rankings have been used to determine the seeds for the World Cup draw, with higher-ranked teams receiving a more favorable draw.

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The calculation method does not punish negative results in knockout stages of competitions, meaning that Belgium maintains their place at the top despite a disappointing Euro 2020 performance, while Mexico stay ahead of the U.S. after losing to them in both the Nations League and Gold Cup finals.

Another vital ramification of the rankings is the ability for players to meet the GBE (Governing Body Endorsement) criteria necessary to secure a work permit to play in England. According to the standards set by the English FA, national team players for countries in the top 10 only need to play in 30% of fixtures in a 24 month period to automatically qualify.

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The rankings certainly aren’t the be-all-end-all in international competition, and have had some noticeable flaws. A prime example is the United States’ fourth-placed ranking heading into the 2006 World Cup, which surprised the football world and was met with a group stage exit. Still, it’s impossible to deny the importance of the rankings in World Cup seeding, and a higher spot will only benefit the United States.

The USMNT will kick off the final round of World Cup qualifying with a trip to El Salvador on September 2. They’ll take on Canada in Nashville on September 5 before wrapping up the first set of matches in Honduras on September 8. The next update for the FIFA World Rankings will be published on September 16.

FIFA World Rankings (August 12, 2021)

  1. Belgium 🇧🇪 (-)
  2. Brazil 🇧🇷 (↑1)
  3. France 🇫🇷 (↓1)
  4. England 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 (-)
  5. Italy 🇮🇹 (↑2)
  6. Argentina 🇦🇷 (↑2)
  7. Spain 🇪🇸 (↓1)
  8. Portugal 🇵🇹 (↓3)
  9. Mexico 🇲🇽 (↑1)
  10. United States 🇺🇸 (↑10)
  11. Denmark 🇩🇰 (↓1)
  12. Netherlands 🇳🇱 (↑4)
  13. Uruguay 🇺🇾 (↓3)
  14. Switzerland 🇨🇭 (↓1)
  15. Colombia 🇨🇴 (-)
  16. Germany 🇩🇪 (↓4)
  17. Sweden 🇸🇪 (↑1)
  18. Croatia 🇭🇷 (↓4)
  19. Wales 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 (↓2)
  20. Chile 🇨🇱 (↓1)
Author: Ben Wrightis the Director of Soccer Content and a Senior MLS Contributor for Broadway Sports covering Nashville SC and the US National Team. Previously Ben was the editor and a founder of Speedway Soccer, where he has covered Nashville SC and their time in USL before journeying to Major League Soccer since 2018. Raised in Louisville, KY Ben grew up playing before a knee injury ended his competitive career. When he is not talking soccer he is probably producing music, drinking coffee or hanging out with his wife and kids. Mastodon

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