USMNT climbs six places to No. 22 in FIFA’s world rankings


The recent string of impressive results by the United States Men’s National Team has been rewarded by the FIFA world ranking calculator, which shot the Yanks to No. 22, six places higher than last month.

The current ranking has the Americans looking down at a number of international power-houses who have taken some tough losses in the last month.

France dropped five places to No. 23 after suffering a 3-0 loss to Brazil and 1-0 loss to Uruguay, Ghana dropped to (24th) after defeating Lesotho 2-0 but losing 3-1 to Sudan, and Denmark fell seven spots to 27th after getting throttled 4-0 by Armenia and defeating Georgia 2-1.

Despite slipping three spots from last month, Mexico held its edge over the U.S. coming in at No. 20. El Tri’s losses to Brazil and Italy and draws with Costa Rica and Panama were balanced out by wins over Jamaica and Mexico.

Other notable movers were England, who fell six spots to No. 15 following their 2-2 draw with Brazil, Uruguay, who moved up seven spots to No. 12 following key victories over France, Venezuela and Nigeria, and Brazil, whose stellar performance in the Confederations Cup shot them up 11 places to No. 9.

Spain and Germany remained Nos. 1 and 2, respectively, while Colombia grabbed the No. 3 spot after Argentina’s draws with Ecuador and Colombia dropped them down one spot.

The American’s big month began with an entertaining 4-3 victory over a reduced Germany side. One week later, Jurgen Klinsmann’s men continued their winning form, disposing of Jamaica 2-1 in Kingston and Panama 2-0 in Seattle. The Yanks finished the month with a perfect 4-0 record defeating Honduras 1-0 in Salt Lake.

Here are the Top 25 FIFA World Rankings for June 2013:

1. Spain
2. Germany
3. Colombia
4. Argentina
5. Netherlands
6. Italy
7. Portugal
8. Croatia
9. Brazil
10. Belgium
11. Greece
12. Uruguay
13. Côte d’Ivoire
14. Bosnia-Herzegovina
15. England
16. Switzerland
17. Russia
18. Ecuador
19. Peru
20. Mexico
21. Chile
22. USA
23. France
24. Ghana
25. Norway


Hilarious “Friends” spoof video ‘starring’ Messi, Ronaldo (video)

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Given the rivalry surrounding the two megawatt superstars plying their trade in Spain, you may be surprised to learn that Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are the best of friends.

[ MORE: Top USMNT-Mexico rivalry moments ]

At least that’s what this spoof video conveys, as the Real Madrid and Barcelona stars help each other navigate tax season and toilet troubles.

Brilliant stuff, from FootbOle:

Top USMNT-Mexico moments: Looking back ahead of Saturday

PASADENA, CA - JUNE 25:  Landon Donovan #10 of United States celebrates his goal with teammates Carlos Bocanegra #3 and Alejandro Bedoya #22  against Mexico during the 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup Championship at the Rose Bowl on June 25, 2011 in Pasadena, California.  (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
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You could argue its the biggest match between the U.S. and Mexico outside of the 2002 World Cup’s Round of 16, and there would be few arguments against you.

The United States and Mexico will tangle on Saturday at the Rose Bowl, with the winner advancing to the 2017 Confederations Cup finals in Russia.

It’s only so often that these rivals match up in a “do or die” match. Sure World Cup qualifiers carry critical import, but they don’t always become the decisive moment in the qualifying cycle.

[ MORE: Spurs’ teen shining at center back for U.S. U-23s ]

Aside from the aforementioned World Cup match and the first match in the rivalry — see 1934 below — no other match has carried as much international weight as Saturday.

So with anticipation high, let’s dance backward in time to the Yanks’ best moments in the rivalry. And let’s also imagine what would have to happen to put Saturday in the mix.

(Of course, our apologies to Mexican fans. We aren’t including the times you slapped American soccer in the face).

2001, 2005, 2009, 2013 — “Dos a Cero” to the fourth power

There is no more celebrated score line in USMNT history than the 2-0 hurting it put on Mexico in four successive home World Cup qualifiers.

2002 — World Cup Round of 16

Goals from Brian McBride and Landon Donovan prodded an upset of the world’s then-No. 7 ranked nation, as the USMNT carried a feel of destiny through its best World Cup.

1934 — World Cup qualifier

Aldo Donnelli scored all four goals as the States won the first recorded match against Mexico, and it was a big one. The winner would go on to the 1934 tournament in Italy, while the loser would go on a tour of European friendlies. The States won, and wouldn’t win again until the qualifiers for the 1982 tournament.

2012 — First win at Azteca

It may’ve been a friendly, but Michael Orozco’s finish will go down as the Yanks’ first ever winner in the fortress of Mexico City.

1980 — World Cup qualifier

Though it meant little to the Yanks’ fate in the 1982 tournament — the U.S. finished last in a group with Mexico and Canada — it was the first win over El Tri in 46 years.