The strong form of the United States Men’s National Team has skyrocketed the Yanks to No. 13 in September’s version of the FIFA World Rankings.
The new ranking is based on the USMNT’s 4-3 victory in Bosnia-Herzegovina, the 3-1 loss at Costa Rica and Tuesday’s 2-0 victory over Mexico.
The 13th place ranking is a six spot improvement from last month and represents the USMNT’s highest ranking since holding the 13th spot back in July 2010. It also hands the Stars & Stripes top honors in the CONCACAF region as Mexico’s poor form drops them one place to No. 21, Costa Rica shoot up nine spots to No. 33, Panama rise five spots to No. 35, Honduras move three notches to No. 40 and Jamaica fall two places to No. 78.
At the top of the table Spain hold on to the No. 1 spot while CONMEBOL’s top team, Argentina, move up two places to No. 2, taking over for Germany who fall to No. 3. A resurgent Italy climb two spots to No. 4 while Colombia fall two notches to No. 5. Rounding out the Top 10 are Belgium, Uruguay, Brazil, Netherlands and Croatia.
Leaders from the other three confederations all dropped points. Cote d’Ivoire, the top team in the Confederation of African football, fall one spot to No. 19, Japan drop five spots to No. 42 to claim top spot in the Asian Football Confederation and New Zealand slump ten positions but nevertheless remain atop the Oceania Football Confederation.
The six point climb by Jurgen Klinsmann’s men is the largest move of any Top 20 team. Other big movers are Sweden’s eight point jump that lands them at No. 22, Slovenia’s sixteen point boost taking them to No. 29 and Bob Bradley’s Egypt team moving up eleven points to No. 50.
Other notables include Portugal (No. 11), Greece (No. 12), Russia (No. 15), England (No. 17), Cote d’Ivoire (No. 19) and Peru (No. 34).
The group stage of qualification is complete, as 20 teams have clinched a berth at EURO 2016, which kicks off next summer in France.
The top-two finishers in each group automatically qualified, as did the best third-place side out of all the groups (Turkey). France qualified automatically as the host nation.
[ MORE: EURO 2016 roundup ]
That leaves eight third-place teams to battle for the final four spots through a play-off. The draw for the matchups will take place on October 18, and those matches will be held from November 12-17 as a home-and-home play-off.
- Czech Republic
- Turkey (automatically qualified as best third-place side)
- Bosnia and Herzegovina (qualified for play-off)
- Ukraine (qualified for play-off)
- Republic of Ireland (qualified for play-off)
- Slovenia (qualified for play-off)
- Northern Ireland
- Hungary (qualified for play-off)
- Sweden (qualified for play-off)
- Norway (qualified for play-off)
- Denmark (qualified for play-off)
The group stage of qualifying for the 2016 European Championship has come to a close, and one of the top teams in the world will not be playing in France next summer.
Netherlands 2-3 Czech Republic
The Netherlands finished second at the 2010 World Cup and third at the 2014 World Cup, but have failed to qualify for EURO 2016. Playing in front of a home crowd in a must-win match against the Czech Republic, the Dutch got off to a dreadful start, falling behind 2-0 as manager Danny Blind was forced to make a substitution within the opening 40 minutes. The Czech Republic was sent to ten men before the break, but an own-goal from Robin Van Persie made it 3-0 as the Dutch couldn’t recover. A disastrous result for the Netherlands, as big changes will surely come from the top down.
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Italy 2-1 Norway
Italy finishes atop Group H without a loss after defeating Norway 2-1 today. Norway took the lead through Norwich City’s Alexander Tettey, but late goals from Alessandro Florenzi and Southampton’s Graziano Pelle gave the Italians all three points.
Malta 0-1 Croatia
With Norway’s loss, Croatia jumped into second place in Group H and secured qualification to EURO 2016 with a 1-0 win away at Malta. Inter Milan’s Ivan Perisic scored the game’s only goal, as Croatia advances despite having one point deducted due to inappropriate actions from their fans.
Elsewhere in EURO qualifying
Turkey 1-0 Iceland
Latvia 0-1 Kazakhstan
Belgium 3-1 Israel
Wales 2-0 Andorra
Cyprus 2-3 Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bulgaria 2-0 Azerbaijan