For whatever FIFA rankings are worth outside of seeding in a World Cup year, the United States and Belgium are dealing with very opposite feelings (not unlike their meeting at the 2014 World Cup).
The Yanks are down to No. 33 in November’s edition, 14 slots lower than their all-time average position. The U.S. will begin at least a slight ascent soon, barring calamity in the opening rounds of World Cup qualifying, as “meaningful” games matter in the ranking more than friendlies.
But the real story is Belgium, who is the world’s No. 1 club for the first time. Since the calendar hit June 2014, the Red Devils are 16-2-2. Those losses have come to Argentina and Wales, one in the World Cup and one at Cardiff in Euro qualifying.
Wales, in a quirk of schedule, drops seven spot to 15, while Austria moves into the Top Ten.
Big risers: Turkey (+19 to 18), Belarus (+28 to 70). Cyprus (+38 to 76).
Dropped off: Norway (-12 to 46), Israel (-14 to 61), Slovenia (-18 to 64)