The FIFA rankings are nonsensical 75% of the time and only truly matter for seeding of group stages at the World Cup. Three out of every four years these rankings mean squat, but in 2022 they matter a whole lot. The top seven teams and host get the most favorable seeds during the World Cup draw. FIFA has released the December rankings and the USMNT sits at its highest ranking to end a calendar year since 2005.
The U.S. is ranked No. 11. One spot above Germany.
USMNT FIFA Ranking (December)
— U.S. Soccer MNT (@USMNT) December 23, 2021
The @USMNT lands at No. 1️⃣1️⃣ in the end of year FIFA rankingsThis is their highest year-end ranking since 2005 pic.twitter.com/45RICEMlHh
— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) December 23, 2021
Belgium end a fourth straight year on top
Canada are 2021's 'Most Improved Side'Check out the year's other big winners in the final #FIFARanking of 2021
— FIFA.com (@FIFAcom) December 23, 2021
Last month the USMNT was flipped with Germany and ranked No. 12. What happened between then and now you might ask?
Germany played no friendlies or games and thus stayed put. Meanwhile, the USMNT D-team played 10-man Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Z-team in Los Angeles for the most dragging 1-0 victory you’ll ever see.
Cole Bassett scoring a spilled shot from Bosnia’s backup backup backup goalkeeper in the final seconds is the reason the U.S. has leapfrogged the far superior Germany.
This is why no one cares about FIFA rankings and everyone thinks it’s a waste of time. How on Earth does that Bosnia friendly correlate to being a better team than Germany? The game was one of the sloppiest and most pathetic games I’ve seen in years. The U.S. played with a man advantage for over half the game!
The U.S. didn’t deserve any of FIFA’s magic point beans for that performance but here we are.
Ten teams are ahead of the USMNT in qualifying and eight have secured World Cup qualification. The good news for American fans is that Italy and Portugal are all but certain to play each other in a playoff to go to the World Cup. This means that for seeding concerns the Americans are only three spots away from being a top seed in a group at the World Cup.
No other changes happened in Concacaf ranking wise. Mexico remains at No. 14, Canada at No. 40 and Costa Rica at No. 49.