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CONCACAF Falls Sharply In Updated FIFA Rankings

FIFA recently released it’s updated Men’s World Rankings and they did not go easy on Mexico, United States, and Costa Rica.

The rankings showcase who are the best teams in the world, and take into account friendly fixtures and competitive fixtures. Teams accumulate points throughout.

Overall, the rankings are disappointing for teams in the Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football, better known as CONCACAF. They come right before the CONCACAF Gold Cup, so a successful campaign in the regional tournament will benefit the best performers and help them get a better grade next month, but it’s doubtful that it’ll make a huge difference.

The top ranked team in CONCACAF is the United States, in second is Mexico, and the third best team is Costa Rica. Overall, the United States is 34th in the world, Mexico is 40th, and Costa Rica is 41st. It’s a drastic drop from last month when the United States found themselves in 27th place in the world, Mexico in 23rd, and Costa Rica in 14th. The United States dropped 7 places, Mexico 17 places, and Costa Rica dropped the most places: a shocking 27. 

The best the U.S.A. has ever achieved is 8th place in 2005, and since the creation of the rankings it has averaged 19th in the world. In the lead up to the July rankings, the U.S.A. had beaten the Netherlands in a thrilling 4-3 match and followed that win up with a 2-1 win over current world champions, Germany. In their last match before the rankings, the Red, White, and Blue dominated Guatemala in a 4-0 match.  It’s surprising that they dropped 7 points even though they did well in the friendly matches. 34th placed is the worst they’ve ever been ranked. 

Mexico on the other hand had bowed out of the Copa America after a disappointing group campaign. This probably has a lot to do with their terrible ranking; Mexico has never been ranked this low. Only 10 years ago they were ranked in 5th place, their best ever ranking. It’s debatable whether or not the rankings are a good way to measure decline or improvement of the country in regards to the sport, but it’s a drastic drop none the less. Right before the July rankings, Mexico failed to get a win in any of its three matches in June. Tying 0-0 against Bolivia, tying 3-3 against Chile, and losing 2-1 against Ecuador. 

Costa Rica held a steady top-20 place since their heroic World Cup campaign in Brazil and just last month they were in their best place ever (14th), but in July’s rankings the Ticos dropped 27 places, landing in 41st place. It’s still not as bad as their worst ranking ever, 78th place back in 1995 but its an incredible drop since last month. It makes sense considering they had a losing streak dating back to March that began with a 2-1 loss against Panama. That losing streak that was only broken by a 2-2 draw right before the July 9th rankings were released. 

All in all, the Gold Cup will show who is the best in the confederation but in the long-term, top teams in CONCACAF need to perform better. 

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