It’s easy to forget given the pathetic showing that followed, but the U.S. men’s national team entered the 2006 World Cup as one of the top-ranked teams in the world. The USMNT reached a No. 4 FIFA ranking in April 2006, though that fell slightly to No. 5 by the time the World Cup rolled around in Germany.
To this day, the No. 4 ranking remains the highest the USMNT has ever reached. After the 2006 World Cup, which included two defeats and a draw, the U.S. plummeted to No. 31 and has been stuck around No. 20 (plus or minus 10) in the decade-and-a-half since.