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Star Spangled Stories: USMNT moves into top 20 of FIFA Rankings

Plus injury updates for Pulisic & Ledezma, and even some transfer news as well.

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Northern Ireland v USMNT

Good morning and happy Champions League day! Here’s your one-stop-shop to get updated on all things USMNT & USWNT:

New FIFA Rankings: USMNT move into top 20
By move into the top 20, I mean they’re ranked 20th. It counts. And it’s a sign we’re on the right track - FINALLY. As an added bonus, Mexico fell out of the top 10. The new women’s rankings have not been released, but from December the USWNT is of course ranked first.

Pulisic “fit enough” for UCL Quarterfinal
Chelsea head coach Thomas Tuchel says Christian Pulisic is “fit enough” to be in the squad for Wednesday’s UEFA Champions League Quarterfinal vs FC Porto. That’s good news, but doesn’t exactly inspire confidence that he’ll actually play.

Depth Chart: USMNT Starting XI & Full Squad
PAYWALL: Paul Tenorio makes his picks for the current United States Men’s National Team depth chart.

Greuther Furth picks up Green’s option for 2021-22
Julian Green has been playing very well for Greuther Furth and he’s been rewarded with an extension for next season. They’re in second place and in contention for automatic promotion right now, undoubtedly lifted by Green’s seven goals & two assists.

How did Man City let Reyna slip through their grasp?
Giovanni Reyna was once in the City Football Group with New York City FC. His father was a Manchester City player and he’s always been a fan. But Reyna opted to follow in his dad’s footsteps and make a move to Germany.

Morales to NYC
New York City FC announced the signing of Alfredo Morales Wednesday morning. He’s moving from German side Fortuna Dusseldorf and is under contract through 2023 with an option for 24’.

SCORE initiative seeks more access for Black coaches
The Soccer Collective On Racial Equity has launched an initiative to increase representation of Black coaches in college soccer. It’s named the Clive Charles Diversity Hiring Initiative after the University of Portland & USMNT Assistant Coach.

2021 Challenge Cup starts Friday
The ten NWSL teams kick off a 21-game tournament on Friday. Matches will be played mostly on Paramount+ with a couple on CBSSN. Kansas City’s new nameless team will play their first match vs the Portland Thorns Friday night.

Richards up for Rookie of the Month
Be sure to give Chris Richards a vote for the Bundesliga’s Rookie of the Month for March.

Ledezma is jogging again after knee injury
Back in December, Richard Ledezma went down with a serious knee injury that will keep him out for the rest of the season. But we now have video of him back on his feet (in astronaut training?) and jogging a bit. Happy to see him making progress.