The United States tumbled seven spots to No. 34 in the latest FIFA World Rankings. The Americans' new ranking is the lowest the team has been since 2011, when they were also No. 34. The last time they were lower came way back in 1993.
At face, it may be a surprise to see the U.S. fall so far after a month that saw them beat Germany and the Netherlands, but dig deeper and it makes complete sense. As great as those wins were, they were friendlies and the FIFA rankings put extraordinarily more weight in international matches. And while the U.S. was playing friendlies, South American teams were playing in Copa America and European teams were playing Euro qualifiers. So while the U.S. was getting partial credit for friendlies wins, lots of other teams were getting huge boosts for winning competitive matches.
On top of the fact that the U.S. were playing friendlies, they also saw their wins from the 2011 Gold Cup get phased out of the rankings. The rankings only go back four years so their competitive wins over Canada, Jamaica and Panama (beating Guadeloupe never counted because they're not a FIFA recognized team) no longer count.
The good news is that now the U.S. are going to get a month of competitive matches. Their win over Honduras and every other result they pick up in the rest of the Gold Cup will be given extra weight so they should be primed for a big jump bac up the rankings when they are updated in August.
And if you thought the U.S. had a rough go of it in the latest rankings, just look at Mexico and Costa Rica. Mexico dropped 17 spots to No. 40, while Costa Rica fell an astounding 25 places to No. 41. So despite a shockingly low ranking, the U.S. is now the highest ranked team in CONCACAF.
Argentina are now the top ranked team in the world after making the Copa America final. Germany are No 2, with Belgium, Colombia and the Netherlands rounding out the top five. The big surprise moves were made by Romania, who are up to No. 8, and Wales, who are No. 10.