This morning, FIFA released the November edition of the FIFA World Rankings, and it didn’t contain a lot of surprise. The United States, who had wins over Canada and Cuba earlier this month in CONCACAF Nations League, rose 1 spot to a tie for 22nd in the rankings with Wales.
It’s the highest the USMNT have been in the rankings since the ELO rankings format was introduced in August 2018, but the USMNT hasn’t had much movement up or down since that format was put in place. The top 5 teams in the world remained unchanged, and there wasn’t much of a shakeup in the Top 10. The top 10 teams in the world: Belgium, France, Brazil, England, Uruguay, Croatia, Portugal, Spain, Argentina, Colombia.
In CONCACAF, the top 6 ranked teams in June 2020 will participate in the Hexagonal round of World Cup qualifying, while the rest of the confederation will compete in a separate qualifying process where only 1 team will have a chance to enter a playoff to possibly qualify for the World Cup. The top 6 teams in CONCACAF, as expected after the conclusion of Nations League, are Mexico (11), USA (22), Costa Rica (46), Jamaica (48), Honduras (62), and El Salvador (69). The next 4 in the region are Canada (73), Curaçao (80), Panama (81), and Haiti (86). El Salvador and Canada essentially traded spots in the rankings, but it means that if Canada wants to make the Hex, it will have to schedule (and win) some highly ranked teams to get the points it needs to move up over El Salvador.
The biggest movers in CONCACAF were Suriname (142) and Guyana (166), both up 8 spots thanks to big wins in CONCACAF Nations League. In Suriname’s case, their performance earned them promotion to League A. The biggest drop belonged to Nicaragua, down 13 spots in the rankings. It was the biggest drop in the world. Nations League, as it moves into World Cup qualifying, could help some of the minnows in the region improve their ranking, but the hope is that more of the middle tier teams will move into the top 100 and be considered formidable opponents for the top teams. That will take some time, and right now, it’s clear that the Nations League performances didn’t really affect much in the form of rankings, with the exception of those teams fighting for that final Hex spot.
Hit the comments to let us know what you think of the rankings and what you think Canada and El Salvador will have to do to join the USMNT in the Hex.