The FIFA World Rankings always finds a way to be funny. Even though the pain is still fresh from crashing out of World Cup qualification last week, the United States moved up 1 spot in the October 2017 poll to 27th place. The USMNT did beat Panama 4-0 before the Collapse in Couva, but many people are probably scratching their heads at the formula that saw the USMNT’s ranking rise after such a downer of a week.
CONCACAF Hexagonal winners Mexico dropped two spots to 16th after their loss to Honduras Tuesday, who qualified for the inter-confederation playoff against Australia and rose 5 spots to 69th. Costa Rica, who lost to Panama Tuesday but had already qualified for the World Cup, fell one spot to 22nd. Panama, who qualified outright for their first-ever World Cup, rose 11 spots to 49th in the Rankings, while Trinidad and Tobago, who beat the USMNT Tuesday, rose 16 spots to 83rd.
For the first time in probably 4 years, this month’s FIFA World Rankings actually carried some importance. It will be these rankings that will be used to determine which pot teams are placed in for the World Cup draw that will take place December 1st. The top 7 teams in the poll would join host Russia (65th in the poll) as the seeded teams for next summer’s World Cup and be placed in Pot 1. Those teams will be Germany, Brazil, Portugal, Argentina, Belgium, Poland, and France. It is expected that Mexico will be placed in Pot 2 based on these rankings.