22 July 2005

You are Number 6 (or not)

There is much consertnation over FIFA's ranking of the USA as the #6 football power in the world, the highest position ever for the USA. I mean, are they better than France, who's actually won a world cup? The English side that defeated the US in a recent friendly? Spain? Portugal? Germany? Probably not. The #6 ranking is undefensible.

However, there is a ranking system I do trust, the World Football ELO Ratings web site, where the US is ranked a much more reasonable #11. But there is one thing that FIFA and ELO agree on: This is the highest rated team the US has ever had in comparison to the rest of the world. All of the team above the US in the ELO rating have been ranked #1 at some point in history (Except Portugal, which only rose as high as #3). A win in the Gold Cup could move the USA into the top 10, above Italy. This is, quite simply, the best the USA has ever been, even with that loss to In-Ger-Land.

And you know, the more I think about it, the more that makes sense to me. The team we are sending to Germany may be the best team US Soccer has ever assembled in comparison to the rest of the world. Should make the World Cup interesting, no?