August 16 2002

U.S. Ranked Among FIFA Top 10 for First Time

In what has already been a landmark year for the United States Men’s National Team, the organization reached another milestone by cracking the Top 10 of the FIFA World Rankings for the first time in history. In the latest rankings published today, the USA ranks ninth in the table, tied with traditional European powerhouse Italy. The U.S. moved up two positions from the spot they occupied prior to the 2002 FIFA World Cup.

“We’re honored to have climbed into the top 10 of the FIFA Rankings for the first time in our history,” said U.S. head coach Bruce Arena. “There’s no question that this recognition is representative of the outstanding effort of our team in 2002, where we were able to get the results on the field in winning the Gold Cup and advancing to the final eight at the World Cup. Hopefully this will serve as another sign of the respect we’ve been able to bring to U.S. Soccer and the American players playing both in Europe and Major League Soccer.”

The rankings have undergone a restructuring of the valuation system, with past games becoming less significant in terms of ranking points. Despite the changes, 2002 World Cup winners Brazil remain number one in the world, followed by their South American rivals Argentina.

The United States has posted amazing results in 2002, capturing regional honors as the champions of the 2002 CONCACAF Gold Cup in January, then surprising the world with an historic run to the quarterfinals of the FIFA World Cup in Korea/Japan, the team’s highest finish in 72 years.

Of the eight teams ranked ahead of the United States, the U.S. defeated two of them (#6 Mexico and #7t Portugal) in head-to-head play at the 2002 FIFA World Cup. Only four teams ranked ahead of the United States advanced as far as the American side at Korea/Japan 2002 - champion Brazil (#1), finalist Germany (#5), and fellow-quarterfinalists Spain (#3) and England (#7t). Like Portugal, Argentina (#2) and France (#4) did not advance from their groups in the tournament.

For a complete listing of the updated rankings, log on to www.fifa.com.

Rank: Team - Points

1. Brazil - 859
2. Argentina - 781
3. Spain - 775
4. France - 772
5. Germany - 764
6. Mexico - 733
7t. England - 728
7t. Portugal - 728
9t. Italy - 714
9t. United States - 714
11. Turkey - 707
12. Denmark - 703
13. Ireland Republic - 699
14. Netherlands - 693
15t. Colombia - 688
15t. Yugoslavia - 688
17. Cameroon - 682
18. Belgium - 677
19. Paraguay - 674
20. Sweden - 673
21. Czech Republic - 664
22. Korea Republic - 663
23. Japan - 658
24. Uruguay - 657
25. Costa Rica - 655

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