CHICAGO (April 19, 2006) – A little less than two months before the 2006 FIFA World Cup, the U.S. Men’s National Team received their highest ever position in the FIFA World Rankings, moving up one spot to fourth place. Their record-setting position puts them two spots ahead of CONCACAF rival Mexico and in front of such powerhouses as Argentina, Spain, France and England.
The U.S. jumped ahead of Argentina, who fell from fourth to eighth, allowing the U.S., Spain, Mexico and France to move up one position each. The USA's Group E opponents in this summer’s World Cup in Germany either stayed in the same position or moved down in the rankings. Czech Republic stayed in second place, behind consistent front-runners Brazil, while Italy fell to 14th place, tied with Nigeria. Ghana stayed level at 50th place in the world.
For the second consecutive month, every team in the Top 10 dropped in their point total. Brazil still has a stranglehold on the top position with 830 points, well ahead of the Czech Republic (779), who is holding off the Netherlands (774). Below those top three it is a tight race as just seven points separate the U.S. in fourth and Portgual and Argentina in eighth.
The U.S. has been higher than 10th since breaking back into the Top 10 in March, 2005. The 14-month stretch ties the USA’s longest streak in the Top 10. The U.S. broke into the Top 10 for the first time in August of 2002, after their remarkable quarterfinal run in the 2002 World Cup, staying in the exclusive club until August of 2003. The U.S. has been no lower than 12th place since breaking the Top 10 barrier in 2002.
The U.S. has begun 2006 with a 4-1-2 record while netting 15 goals while surrendering seven. Up next, the U.S. will face Morocco (36), Venezuela (71) and Latvia (69) in the Send-Off Series before departing for Germany. (TICKETS)
The U.S. was drawn into Group E for the 2006 FIFA World Cup along with the Czech Republic, Italy and Ghana. The U.S. plays their opening match against the Czechs on June 12 in Gelsenkirchen before meeting Italy in Kaiserslautern on June 17 and then finishing off group play against Ghana on June 22 in Nuremberg. The U.S. has chosen the northern port city of Hamburg as their base of operations throughout the tournament.
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