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U.S. Reaches All-Time High Seventh in FIFA World Rankings

CHICAGO (July 7, 2004) - Two months after climbing back into the Top 10 in the FIFA World Rankings, the U.S. Men’s National Team continued its climb up the ladder, by moving up two notches to their highest ranking ever at seventh, ahead of such powerhouses as England, Italy, Argentina and Germany.

This is the 16th time the U.S. has been ranked in the Top 10 since breaking in for the first time in August of 2002 after their remarkable quarterfinal run in the 2002 World Cup. The U.S. dropped out of the Top 10 in September of 2003 and moved between 11th and 12th for the next seven months before finally jumping up to eighth in May of this year after a dominating 1-0 performance against then fourth-ranked Mexico on April 28 in Dallas. The U.S. then dropped to ninth in June, before making the two-spot leap to seventh.

While there was no change in the top three, with Brazil still leading the pack ahead of France and Spain, July’s rankings saw significant moves in the top 20 due to strong showings in EURO 2004. A semifinal run pushed the Czech Republic up seven spots to fourth and the new European champion Greece shooting up to 14th, 21 spots beyond their location just one month ago. Portugal also made a significant move up the ladder with a second-place finish, moving 10 spots to 12th, while their quarterfinal opponent England moved up five spots to 8th.

While rival Mexico sits one spot ahead of the USA, other CONCACAF teams made some significant moves as Trinidad & Tobago (63rd), Cuba (66th), Panama (106th), and St. Kitts and Nevis (108th) all moved up 12 or more spots.

The U.S. Men's National Team is next in action on July 11 against Poland at Chicago's Soldier Field (6 p.m. CT on ESPN2), the team's final preparation match before the semifinal round of FIFA World Cup qualifying, which opens in Jamaica on Aug. 18. The six-game, round robin group continues with the U.S. at home on Sept. 4 in Foxboro, Mass., against El Salvador, and on the road on Sept. 8 in Panama. The four-team group concludes with a road game on Oct. 10 (El Salvador) and then consecutive home games on Oct. 13 (Panama) and Nov. 17 in Columbus, Ohio (Jamaica).

FIFA World Rankings - July 7, 2004
Rank      Team                  Points         Change 
   1          Brazil                    835                 0
   2          France                 813                 0
   3          Spain                   792                 0
   4          Czech Rep.         762                 7
   5          Netherlands         748                0
   6          Mexico                 743                -2
   7          USA                     735                 2
   8          England               733                 5
   9          Italy                      729                  1
  10        Turkey                  723                 -5

Rank      Team                  Points         Change 
   6          Mexico                743                 -2
   7          USA                    735                  2
  29         Costa Rica         650                 -4
  49         Jamaica             565                  2
  54         Honduras           553                  1
  63         T&T                     536                 14
  66         Cuba                  534                  14
  88         Guatemala         501                  -1
  90         Canada              495                  5
  91         Haiti                    486                  -3