July 20, 2005

USA better than England.: USA #6, England #8. That's what the FIFA Coca-Cola world rankings say. Discuss.

posted by worldcup2002 to soccer at 10:38 AM - 57 comments

Hey it just goes to show we are no longer the wankers that the english think we are.

posted by Astroheat442 at 10:49 AM on July 20, 2005

What a joke...

posted by StarFucker at 10:59 AM on July 20, 2005

I still say FIFA's ranking system is rubbish.

posted by scully at 11:19 AM on July 20, 2005

The USA's been in the top ten for a few years now, and hat strength seems to be holding as the newer members establish themselves. It's yet another example of a concerted effort to excel at a given discipline paying off. I'm sure it pisses England's soccer pointyheads off to no end, though.

posted by chicobangs at 11:24 AM on July 20, 2005

It's Official: Coca Cola rankings are a joke.

posted by the red terror at 12:47 PM on July 20, 2005

SF, you were saying?

posted by garfield at 12:51 PM on July 20, 2005

Is soccer a real sport for real Americans? This is a waste of a thread.

posted by panteeze at 12:52 PM on July 20, 2005

Uh, yeah. Well. Anyway. Is it possible that the USA team really is the 6th best team on the planet? And the Czech Republic is 4th? Really?

posted by chicobangs at 01:06 PM on July 20, 2005

Czech Republic i can believe...they are DAMN good...

posted by StarFucker at 01:10 PM on July 20, 2005

The alternative has England 4th and USA 12th, which is a bit more like it if you ask me. (Czechs are extremely good, and yes they deserve that placing in both systems).

posted by BigCalm at 01:42 PM on July 20, 2005

That IS more like it BC...although in that one i would say both England AND the US are still ranked too high. England should be about 10-15th... US about 25-30th...

posted by StarFucker at 01:49 PM on July 20, 2005

SF - what teams would you put ahead of England? (I'm only a casual football fan - just curious)

posted by kokaku at 02:32 PM on July 20, 2005

volfire, I retract my prior comments, I can clearly see now why bubba had you hot, hes a moron who truth be known probley lives in a trailer park himself.

posted by maclmn at 02:32 PM on July 20, 2005

Hmmm, the USA may be higher than England in the FIFA rankings but the England third-string still beat the USA first-string 2-1 in the last game. Stick that in your pipe and smoke it.

posted by squealy at 02:42 PM on July 20, 2005

Brazil, Argentina, Spain, France, Holland, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Czech Republic... Then England in there... So maybe 10th at this point.

posted by StarFucker at 02:43 PM on July 20, 2005

I think i like the ELO ratings that BigCalm provided. Their formula doesn't include a "regional strength" factor which seems like a strange thing to quantify. the ELO ratings seem to make more sense in that they follow many of the team ranking metrics but make it matches more about one team vs another rather than worrying too much about geographical handicaps/advantages that might come with playing in a strong or weak area. plus the ELO ratings sound like they might be delivered by some awesome spaceship.

posted by gspm at 02:57 PM on July 20, 2005

FIFA rankings are a bigger joke than the BCS. My estimation would be USA 12, England 7...give or take... If anyone wants to bring on a pounding headache, look at this. And squealy, I don't know if you're just pissed off and exaggerating due to the tone of this thread, but that was not the US' first team or England's third. The US was missing 4 or 5 of the current first XI, England 7 or 8. I think we should all just wait until around July 20, 2006 before we believe we have a clue. The biggest joke of the new FIFA rankings (assuming you trust them as the gospel) is Mexico at 5, IMHO.

posted by Texan_lost_in_NY at 03:05 PM on July 20, 2005

Hmmm, the USA may be higher than England in the FIFA rankings but the England third-string still beat the USA first-string 2-1 in the last game. I wouldn't say that was the first string for the US. To many of their mainstays were missing. You may be able to convince me that it was their 1st and 2 thirds string. The England team though. Defininely third string.

posted by trox at 03:25 PM on July 20, 2005

There are more than 190 teams entering the WC every 4 years and only a few weekends of serious, competitive internationals in between. The rankings are therefore based on a limited number of direct comparisons, and aren't used for anything important anyway. Tex, Mexico is always in the top 10 because they always beat the other CONCACAF teams that they play regularly. But they will never win the WC, and everybody knows it. Put your faith in the actual performances at the WC, not the rankings.

posted by owlhouse at 03:27 PM on July 20, 2005

owlhouse... The FIFA rankings include all competitions, all games...including friendlies.

posted by StarFucker at 03:43 PM on July 20, 2005

Mexico did pretty well at the Confederations Cup a few weeks ago. Didn't win but did show strength and pace. We'll probably see another Mexico-USA matchup in the Gold Cup final Sunday and that will pretty much be first choice XIs on both sides. As for the rankings, I think owlhouse has it right in that the only meaningful screen is the World Cup. Which still leaves the US and Mexico in the top 10. Netherlands are #2 in the ELO, I don't see that as reasonable, nor is France at #6. My top 10 would be: Brazil, Argentina, Czech Republic, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, England, Mexico, US, Nigeria (they're still the side to beat in Africa, yes?)

posted by billsaysthis at 03:47 PM on July 20, 2005

no you won't bill. mexico lost to colombia in the quarters.

posted by goddam at 04:06 PM on July 20, 2005

We'll probably see another Mexico-USA matchup in the Gold Cup final Sunday... Colombia beat Mexico 2-1 in front of 60,000 predominately Mexican fans in Houston on Sunday, knocking Mexico out. The Gold Cup Final Four are the US, Colombia, Panama (for fuck's sake) and Honduras. The US-Honduras semi is tomorrow, the other on Friday. Colombia absolutely outplayed Mexico but Mexico didn't field their best team. I don't know enough about Colombia to know how strong their team was. Tex, Mexico is always in the top 10 because they always beat the other CONCACAF teams that they play regularly. Very true and the same reasoning can be used for the US sitting 6th, but you can only play who's in front of you.

posted by Texan_lost_in_NY at 04:09 PM on July 20, 2005

yeah, what she said:-)

posted by Texan_lost_in_NY at 04:09 PM on July 20, 2005

My bad...both semis are tomorrow at Giants Stadium, the final on Sunday.

posted by Texan_lost_in_NY at 04:15 PM on July 20, 2005

The FIFA rankings include all competitions, all games...including friendlies Yes, Monsieur Star, but you will find that more statistical weight is given to competitive games, i.e. WC, continental championships etc. Friendlies are counted, but not as much. My point is that football is played by so many nations that the ranking system will only ever be approximate. An example? Over the last 60 years, the two best perfoming nations have been Brazil and (West) Germany. How many actual competitive games have they played against each other? The 2002 WC Final was the first!

posted by owlhouse at 05:33 PM on July 20, 2005

Mexico has a way to go but i can see why their ahead of the US they have improved dramatically with their argentine coach they've had bumps on the road mostly due to off court problems ex. Hugo Sanchez, but the US has also become a world power recently i think this is good for CONCACAF

posted by J3sUsD at 09:00 PM on July 20, 2005

My bad, with the games not on a channel I get and the newspaper subscription lagging the move I didn't see that Mexico lost. Still I think at their best they are a Final 8 side and just ahead of the US.

posted by billsaysthis at 09:59 PM on July 20, 2005

Must've been the USA second string then, seeing as I seem to have reeled in two live ones. My take on the whole USA/England FIFA rankings kerfuffle would be a combination of what the wise owl(house) and the tenacious Texan said i.e. your ranking will be related to the quality of teams you meet on a regular basis, but you can only beat what's put in front of you. Peace.

posted by squealy at 06:35 AM on July 21, 2005

i've played soccer since i could walk. i'm now a div. 1 coach. anybody can be beat on any god giving day. remember turkey making it to the w.c. 2002 semi's? the u.s. earned that ranking. hopefully they can live up to it. England needs to be ranked a little higher than they are but they also need to prove it in '06.

posted by soccerslut at 09:12 AM on July 21, 2005

the fifa rankings are terrible. it's in their formula that that more games you play the higher your ranking goes. in other words you can accumulate more points in a given month by playing more games. Also, the rankings, if I remember correctly, used to have a residual effect in that games from the last few years would also be taken into account in a decaying fashion. it's truly a mess, but it's probably better than a biased poll of writers or coaches. honestly, being a fan of Argentina, I will admit the rankings are truly arbitrary. Argentina, by international consensus, had the best team going into the last world cup, and Brasil comes out with it. Brasil is the best team. The World Cup is where it is proven. The US had a decent showing against Germany in the last world cup, and no doubt they have improved, but it's ludicrous to put them in the top 8 right now. They can beat honduras and guatemala every week until Germany 2006, but that doesn't mean they'll be likely to beat any of the top teams next summer. I'll have to look at how they put together those elorankings...

posted by djKianoosh at 10:24 AM on July 21, 2005

Well I love the game and played it for 16 years but I think all of you have already made more points than I can make so...after this morning (bombings again), I will just say that I hope the US and England kick ass in '06 no matter how screwed the rankings may be.

posted by slump_buster at 10:33 AM on July 21, 2005

Agreed, slump_buster. London area Spofites, stay cool.

posted by chicobangs at 10:38 AM on July 21, 2005

Thank's MACLMN, glad you finally my point. As far as US Soccer is concerned, has anyone seen how this is eating up America? Soccer has become the 2nd biggest sport in the country. (I think) There are more leagues and teams popping up in communities all over the U.S.. Would'nt it stand to reason that as more children get involved at earlier ages, the more we stand to advance in skills and knowledge. I have 3 boy's that play (5-9 yrs). Including indoor, and travel clubs. It's not that far fetched, really.

posted by volfire at 12:00 PM on July 21, 2005

YES! This thread has drawn out the soccerheads! And SOCCER will take over America! My plan is succeeding! BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

posted by worldcup2002 at 12:38 PM on July 21, 2005

i also have 3 children. my oldest plays on a u-8 team thats going to south texas to play for the 3v3 national championship later this month. their are more and more children getting involved every year. its amazing to see young kids develope into good soccer players.

posted by soccerslut at 01:37 PM on July 21, 2005


posted by blarp at 03:20 PM on July 21, 2005

so...after this morning (bombings again) England, God Bless. We're in this together.

posted by Texan_lost_in_NY at 03:21 PM on July 21, 2005

Soccer + Succor = Soccor?

posted by The_Black_Hand at 03:57 PM on July 21, 2005

I wouldn't bother responding to him...oh sh*t, I think I just did.

posted by owlhouse at 04:58 PM on July 21, 2005

Actually I 'd like to see you BUBBA, in action. That's got to be worth more than a month's worth of comedy club tickets. Where can I see some?(I know I should'nt reply bbut I just could'nt help myself)

posted by volfire at 05:03 PM on July 21, 2005

Ok ok right then move along now lads nothing to see here nothing to see....... This must either be a very good hoax or or I don't really know, the only thing England is better than US at is allowing Terrorist to bomb us more and thats about it.

posted by bballcoachreid at 07:11 PM on July 21, 2005

Ok ok right then move along now lads nothing to see here nothing to see....... This must either be a very good hoax or or I don't really know, the only thing England is better than US at is allowing Terrorist to bomb us more and thats about it.

posted by bballcoachreid at 07:12 PM on July 21, 2005

bballcoachreid, you just said something twice that you shouldn't have said even once. You ought to be ashamed of yourself.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 09:24 PM on July 21, 2005

after witnessing a near embarrassment at the hands of honduras tonight, that did not look like a team that deserves to be in the top 10. granted the pitch was atrocious (as was the officiating) but they looked like shit. luckily they pulled out a win in the end. that being said, it was still a fun time.

posted by goddam at 11:32 PM on July 21, 2005

Yeah, goddam, what's up with that field? Did the grounds crew plant the grass 2 hours before kick-off? It looked like a good game to watch..lots of passion...and I'm glad we pulled it out. Things got pretty testy on the field...any problems in the stands?

posted by Texan_lost_in_NY at 10:16 AM on July 22, 2005

it was put down last week but it still hasn't set. no doubt there will be complaints about it. the only problem i saw was after the game. in the section below us there was a fight. looked to be about 6 guys throwing punches, hondurans vs. americans. the fucked up thing was that there was no security to be found. 3 or 4 security guys eventually came over to the area but they were on the field. it seemed to go on for a while before it was broken up by other fans. then few minutes later security finally showed up. it was ridiculous. the honduran fans definitely outnumbered us. you could tell just by the scene in the parking lot. though many of the colombian fans were cheering for the US. and the honduran fans that stuck around were cheering for panama, whose fans were outnumbered but were much more organized, occupying two whole corners of the lower deck and armed with horns and drums. (they played a spirited version of "taps" toward the end of the game.)

posted by goddam at 11:23 AM on July 22, 2005

These little gems all came from the same person What does that have to do with the current conversation?

posted by Sportsfan800 at 04:02 PM on July 23, 2005

I'm sure it pisses England's soccer pointyheads off to no end, though. I know I'm crying into my crumpets about it. As mentioned several times before I finally stumbled in here, FIFA's rankings are a joke and I wouldn't be bothered by England being rated behind the US, any more than cheer when we're ahead. Maybe we'll end up in the same group next year.

posted by Mr Bismarck at 02:20 PM on July 24, 2005

Anybody who watched today's Copa de Ora match would have to aagree with the anti-FIFA sentiment. Sure, we won, but come on 120 minutes and not one goal? Not to mention two of the three PK misses by Panama were their own fault, not stops by Keller. Penedo was good but not that good and his backline wasn't stopping our forward play at all. We really missed players like Eddie Johnson, Brian Ching, Eddie Lewis and Conor Casey--heck I would have rather have started Quaranta than Josh Wolff.

posted by billsaysthis at 10:02 PM on July 24, 2005

that was a brutal game. the US should've scored at least 3 goals. the field looked to be in slightly better condition (there weren't as many random falls) but it was still embarrassing that they had to play on that piece of shit. bill, i would also say they missed pope in the back. hopefully his injury isn't too serious. while there were more american fans in attendance than on thursday night, there were still 10,000 less people there and the crowd wasn't as lively. if colombia had made it to the finals there probably would've been a better showing. i always wondered why they never played world cup qualifiers here, but now it's apparent. there is no way we would have any home field advantage. i have photos from thursday and sunday up.

posted by goddam at 09:04 PM on July 25, 2005

Reyna, Zavagnin too would have helped in the defensive MF slot. As said, the performance for judging is next summer in Germany.

posted by billsaysthis at 10:39 PM on July 25, 2005

goddam, how come we don't see any of you in those photos?

posted by StarFucker at 10:50 PM on July 25, 2005

you're not missing much, starfucker. well, actually you're missing a lot, but only in quantity, not quality.

posted by goddam at 06:59 AM on July 26, 2005

Great pics, goddam. Thanks for sharing. We have a lot of improvement to make between now and Germany (I know we haven't qualified yet but...). Josh Wolff hasn't turned out to be the player I had hoped, watching Frankie Hejduk bounce around is the equivalent of nails on a chalkboard and John O'Brien just isn't himself yet after all the injuries. The only player I've seen who's on top of his game is Keller. He may be playing the best goal of his life. I'm really hoping guys like Dempsey, Noonan, Quaranta and Eddie Johnson can step it up in the coming months, and I still have no idea who our center halves will be, though I thought Conrad was solid. I have to wonder if Reyna has played his last World Cup and whether McBride has one more in him. I think Brian can do it...he doesn't seem to have lost anything. Any thoughts?

posted by Texan_lost_in_NY at 08:07 AM on July 26, 2005

McBride and Clint Mathis, should have included them in my list of the missing. Both are healthy, unlike the others I did list, so I have to wonder why they were left off the squad. It's not like RSL are doing much even with Mathis playing though they did beat FC Dallas Saturday on the strength of his offense--certainly he is my choice over O'Brien. My preferred back line at this point is Onyewu, Pope, Bocanegro, and Cherundolo or Vanney. Berhalter as third man in on central defense, Zak Whitbread and only then Conrad. I'd like to see Marvell Wynn get a shot with the big boys after his performance in the U20 championship.

posted by billsaysthis at 04:42 PM on July 26, 2005

it may have been a good thing some of the top players weren't there, what with the wear and tear these guys endured (i believe they lost 3 or 4 players from the honduras match alone). arena may have wanted some of those guys rested for the qualifier coming up. he made a comment to the effect that he probably won't be around come next gold cup, but if he is, he wouldn't bring his best squad.

posted by goddam at 10:43 PM on July 26, 2005

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