Wednesday, March 15, 2006

U.S. Men's Soccer Team Ranked Fifth

I don't want to turn this into a complete soccer blog, but I couldn't let this one pass. The U.S. now ranks fifth in the world--its highest ranking ever. Just three months before the World Cup. Wow. Here's the top 10:
  1. Brazil
  2. Czech Republic
  3. Netherlands
  4. Argentina
  5. USA
  6. Spain
  7. Mexico
  8. France
  9. England
  10. Portugal
Perennial powers Italy (12) and Germany (22!) don't even figure here.

I know the naysayers will immediately start pointing out that these rankings are meaningless and that they don't measure how good a team actually is. And I'd agree with them, since the U.S. has been eternally ranked behind Mexico until now, even though we've owned them outside of Mexico City since 1999 or so. But still, these are the only rankings there are, and they measure a teams performance over time with past World Cups including the dreadful performance of the U.S. in 1998.

I'm feeling pretty good about the World Cup now. I still give the U.S. only about a 50% chance of advancing from their group, but this should buoy their spirits a bit.

And for all you soccer-haters and sports fans who don't normally follow soccer: Now is the time to start paying attention.

NP: "French Disko" - The Editors

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