USWNT Drops to No. 3 in FIFA Rankings After Women’s World Cup; Lowest Ranking Ever
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Following their disappointing showing at the Women’s World Cup this summer, the United States Women’s National Soccer Team tumbled to No. 3 in the FIFA rankings Friday.
According to Goal.com’s Chris Burton, No. 3 is the lowest spot the USWNT has ever occupied in the FIFA women’s soccer rankings since its inception in 2003.
The USWNT had never been ranked lower than No. 2 previously, and Robert Summerscales of Sports Illustrated noted that they had been the No. 1 team since June 2017.
For the first time, Sweden is the top women’s soccer team in the world after finishing third at the World Cup, while Spain is No. 2 by virtue of its World Cup triumph in Australia and New Zealand.
The U.S. entered the World Cup having won the event back-to-back times, and the team had never finished worse than third since the event debuted in 1991.
Team USA clearly wasn’t its dominant self throughout the 2023 Women’s World Cup, though, starting with a 3-0 win over Vietnam in its first game, which likely would have been a far bigger blowout in previous years.
The Americans proceeded to play the Netherlands to a 1-1 draw and Portugal to a 0-0 draw in their final two group games, advancing to the knockout stage by the skin of their teeth.
Since they only finished second in their group, the USWNT had to face a supremely talented Sweden team in the Round of 16, and although the Americans hung with them and took it to a penalty shootout, the Swedes ultimately prevailed.
The normally electric USWNT scored only four goals in four matches at the WWC, and for the first time in their history, they didn’t make it to at least the semifinals.
There is no doubt that the USWNT has entered a new era, as key players Megan Rapinoe and Julie Ertz retired following the World Cup, while American soccer legend Carli Lloyd retired after the last World Cup in 2019.
Top stars like Alex Morgan, Kelly O’Hara and Lindsey Horan have approached or surpassed the age of 30 as well, meaning the USWNT needs the next generation to step up in order to return to the No. 1 spot in the near future.
For now, the focus is on finding a new head coach, as Vlatko Andonovski was fired after the USWNT’s disastrous showing at the World Cup.