World Cup champion U.S. women's soccer team returns to No. 1 in world ranking

Hours before setting off on its ticker-tape parade through New York City, the U.S. women's soccer team learned it had something other than just its World Cup title to celebrate.

An unbeaten run through the tournament in Canada not only gave the Americans their first world championship in 16 years, the team also is back in the top spot in the FIFA world rankings as well.

Germany had been No. 1 but it lost to the U.S. in the World Cup semifinals, then fell to England in the third-place game.

Germany and the U.S., the only two countries to win multiple World Cups, are also the only teams to top the FIFA women's world rankings since they were introduced in 2003. The rankings are determined by a complex mathematical formula that takes match results and weighs them by the importance of the competition and the relative strength of the competition.

France, which lost to Germany in the quarterfinals, remains third followed by World Cup runner-up Japan. England is fifth -- its highest ranking ever.

The rest of the top 10 is made up of Brazil, Sweden, North Korea, Australia and Norway. Back in the pack, three other teams earned their best ranking ever off strong World Cup performances: Colombia rose three spots to 25th after reaching the round of 16; Costa Rica is up three spots to 34th after playing Spain and South Korea to draws in the group stage; and Cameroon jumped 10 places to 43rd, after reaching the knockoff stage.

Mexico, meanwhile, fell one spot to 26th.

The top 25:

  1. U.S.
  2. Germany
  3. France
  4. Japan
  5. England
  6. Brazil
  7. Sweden
  8. North Korea
  9. Australia
  10. Norway
  11. Canada
  12. Netherlands
  13. Italy
  14. China
  15. Denmark
  16. New Zealand
  17. South Korea
  18. Iceland
  19. Spain
  20. Scotland
  21. Switzerland
  22. Russia
  23. Ukraine
  24. Finland
  25. Colombia
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