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U.S. falls four spots in November FIFA world rankings

U.S. falls four spots in November FIFA world rankings
Cristian Bolanos, right, and No. 17 Costa Rica are flying a little higher in the world ranking than Michael Bradley and No. 28 U.S. (Jeffrey Arguedas / EPA)

The U.S. soccer team tumbled four spots, to No. 28 overall, in FIFA's latest world rankings released Thursday. Mexico and Costa Rica, the two countries that beat the U.S. in World Cup qualifiers this month, swapped places, with Costa Rica moving to 17th overall and Mexico sliding to 18th.

There are only minor shifts in the top 10, with Argentina retaining the No. 1 spot, followed by Brazil, which has lost just once in 2016. Reigning world champion Germany is third, followed by Copa America winner Chile, giving South American teams three of the top four spots.

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Argentina has not ranked lower than third globally since 2012, although it has lost its last three major finals: the 2014 World Cup to Germany and the 2015 and 2016 Copa America tournaments to Chile.

Belgium, Colombia, France, European champion Portugal, Uruguay and Spain round out the top 10.

Ireland made the biggest jump in the top 30, moving to No. 23, while the U.S. and Hungary both fell four places, Hungary to No. 26.

The monthly FIFA rankings are determined by a complicated formula in which points are awarded based on results from FIFA-recognized international matches over the last four years. Recent results and more significant matches are more heavily weighted to reflect the current competitive state of a team.

The top 30:

Country (change since October poll)

  1. Argentina (0)
  2. Brazil (+1)
  3. Germany (-1)
  4. Chile (+2)
  5. Belgium (-1)
  6. Colombia (-1)
  7. France (0)
  8. Portugal (0)
  9. Uruguay (0)
  10. Spain (0)
  11. Switzerland (+3)
  12. Wales (-1)
  13. England (-1)
  14. Croatia (+2)
  15. Poland (0)
  16. Italy (-3)
  17. Costa Rica (+1)
  18. Mexico (-1)
  19. Peru (+4)
  20. Ecuador (-1)
  21. Iceland (0)
  22. Netherlands (-2)
  23. Ireland (+10)
  24. Turkey (+1)
  25. Slovakia (+1)
  26. Hungary (-4)
  27. Bosnia and Herzegovina (+1)
  28. U.S. (-4)
  29. Ukraine (0)
  30. Iran (-3)
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