United States women return to top of world rankings

The Equalizer Staff July 10, 2015 178
Getty Images

Getty Images

The United States returned to the summit of the FIFA Women’s World Rankings on Friday, five days after winning a record third Women’s World Cup title.

Previous No. 1 Germany, which lost to the United States in the semifinals, slid back to No. 2. Germany had taken over the top spot in December, ending the United States’ nearly seven-year run atop the standings.

England, which finished third at the 2015 Women’s World Cup, moved up to No. 5 in the world, while Brazil moved up to No. 6 and Sweden dropped from fifth to seventh after a miserable World Cup in which they drew all three group games and then got blown away by Germany in the round of 16.

Canada suffered the largest drop in the rankings, falling three spots to No. 11. Cameroon is the biggest mover after a round-of-16 appearance in its first Women’s World Cup.

Click here for the complete updated rankings.

  • sweetjazz3

    Spain took the biggest fall, dropping five places in the rankings.

    The Federated States of Micronesia were left out of the rankings entirely, despite participating in the Pacific Games, where they narrowly lost their three group stage matches by a combined score of 115-0.

    • Steglitz49

      Seeing that FIFA ignore their own rankings when it suits them (officially on geographical grounds), all may not be lost for Micronesia.

      • STT

        Might wanna do some research. Micronesia only entered a men’s team at the Pacific Games, and since it’s essentially Olympic qualifying for them, it was a U-23 team and thus never ranked to begin with. FIFA never ignores an official match between senior teams, men or women.

        • Steglitz49

          FIFA could not care less about their rankings when it suited them and it stuffed Sweden.

          Go cry on someone else’s shoulder and be glad that Sweden did not tie the US in the final and then win on penalties!!!

      • Lord Zlatan

        FIFA rankings only matters during World Cup Draws. At least for the men.

        • Lorehead

          And not even then for the women?

          • Steglitz49

            I think that was what the great man implied.

            Some countries are more equal than other countries. Those of 10 million inhabitants or less can expect to get screwed.

        • Steglitz49

          Verily and forsooth. Who gives a toss about 10 million people when there are 200 million to please?

    • Breakers fan

      That combined score is incredible….I’d like to see those games. Will check youtube. Still, very insulting by FIFA to not give them any ranking at all.

      • STT

        The Micronesia games were only on the men’s side, and it was a U-23 team. That’s why those games don’t appear in the FIFA rankings.

        • Breakers fan

          Oh, ok, Thanks!
          I still want to see them – average loss would have been 38-0.

    • STT

      Um, the Micronesia games were only on the men’s side, and it was a U-23 team since the Pacific Games are Olympic qualifying. That’s why those games don’t appear in the FIFA rankings. Please don’t spread misinformation.

      • sweetjazz3

        Haha. Completely missed that part of the story. Just saw a link to it while reading coverage of the WWC.

        Thanks for the correction. 🙂

  • kernel_thai

    Germany makes the semis of a WC and loses 53 points while England makes it to a semi final of a WC and gains 37 points. Hmmm.

    • Steglitz49

      Sweden drew with USA. They dropped like a stone.

      England beat Germany!

      • STT

        Actually Sweden’s draw with USA earned them points since USA was higher-ranked. Sweden’s other two draws and their blowout against Germany were where the lost points.

        • Steglitz49

          You don’t mean to say? Thanks for your exegesis.

    • STT

      The rankings are calculated based on game results, not on finishing position. Germany only had three wins on the tournament, including two against absolute minnows that literally earned them one point combined, while England had five wins, including against Germany and against Canada.

      • Lorehead

        Right: Thailand and Ivory Coast would have done nothing for them (especially since blowout wins are clamped), they would have taken some points off Sweden, then going to penalties against France would actually have brought them slightly down. And the U.S. took a bunch points off them with that 2–0 win. They were only on top by ten points to start with.

        • STT

          Precisely; after the semifinal games I had run all the calculations myself over on BigSoccer.

          • Lorehead

            Good for you!

          • Steglitz49

            Hear hear!

    • Lorehead

      Germany finishes fourth and ends up #2 in the ranking; England finishes third and ends up #5 in the ranking. The same results would’ve moved Germany down and England up, because Germany started out at #1, with nowhere to go but down. England gained points on Germany because it beat Germany in the third-place decision.

  • Steglitz49

    FIFA has published the goals of WC-15 to be voted for. The US is represented by Lauren and Carli. (France also have two in the list, maybe two too many?)

    http://www.fifa.com/womensworl

    • Guest

      page is unavailable. Is Henry’s goal there?

      • Ethan

        Yes.

        • Steglitz49

          Please take independent action. Don’t just stand there and wait for handouts or a favorable draw.

      • Steglitz49

        Why do you not find it for yourself and paste it in like an adult would do?

        Mum! My link does not work!! What shall I do?!! I am lost!!!!!

        Good grief!

        • Guest

          Thats more than a little obnoxious. You are the one who posted a dead link. I only asked the question about Henry’s goal because you implied that they didn’t deserve to be there. I visited fifa’s website first, didn’t see anything and asked a question, if you don’t want to answer than don’t.

          • Steglitz49

            Grow up!

          • Guest

            Oh yes the comentator who responds in a passive agressive manor annonomously on a message board is clearly the most mature person here. Hypocrite.

          • Steglitz49

            Instead of whinging and wining that the link did not work, you could have found the link yourself and pasted it in to help the rest. That would have been helpful to the other readers of the EQ. Iow, an example of a grown-up and adult behavior.

          • Guest

            I did not whine, I simply pointed out that the link did not work and asked a question. You were the one who responded in the manner akin to a petulant 12 year old. I in turn responded by calling you out for being rude and obnoxious. If you do not like it then maybe you should speak to people like an adult and not an elitist with a superiority complex. How about you follow your own advice and grow up. Further more, at the time, I did not have the time to find the link and you nor anyone else dictates my schedule.

          • Steglitz49

            High time to apply Healey’s first law of politics.

          • Guest

            Do you really think that an incorrect application of Haley’s law of holes applies? If so explain how and how any of your responses can label you anything but a giant Hypocrite or perhaps a troll. Making bold unsubstantiated proclamations does not make you look intelligent but a Fool.

          • Steglitz49

            I fail to see what a comet has to do with soccer but feel free to explain.

          • Guest

            Troll it is.

    • Ethan

      What on earth is Le Sommer’s goal against Mexico doing there? If they wanted to include a flowing French team goal, I think they should have gone with Delie’s first against South Korea.

      • Steglitz49

        Good question. Go to the top of the class.

        France screwed up against Mexico. The strategy should have been to finish 2nd in the group, not 1st. The Lionesses must have roared with relief!

    • Ethan

      There is no way on earth Henry’s was going to be excluded. In my opinion, that was the best long-range shot in this tournament. So, not two too many.

    • slowburner

      Your link got cut off. Hopefully this one will work: http://www.fifa.com/womensworldcup/videos/goal-of-the-tournament/index.html

      • Steglitz49

        Thank you kindly, my dear. Great initiative!

    • Ethan

      1. Carli Lloyd
      2. Mizuho Sakaguchi
      3. Maren Mjelde
      4. Amandine Henry
      5. Lieke Martens
      6. Daniela Montoya
      7. Lisa De Vanna
      8. Romano Bachmann
      9. Lucy Bronze
      10. Lauren Holiday
      11. Ange Nguessan
      12. Le Sommer

      9-11 are really the same level to me. Lauren Holiday’s finish is incredible, but the defensive header was a serious mistake. Bronze’s goal and Nguessan’s goal were both well-struck, but I can’t but feel that the goalkeepers should have done better.

      • Ethan

        Although I suppose Kaihori should have done better with Carli Lloyd’s shot. The above is just my personal ranking.

      • Lorehead

        I had to go with Lloyd, but Mjelde’s free kick was the perfect play from that opportunity.

    • FootballNowAndAlways

      Thanks, I voted for Ange Nguessan. I like Lieke Martens’ strike too, but I opted for Nguessan, because I don’t think she will get many votes.

      I don’t think Holiday’s goal belongs on the list. It was not outstanding IMHO. Wambach’s goal against Nigeria looks far more impressive to me.

      • Steglitz49

        Great! A lady of my heart! Please add the letters GCMG after your name.

        • FootballNowAndAlways

          Holy mother of Saint George! What ever gives you the idea I am a lady? Is my writing that feminine?

          And append GCMG to my name you say? According to Wikipedia, the Order of Saint Michael and Saint George is “used to honour individuals who have rendered important services in relation to Commonwealth or foreign nations.” You realize that Ivory Coast, from where Nguessan hails, was formerly a colony of France, not England? And you think England would honor me for championing a player from a country formerly associated with France, their archrival?

          Verily I say unto you, men have been sent to the gallows for lesser impieties against the English state.

          • Lorehead

            Perhaps Steg meant Ange Nguessan was a lady?

          • Steglitz49

            Your guess is as good as mine.

          • FootballNowAndAlways

            Who knows who he meant. After all he refers to me as he/she.

          • Steglitz49

            Maybe Steg does not know itself? I blame that white teddybear. It threw me a loop.

          • Steglitz49

            According to “Yes, Minister”, Britain has three orders of knighthood. — CMG stands for “Call Me God”; KCMG for “Kindly Call Me God”; and GCMG for “God Calls Me God”.

            Thus, I raised you to the highest rank. Maybe there is a BBC rank = Beloved by Corgis”.

  • GT

    How did Canada drop 3 slots. They made the quarter-finals?

    • Steglitz49

      Tied with New Zealand and Holland. The loss to England did not help either.

      • Davis

        This. They performed below expectations against two lower ranked teams.

        • Steglitz49

          Precisely. Thank you for your exegesis.

    • STT

      Canada only beat lower-ranked teams, and they also were the home side in all matches. Since home teams usually are expected to win more than away teams or teams on neutral grounds, the home team’s “expected” result for a match is inflated from what it would be otherwise – so not living up to expectations hurts even more.

  • NYRick

    The only person I trust on power rankings is Craigaroo. Where is he? What he posts is valid. The boy does his homework. And yes, most definitely the US absolutely has to be #1 right now. You are #2 going in, you outright beat #1 and then #4 to win the Cup, there is no debate. Plus throw in wins over #3 France and #5 England in the buildup. Did France drop to 4th and Japan to 3rd?

    • Guest

      France is still 3rd. Japan still 4th. Sweden dropped to 7. Canada dropped to 11. 5-2 Loss probably hurt Japan.

      • Steglitz49

        France still 3rd? Ought to be glad to be 23rd.

        France drew with Germany, which earned them brownie points.

        • Tae

          France should be #3 on strength of talent. They don’t lose, they choke, and as soon as they get it right, who could stop them?

          • Steglitz49

            2009, 2011, 2012, 2013 and now 2015. BergerĂ´o must be ruthless. No mercy. Cut, cut and cut some more. They never achieved anything and are going backwards.

          • FootballNowAndAlways

            Who should he cut?

          • Steglitz49

            All but Henry and Lavogez!

          • Tae

            Cut Majri? Renard?
            I hope Lavogez hasn’t been ruined by her PK miss. Its’ been known to happen.

          • Steglitz49

            Carli recovered, didn’t she?

          • FootballNowAndAlways

            She was not the only one who missed.

          • Steglitz49

            The others have not taken a PK for the NT since as far as I know.

          • FootballNowAndAlways

            I meant Carli should have been expected to recover even if she never scored another penalty for the NT. There is comfort in numbers. Others besides her missed on that fateful night.

          • Steglitz49

            Kaihori had the game of her life. She will be remembered for two things: that night and the 2015 goal. Hope may have the Golden Gloves, but Kaihori has written her name in the annals of the game and twice to boot.

          • Tae

            It’s ok when enough people miss so all the blame doesn’t fall on one person. England men in 90, US women in 2011, Milan in 2005 CL final. But to be that one player… Lavogez is a special player and I hope she shakes it off, but man did I feel for her. Oddly enough I don’t feel for Sasic. It’s tough to feel sympathy for Germans.

          • FootballNowAndAlways

            Why is it tough to feel sympathy for Germans?

          • Tae

            For one thing we know they’ll just walk it off and get right back to dominating England and France.

          • FootballNowAndAlways

            They barely beat France this time though. But for that Thinney miss…

          • Steglitz49

            Indeed. I used to have a soft spot for Gaëtane. No more, Weep and you weep alone. Likewise snore.

          • FootballNowAndAlways

            Why? Thiney will be 30 this year. I thought you liked them young, like Lavogez, 21 as of the time of going to post.

          • Steglitz49

            ask the Germans or watch Fawlty Towers?

          • Steglitz49

            As I tped elsewhere, I have repented agains and consigned Renard to the eternal flames.

          • Tae

            Here’s a side that might meet with your approval without any cuts

          • Steglitz49

            What a charming picture. The squad for 2031?

          • FootballNowAndAlways

            Lavogez ruined by her PK miss? There has never been any shortage of men eager to comfort pretty young women in distress.

          • Steglitz49

            Careful. Prendre garde Ă  toi! You are living dangerously. The Fi and PC brigades will put their collective boots in.

          • FootballNowAndAlways

            Absolutely insane.

          • Steglitz49

            Well. TAE gave me some emergency ECT and I retracted my heresy. Thus, I will not be burnt at the soccer-stake but live fight another day.

            Nevertheless, you must justify whom you want to retain AND I am not convinced about Renard because ss team captain, she should have made sure of 2nd place in the group.

          • FootballNowAndAlways

            Lavogez saves you from the firing squad. She is only 21. The reason you want Renard cut is precisely why she should be retained, assuming she was instrumental to the decision to play to their best, rather than playing for second place. We need more players with integrity not less. And she is only 24 to boot. Dali is only 23 and Le Sommer 26. Abily and Georges are the oldest regulars (30, will be 31 later in the year). Those are the only 2 that appear suitable for age-mandated cuts.

          • Steglitz49

            2009, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2015 spell their doom. I used to admire these plucky young ladies and blame their coach, Bini. Maybe it is having another coach starting with “B”?

            They might as well be gone for the little they have delivered. I feel like Oliver Cromwell but I will extend the hand of mercy and am prepared to consider pardons.

          • onlyamatteroftime

            himself of course.
            But that might be another point which he is obviously also not intelligent enough to do?

          • Steglitz49

            de quoi est il question?

    • Craigaroo

      Thank you for the compliment. I see mainly reasonable comments on the ratings here. And STT certainly knows how these ratings work, how they’re calculated, the rationale behind the method, etc. There’s no big surprises here and most of the reactions here have been reasonable, so I don’t see too much I have to draw attention to. I guess I’ll point out one thing – a reminder that these are not just rankings , but ratings. You have the rankings – who’s #1, who’s #2, etc. But the ratings also have statistical meaning, even if imperfect. Specifically the relative ratings between two teams, the difference in ratings is a measure of how close the two teams are or how far apart in playing strength. So as some (STT for example) have pointed out, when you have the four teams ranked #6 through #9 — Brazil, Sweden, North Korea, and Australia — separated by only 7 rating points (Brazil 1975 to Australia 1968), those teams are for all intents and purposes equal in the ratings — and the rankings (#6, #7, #8, #9) really don’t matter. It’s undoubtedly within a statistical margin of error for one thing. They’re so close that it’s just as well to think of them as tied in the rankings.

  • nwslfan
    • AlexH

      I really could do without the f-bombs and other profanity every 2 sentences or so.

    • Altius

      That is fantastic. Thanks for sharing.

    • Tae

      Good piece. About the long distance goal, I wonder if we’ll ever be able to replace Carli’s long strike capability. Look at Moe’s shot from outside the box; perfectly placed, she has an accuracy Carli never did, but the shot lacked power and keeper handled it easily.

      • Guest

        Despite my opinions on Lloyd as a midfielder she has one hell of a shot. Her and Pinoe strike the ball very well but I don’t know if anyone has a more powerful shot than Carli

        • Vladlagg

          Yael hits the ball hard, along with Holiday. *missing her already!*

          • Tae

            Yeah Averbuch can strike it. She’s someone I always wanted to see get more call ups. More out of sentimentality than anything else.

  • AlexH

    Phew! Now I can rest easy.

  • FootballNowAndAlways

    #11 might still be too generous for Canada. Japan is lucky to still be number 4. Truly, that meltdown in the first 16 minutes of the final was unworthy of a true champion. Good to see Australia move up one tick to 9. What earth-shattering feats have Italy pulled off to merit number 13 I wonder?

    • Steglitz49

      Japan reached the final, where they lost to a team ranking 3 spots above them. That was not very expensive.

      The Coca-Cola rankings are not perfect and seeing that FIFA disregard them when they feel like, not neither here nor there.

      Sweden got doubly screwed but who cares about a people with less inhabitants than either NJ or MA? To make an omelette you have to break some eggs and if some turnips got raped, the girls in the ticker tape parade in NYC could not give a monkey’s could they? Yet, Sweden drew with the US!

    • Tae

      I have no idea about the Italian team but I was saying earlier the Dutch women should leap forward in power rankings soon due to the strength of their overall national development programs. And Italy are the same. These are two nations whose progress would be quite rapid should they decide to back the ladies to any noteworthy degree.

      • Steglitz49

        Hear hear!

        • Tae

          My favorite development story, 11 year old Alexandra Popp was given permission to play with the boys because there was no girls side that could accommodate an Amazonian prodigy where she was living. Lucy Bronze filed the same request with the FA, because there was no girls side that could accommodate an Amazonian prodigy where she was living, and FA were like, “what? she’s a girl. she plays with the girls. how can she play with boys? I don’t understand.” England…

          • Steglitz49

            Noone understands the English except the English. This illustrates why:

            http://www.economist.com/news/obituary/21656623-tama-stationmaster-kishi-station-and-vice-president-wakayama-electric-railway-died

            NB. The photo in the printed edition is more charming than the electronic one.

          • Tae

            Ok now you’ve gone too deep for me. What does Tama Chan the Japanese cat have to do with the English?

          • Steglitz49

            “The Economist” is one of the premier weekly publications. Only the FT and WSJ get close. It is an English publication and the second to last page is always an obituary.

            The obituary is usually of a well-known person. Sometimes it is about a less known but interesting person. Always only one obit. This one was about a cat. A cat.

          • Tae

            Ok I didn’t see what you were getting at. Economist is a regular read for me and they do try to make the obit entertaining, I think they sell compilations of their obits which is very odd if you think about it. They did a dead parrot before. They also use words like kerfuffle and colliwog.

          • Steglitz49

            Indeed. It is sometimes written in a style that vanished with the war. Most, if not all, used to be written by a woman and maybe still are.

            I don’t know how they get these stories. Presumably through their correspondents in various countries.

          • miguelnajdorf

            This happens in the US too. Your daughter can dominate the boys, but can’t play in games with boys “because there are girls teams,” even if the girls teams are not strong.

          • Steglitz49

            If there are girls teams then the girls ought to play in them.

          • FootballNowAndAlways

            Girls can play with boys until they develop breasts and their hips fill out. At that point, we must put the kibosh on the whole shebang because things get problematic thenceforth.

          • Tae

            There’s problems even when there are no developed breasts. What’s funny is Jara injures himself sticking his finger in Cavani’s but_.

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bzc_c8qXOhg

          • FootballNowAndAlways

            If having boys and girls play together, even after the girls develop fully-rounded breasts helps prevent abominations such as this, by means let the sexes mingle.

          • Tae

            It’s a common central/south American thing. When I was in high school we played a Costa Rican team and a dude did it to me. Let me tell you it rattles you. Some European guys do it in goal celebrations. Schweini sometimes, I’ve seen Lampard do it too.

          • Steglitz49

            Are you sure? Or just taking the piss?

          • FootballNowAndAlways

            Can’t have barely post adolescent boys tackling, colliding and tussling with barely post adolescent girls I am afraid. The poor lads will be driven far too mad with lust to focus on passing and dribbling.

          • Tae

            It’s true what you say. I mean if even the grown ups are doing this sort of thing imagine what the lads would be up to.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k_J0LqeqOcI

    • Miami66

      Wouldn’t write off Japan after one game.

      • STT

        It’s not just one game – Japan hasn’t beaten anyone in the top 3 since the 2012 OG semis, despite playing them six or seven times since. 4th is deserved.

        • Steglitz49

          France does not deserve 4th. They deserve 14th at best and more like 24th.

          A comparison with England, who only rose by one and Sweden who fell by two makes that obvious. How Brazil rose by one rank is bizarre.

          Seeing that FIFA gave Brazil preferential treatment, which screwed Sweden, Brazil does not even need to be in the rankings.

          • STT

            You are absolutely high if you think France deserve to be out of the top 5. What five nations would you even put above them? USA, Germany, Japan, and maybe England are obvious, but who else? Not Brazil, who barely won their own tournament last December, got schellacked by Germany 4-0 before the WWC, didn’t impress in their group, and bowed out in the R16. Not Sweden, who didn’t record a single win despite facing three teams below them in the rankings. Not Canada, who similarly had a horrid group stage despite home field advantage. France, on the other hand, beat basically everyone else in the top 8 at least once in the past year, beat England, destroyed Mexico and South Korea, and drew a higher-ranked Germany while outplaying them handily. Yes, France lost to Colombia, but the rankings never hinge on just one game, since one game is easily an aberration.

            Brazil rose a rank but lost rating points, simply because Sweden fell an no other team rose enough to take Sweden’s place. Besides, there’s precedent for giving seeds that are a just place or two outside of the official ranking. Japan was 5th when they were seeded above 4th-place Sweden in 2011. Brazil were 7th this year, again just one spot out of a “deserving” top 6. If anything, Sweden screwed themselves by choking in a very winnable group.

          • Lorehead

            England is a stretch, because they lost to France head-to-head at the World Cup. They did beat Germany by one goal instead of getting a draw, but their record going into the World Cup was not nearly as good.

            Japan lost to France by two goals the last time they played, and have four losses in the past twelve months.

          • STT

            Well, “obvious” in the sense that they’re the only nations that could possible challenge France for a top spot as a first-glance estimate, which was me trying to be generous to Steg’s far-fetched idea. Of course, as has been hashed out elsewhere and as you reiterated, the details suggest otherwise.

          • Craigaroo

            oh, Steg’s clearly just enjoying getting a reaction out of us now 🙂 But he’ll have to do better than calling France a 14th or 24th team!

      • FootballNowAndAlways

        I am not writing them off.

    • Steglitz49

      France and Brazil are the lucky ones. England, Australia and Sweden are the unlucky ones.

      I agree that #11 is too generous for Canada though #21 might be a bit harsh. Let’s split the difference and make them #16.

      • FootballNowAndAlways

        Canada did not pull off a single convincing victory throughout the world cup. Survived by the skin of their teeth until ladies from England, the mother country, did them in.

        • Steglitz49

          Put the pups in their place?

    • Craigaroo

      Well, it’s interesting about Canada. Right below Canada in the new rankings are Netherlands, China, New Zealand, the three teams in their group. Canada managed one win and two ties against them, on home soil. So that’s an argument that they should be below those three teams as a collective group (because Canada had homefield advantage). In fact, Canada’s performance rating for the World Cup was about 1827, which is just below New Zealand’s rating of 1837. So on the most recent form (the world Cup), you could say that. On the other hand, over the last year+, Canada hasn’t lost to any team rated below them and they’ve beaten other teams in the 1800-ish range like China, South Korea, Italy, and Scotland. So, to me, their rating looks about right, but it’s also a matter of how much you want weight the most recent games over games that stretch back a year or more. Also, as far as predictive ability, it’s a matter of how much you want the ratings to “predict” for a game played right now versus perhaps a few months from now. You could argue that Canada is in a small slump at the moment, or was during the World Cup, teams go through slumps and then bounce back. I suspect Canada’s performances will bounce back some over the next year and that they are still more of a 1900 to 1950 team than an 1800-1850 team. But I wouldn’t go so far to say that they are still the 1950-2000 team that they were for a few years. The decline of Christine Sinclair as she gets older may well be a factor that Canada can’t compensate for at the moment.

      • Steglitz49

        This writing is too dense. Please may I suggest that you edit it for clarity if you want anyone to read it.

        • Craigaroo

          Yeah, I also chopped out one key phrase (which I popped back in just now). And paragraphs help. I did a little editing but yeah it’s not the cleanest read. Better next time, I hope.

          • FootballNowAndAlways

            Don’t mind Steg49. Maybe he’s been spoiled by too much room service, or he has a killer Butler, but I found your post captivating.

        • STT

          It’s perfectly clear, you’re just not understanding.

      • Steglitz49

        Canada will qualify for Rio in a walk, while Norway, Holland, Sweden and Switzerland have to fight it out for the one (1) remaining place for UEFA.

        In WC-15, UEFA got 1/3 of the spots, 8 nations. In Rio UEFA will get 1/4 of the spots, 3 nations. That is 1 nation less in absolute numbers and not even half.

        How does the FIFA rankings adjust for this sort of nonsense?

  • dw

    Note that Spain actually suffered the biggest drop. -5.

    • Steglitz49

      Spain was the only UEFA team not to get out of their group. They should be relieved not dropping -15. Useless.

  • Lorehead

    The official women’s ratings are based on ELO, and have much less handwaving about them than the men’s, so they’re one thing FIFA actually does better on the distaff side.

    Eyeballing them, the top five look right. The U.S. has to be the best team in the world; Germany has to be slightly ahead of France, which also lost twice, but to Germany and Colombia rather than the U.S. and England. Japan, with fewer quality wins and after that walloping in the final, has to be right behind those two, and the other semifinalist, which beat Germany but lost to Japan, is right behind Japan at number five.

    Six to ten are tougher. Brazil has more quality wins than Australia or Sweden, and Sweden but lost to Australia. Australia didn’t really do anything else but beat Brazil, but should probably be ranked above Sweden. Norway is somewhere behind: a draw against Germany was their high point.

    Past that point, we start getting into who-knows. Who knows about North Korea? They’re banned from real competition because of doping and really shouldn’t be invited to any tournaments. They were good in the Algarve Cup last year, but played only twice this year, with no wins. Who knows where Colombia should be ranked? Colombia drew Mexico, beat France, lost to England, and lost to the United States, and beat a few South American minnows. What about Nigeria? They’re the best team from Africa by some distance, that much is clear, and they played respectably against Australia and the U.S., matches in which any team in the 11–20 range would have been underdogs, but their best result is a draw to Sweden. The other teams with a result against Sweden are the U.S., Germany, France, Brazil, Australia—and Iceland.

    How would either Colombia or Nigeria do against Scotland, or Italy? They showed that, on their best day, they might win, but how much was that a fluke? New Zealand? Their qualifying campaign was a formality against teams that exist mostly on paper. They haven’t won in more than a year against a team that made the World Cup, but they do have some draws against good teams. Iceland’s results, including their scoreless draw against the U.S. from negative tactics, surely entitle it to a higher ranking than Nigeria, but not Switzerland, Spain, the Netherlands, or even Denmark, Scotland and Italy, who are probably the rest of the real top 20, ahead of China, South Korea and Mexico. All I can really say is that I’m a lot more confident that the teams that play more really are mediocre.

    • STT

      Six to ten are tough because only 8pts separate 6th and 9th. That’s almost within error, especially when you’re so close to the top of the rankings.

      • Steglitz49

        The problem is, that unless you beat teams ranked higher than yourself, you can’t advance. To beat them, you must play them.

        If you lose to a lower ranking team, you lose points. Thus everyone except the US has a hard time.

        • Errr? I think you have that backwards.

          A win by a #1 ranked team is worth status quo points. A win by a #2 team against a #1 team is okay. A win by a #5 team against a #1 team is exceptional.

          • Steglitz49

            I am correct. I don’t understand what you are after except to explain why I am right.

            As far as I know it is not so much the rank but the ranking points that also matter. Another factor is that friendlies rank below qualifying which in turn are worth less than real tournaments. The size of a loss also has an impact (though I am not sure it helps a win).

            Another way of illustrating it is that Japan, though they became world champions never have ranked #1 while OG-12 did not change Germany’s ranking points because they did not take part.

        • STT

          You kinda have it backwards, and incorrect even then.

          You’re right in the sense that if you lose to a lower-ranked team, you lose points. But that means the teams with the hardest time are the teams with no-one above them, so it’s actually hardest for teams like the USA, Germany, and France.

          However, you CAN advance without beating team above you. When you play those teams, you just don’t lose by too much (e.g. Sweden earned points from drawing USA, France earned points by drawing Germany, and looking a bit farther back T&T earned points losing to USA because the loss was just 0-1). Also, along the same lines you can earn points from teams beneath you by beating them by enough (e.g. Germany’s three-goal win over Sweden and USA’s three-goal win over Japan). And when you play teams roughly at your level (+/- 100pts or so) basically all you need to do is win.

          • Steglitz49

            I am correct but thanks for explaining why I am right. Much obliged.

          • guest1

            Except that beating and performing well are not synonymous terms you can’t pretend that you meant something else when typing something different. Changing after the fact is in fact and admission that you were incorrect.

          • Steglitz49

            I fwe were two alcoholics, we could found a society named Alcoholics Synonymous.

          • STT

            You are quite clearly still incorrect – “unless you beat teams ranked higher than yourself, you can’t advance” is patently false, as I tried to explain but you completely missed.

      • Lorehead

        Yeah, and that’s basically right. Brazil, Australia and Sweden are pretty clearly not as good as the top five, but better than anyone else, and I don’t really know about North Korea because they played so few meaningful matches: they beat Japan to win the East Asian Cup last October, so they’re probably a top-ten team when they’re allowed to get away with doping. Then Norway is also in the top ten.

        • Hard to tell just based on the world cup, but I was a little surprised that Australia didn’t fall above AT LEAST one of Brazil, Sweden, and North Korea – if not above all 3.

          • Lorehead

            Australia was the only team that actually beat a higher-ranked team, and it had two losses. Brazil only narrowly lost once, to a team close to it in the rankings, but they had no quality wins. Sweden never won, but it did draw the U.S., and its only loss was to Germany.

          • Steglitz49

            It is always difficult to rank teams, not least when they do not play each other very often, unlike in tennis and golf where players play each other all the time.

            As I typed elsewhere, this rankings is full of examples where the rankings do not reflect reality and actuality. Oth because FIFA ignore it when it suits them, does it matter?

          • Craigaroo

            @steglitz You know I disagree on this. I think FIFA’s women’s rankings are actually pretty good (and better than the system they use for the men) – although of course there are problems with it, problems which no system based on team results can solve when you have some countries in some regions rarely play teams outside their region. When you say the rankings don’t reflect reality, you can only be referring to upsets. But upsets happen. This is sports. It happens in tennis, too. Except, apparently, for Serena. But as you said, in tennis, player play each other far more often unlike soccer where you may lose to another team that you were supposed to beat — and the loss just sits there on your record. When will France play Colombia again, for instance? One interesting thing triggered by your mentioning tennis – why isn’t there an Elo system for tennis? It should be quite accurate because of the number of games played.

          • Steglitz49

            There is a simple fix. In the rankings that appear after the World Championship, the reigning champions are lifted up to a score +1 above the nation ranked 1 byt he mathematical formula. Thereby the world champion gets its rightful place.

            Thus, after WC-11, Japan would have been given its rightful place, one (1) single ranking point above the then #1, which was the US, whom they had just defeated to become th real #1, which they were. In 2011, Japan did it the hard way, defeating Germany, Sweden and the USA. (Before any pedant screams, I know, that technically the final was a draw and Japan won on a technical KO so to speak).

            In this case, there is no need to adjust the rankings because the US ranks as #1.

          • Lorehead

            Nah. There’s already a trophy for the team that wins the World Cup, and its matches have more weight in the rankings. If you just want to know who won the World Cup, look up who won the World Cup. Hungary should still have #1 in the rankings in 1954, when the only game it lost was the World Cup final. And that would have been the more accurate prediction of whether it would win its games in the future, which is supposedly what the ratings are supposed to be good for.

            It’s kind of ironic that the women have a better ranking system than the men, but only because FIFA doesn’t care enough about it to play politics with it (or use it to seed its own World Cup). It pretty much gives the right answer for the set of teams that play friendlies and global tournaments. As for the minnows: the tricks that Elo variants like Elo++ use to try to guesstimate the rating of chess players who rarely play, such as assuming that most chess matches are in tournaments and most tournaments feature players with similar skill levels, don’t apply to WoSo. In practice, the rule-of-thumb we all use is: teams that never play real competition are all bad, and if one of them weren’t, it would be stomping all the others in qualifiers.

          • Tae

            Psych! We just said the same thing within seconds of one another. That must mean something. Are you by any chance an attractive unmarried female?

          • Lorehead

            Well, I am unmarried.

          • Steglitz49

            The 1954 final had much the same impact as the 2011 final but for different reasons. In Germany it is known as “Das Wunder von Bern” (the miracle in Bern). I don’t know if the Japanese has a label for WC-11.

            2 years later, when the Hungarian team was cut off in the West because of the uprising, Fritz Walter, the captain of the German team in 1954, arranged friendly matches for the Hungarian team so they could earn some money and keep body and soul together.

            1954 was in some ways also a bit like 1981 though the score was not as onesided. One big difference is that there was no PR-machine to repair it for Hungary.

            The big player in ’54 was Helmut Rahn like but more famous than Miyama in ’11. Puskas like Gretzky, survived because of his fame. The other glorious Hungarian players are forgotten, including the one who put what is now called a “false 9” on the map (Nándor Hidegkuti).

          • Craigaroo

            Very good comment and let’s underscore this: “If you just want to know who won the World Cup, look up who won the World Cup”. I have to remember to use that next time 🙂

          • Steglitz49

            France is the real oddity but drawing with Germany helps them (the pso does not count in calculating the rankings; I am not sure that extra time does even). Losing to Colombia should have damaged France, but obviously not enough.

    • Miami66

      Certainly better system than the men’s. But I think WWC/Olympic winners should automatically be placed at 1 if they’re not, ie Japan winning in 2011. Same goes for men. Weird that Argentina are 1 even though they lost the WC final and then the Copa final. If they had beaten Chile, maaaybe I could see it.

      • Steglitz49

        Indeed.

      • Craigaroo

        No, no, no! Gosh, no. Why go to the bother of having a method if you’re just going to scuttle it after the World Cup and make it mirror the World Cup result? When a team wins the World Cup, like Japan did, in a bit of an upset, why would you junk a system that says it was an upset and that , if Japan were to play against Germany or the USA a month later, they would likely lose? Now, someone could have their own opinion whether that was true or not, someone could believe that Japan was simply a better team for all seasons than Germany or the US, but this is going beyond that. This is saying the World Cup champion must always be favored over everyone else and that simply doesn’t make sense.

    • Steglitz49

      Japan has never ranked #1 in spite of becoming World Champions.

      Germany’s rank was unaffected by OG-12 because they did not take part.

      FIFA ignore their own rankings when it suits them, like they did for this WC, which screwed Sweden but who cares about a county with less inhabitants than NJ or MA?

      • Tae

        Ranking strictly by results causes more problems than it solves. You have to exercise a bit of common sense discretion here or else you get titans getting seeded #2 due to an aberrant loss here and there that doesn’t speak to their power level, and then the team that fought hard for a top seed gets screwed. Nobody wants France as the #2 seed in their group let alone plummeting to #3. This isn’t an easy process.

        • Steglitz49

          The simplest way is to lift the world champion to the top spot by giving them one (1) ranking point about the leader by the mathematical formula.

          • Tae

            Why though? Winner gets the trophy and automatic berth in next tourney. That’s enough. Winning it all doesn’t mean you’re the best team, the final might be the biggest game but it’s still only one game.

          • Boston Red

            Does the winner get an automatic berth? I know the next host does, but assumed the winner qualified for the next tournament like happens on the men side (not that it’s that difficult for the top teams to qualify).

          • Tae

            Oh that’s right they changed that rule. They should bring it back though.

          • Lorehead

            Still applies to the CL, though.

          • Steglitz49

            It only applies in the Champions League when the holder does not qualify by the qualification system.

            This year’s ladies Champions League is a good example. Bayern Munich and Wolfsburg qualified by finishing 1 & 2 in the league. Frankfurt finished 3rd but gets to play again as holders.

            In 2012 Frankfurt lost the final to Lyon. That season Potsdam and Wolfsburg were 1 & 2 and Frankfurt in 3rd place did not get to play.

          • Tae

            Ask Tottenham how nice that rule is. Lol, Spurs. I mean when does that happen in men’s, that the winner fails to make top 4 when you finally qualify for CL.

          • Steglitz49

            There was one case early on. To prevent England or Germany getting 5 teams, the ref screwed one of the teams. The precedent for OG-12, you might say.

            One of the problems for men’s soccer is, that the teams, which happened to be successful when the Champions League got going, got very rich and the others do not get a look-in.

            The development is faster among the ladies. As late as 1982 and 1987 it was possible for a semi-amateur men’s team to win a major European trophy. The last time that happened for the ladies was about 7-8 years ago.

          • Tae

            With the ladies, I wonder why Spain isn’t a bigger presence in CL. Is it a machismo thing? Real Madrid don’t even have a ladies side.

          • Steglitz49

            Real Madrid has never had a ladies side but they have a youth academy that (i believe) girls can benefit from.

            Man Utd under their American ownership closed their ladies section.

          • Tae

            Speaking of CL back in the European Cup days they just paired opponents randomly. That didn’t result in any more controversy than maths based rankings.

          • FootballNowAndAlways

            That rule and the one where the defending champions rather than the hosts got to play in the opening match of the tournament, were my favorite world cup conventions.

          • Tae

            Yeah I like those rules too. Matters less for the women as any side that could win it will qualify next time for sure, but for men you could see the winner fail to even qualify if they were in europe. And the winner should always have a chance to defend.

          • Steglitz49

            The winner no longer gets an automatic berth in the next championship, only the hosts. I can’t remember when it was abolished for the men but I would guess 20-25 years ago. The ladies may never have had it.

            Surrogates are surrogates.

            The harsh reality was while the US could not win the world cup they had to blow up the rankings and olympics to mega-proportions, totally out of keeping with reality.

            Now that the US has won the WC — and anyone who doubted that it was the big apple now know that it is the real trophy — we can forget the rankings and olympics till the US fails to win the WC.

  • JN West

    Number one again. Woot!