Lindsey Horan and her U.S. teammates will try to keep its No. 1 ranking in the 2018 concacaf Women’s Championship. (Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports)
As the United States puts its finishing touches to its preparation for the 2018 concacaf Women’s Championship, one thing is certain: the Americans are still tops in the world.
The defending world champions were No. 1 in the latest FIFA women’s world rankings, which were released Friday morning.
In Group A of the competition, which is the qualifying arm for the 2019 Women’s World Cup in France, the U.S. will meet No. 24 Mexico Oct. 4, No. 64 Panama Oct. 7 and No. 52 Trinidad & Tobago Oct. 10.
Fifth-ranked Canada, No. 34 Costa Rica and No. 88 Cuba comprise Group B.
The concluding Women’s World Cup qualifiers in Europe and the Tournament of Nations in the U.S. left their mark on the top 10 as several sides make significant gains. Among the most prominent are Australia (6th, up 2) and England (3rd, up 1), who swap places with France (4th, down 1).
The Matildas registered 33 points – the highest number among all teams in the top 50 – after beating Brazil and Japan and drawing with their American hosts at the Tournament of Nations.
Sweden (9th, up 2), meanwhile, entered the top ten on the back of its World Cup qualifying win away to Denmark, while Scotland (19th, up 2), which recently qualified for the WWC for the first time, equalled its best ranking position.
Venezuela (54th, up 4) set a personal ranking best, while the likes of China PR (15th, up 2), Croatia (50th, up 3) and Jamaica (64th, up 7) also enjoyed noteworthy rises.
Ten teams returned to the ranking, including three from Central America and four from Oceania, leaving the table with 147 teams – its highest number in three years.
Click here to view the complete ranking.
The next ranking will be published on Dec. 7.