The U.S. national team celebrate at City Hall in New York City (Brad Penner — USA TODAY Sports)
We’ve heard so many times that the rest of the world is catching up to the U.S. women’s national team.
Not at the moment.
Not surprisingly, the USA finds itself atop the latest FIFA women’s rankings, which were released Friday morning.
In fact, the two-time defending Women’s World Cup champions strengthened their lead, extending their lead to 121 points over Germany, the largest gap in the ranking’s history.
The USA defeated the Netherlands in the World Cup final in Lyon, France Sunday, 2-0.
The third-ranked Dutch, who climbed five spots, made the biggest climb within the top 10. The Oranje Leeuwinnen’s ranking of third is the country’s best-ever position.
Sweden’s (sixth, up three) bronze-medal finish saw the squad make the second-highest move within the top 10 and return to the top six for the first time in over two years.
Early exits for Canada (seventh, down two) and Australia (eighth, down two) and a fourth-place finish for England (fifth, down two) meant they made marginal drops.
Further down the table, the Philippines (67th, up seven) and India (57th, up six) were the biggest climbers thanks to their positive performances in qualifying matches for the Women’s Olympic Football Tournament Tokyo 2020.
In Africa, Gabon (124th) has returned to the ranking for the first time since August 2016 after its impressive away win over Congo in the 2020 Olympics qualifiers.
The ranking itself has reached a new milestone with the number of teams increasing from 155 to 158, with no teams needing to be removed due to prolonged inactivity.
The next FIFA women’s ranking will be published Sept. 27.