Josh over at Throughball has a great table of the USMNT FIFA rankings for the past 14 years which shows that, at least based on their rankings, the USMNT gradually improved year over year up until the 2006 World Cup. Then they promptly fell off a cliff. I decided a visual aid was called for and charted the past seven years. I would have gone farther back but the data was too incomplete for a chart (FYI – for the two missing months in the data set I used the previous month’s rank to keep the chart uniform and assuming the rank was near that)
As you can see, the freefall is stunning. Yes, the FIFA rankings were revamped after the 2006 World Cup, which has something to do with the drop, but still. One look at that graph makes it feel like we’re back at square one. How far have we really fallen? Whatever the deficiencies of the FIFA ranking system, the USMNT was ranked consistently at the same general level month over month. They didn’t just jump into the single digits overnight. Getting back there is going to be a challenge, though the reduced window of time for the rankings [4 years instead of 8] will help. Here’s hoping the USMNT can resume their gradual upward climb once they start playing again and a new coach is announced. Any. Day. Now.