After a 2021 that had more ups than downs for the Stars and Stripes, the USMNT finished 11 on the FIFA Ranking, even over Mexico, a sign that some people could take as the Americans becoming the CONCACAF Giant. And numbers seem to support that theory.
With 1648.51 points, USMNT moved up one spot from the previous ranking, released by FIFA in November. Even though Gregg Berhalter’s squad didn’t make it to the Top 10, US National Team couldn’t have asked for a better way of closing 2021.
On the last game of the year, a friendly match against Bosnia and Heregovina, the Stars and Stripes won 1-0 with a late goal scored by youngster debutant Cole Basset, goal that helped the team finish 2021 with a record-breaking streak: 17 games won in just a year. With a 17-2-3 record, US Soccer achieved its most prolific year.
On top of that, they managed to beat Mexican National Team on the three encounters they had in 2021, letting Mexico and CONCACAF teams know who is the King of the conference.
Wins over Mexico helped US reach 11th place in FIFA Ranking
USMNT started the year on the 22nd spot of the FIFA Ranking. Up until May, the highest spot the reached was 20. But from June onward, they started escalating spots as they were able to reach the 10th spot of the FIFA Ranking on August, right after winning both CONCACAF Nations League and Gold Cup.
On June 6, the US came from behind to beat Mexico by a score of 3-2 after trailing since the first minute, when Tecatito Corona opened the score for Mexico. The US managed to tie the score at 27’ with a goal by Gio Reyna.
At the end of the game, Diego Lainez scored what seemed to be the goal that would give Mexico the trophy, but four minutes later Weston McKennie scored the equalizer that send the game to overtime.
Pulisic, via penalty kick, would then put USMNT on front for the first time in the game and the definitive score, which helped them become CONCACAF Nations League Champions.
Both teams faced off again just a month later, in the Final of CONCACAF Gold Cup. On this rematch, both teams didn’t have a margin for error, hence the reason that the game, again, went to overtime.
When both parties were thinking about the penalty kick round, Miles Robinson managed to score the first and only goal of the game at 117’.
Finally, the third and last game they disputed on 2021 was played last November. This time for the FIFA World Cup Qualifiers. The match played on Cincinnati repeated the infamous “dos a cero” score, making 2021 a year when the US stayed unbeaten against El Tri.
Christian Pulisic managed to open the score at 74’ and Weston McKennie put the final 2-0 that gave the W to the Stars and Stripes at 85'. Unfortunately for them, they also lost Miles Robinson, as he got a red card in the last minutes of the game.
1. Belgium 1828.25 points
2. Brazil 1826.35 points
3. France 1786.15 points
4. England 1755.25 points
5. Argentina 1750.51 points
6. Italy 1740.77 points
7. Spain 1704.75 points
8. Portugal 1660.25 points
9. Denmark 1654.54 points
10. Netherlands 1653.73 points
11. United States 1648.51 points
12. Germany 1648.33 points
13. Switzerland 1642.83 points
14. Mexico 1638.3 points
15. Croatia 1620.74 points