The U.S. women’s national team (USWNT) have been knocked off the top spot of FIFA’s world rankings for the first time since March 2017.
They were replaced by Sweden, who moved up from third to the summit for the first time in their history. World Cup winners Spain sit in second after rising from sixth place, with the USWNT in third.
England, the losing finalists in Australia and New Zealand and European Championship winners a year ago, remain fourth.
The U.S.’ fall follows their disappointing World Cup campaign, which saw them be eliminated in the round of 16 after a penalty shootout defeat to Sweden. It was the first time the team had failed to at least reach the semifinal in a Women’s World Cup.
Vlatko Andonovski resigned as coach of the team last week. Assistant coach Twila Kilgore was named interim head coach while sporting director Matt Crocker leads the search for a new head coach.
Seven spot kicks, three misses and one millimeter: How the USWNT exited the World Cup
Analysis by The Athletic’s Meg Linehan
There are implications for the program as a whole, for the NWSL, for the youth national teams, for the role of NCAA and elite club soccer in player development.
This World Cup has raised massive existential questions about America’s ability to keep up moving forward.
As much as U.S. Soccer has always said it’s set the bar for international women’s soccer, the bar has been raised on them — and while that state of affairs is something they have acknowledged in the past, there’s a big difference between acknowledgement and the harsh reality of their World Cup campaign ending in the round of 16 for the first time ever.
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