After their dismal showing in the SheBelieves Cup, the U.S. Women’s National Team has been replaced atop the FIFA Rankings that determine the best team in the world at the time.
Germany replaces the United States and becomes the top women’s team while the USWNT falls to 2nd for the first time since before winning the 2015 Women’s World Cup. France, England and Canada round out the top five. The United States has never fallen below 2nd since the beginning of the FIFA Ranking 2003.
We all know that the FIFA Ranking is flawed and isn’t really the best way to determine the best team. But it is undeniable that the United States is at a crossroads as they look toward 2019. With CBA negotiations taking place and players either playing in Europe or are in the NWSL offseason, the USWNT’s test against three of the other top five teams in the world came at the wrong time.
And it showed. The United States would beat the new #1 Germany 1-0 but then lost to England 1-0 and France 3-0, finishing 4th. I would argue that France deserved to pass the USWNT for 2nd in the FIFA Ranking because they defeated the United States and was the only team in the SheBelieves Cup who didn’t lose.
For the USWNT, they are at the midpoint between World Cup’s. Quite frankly, if they were to experiment different things, put in different people, this would be the time to do it. It should be mentioned that the United States struggled about a year before the Women’s World Cup which caused legit concern that the team wouldn’t play well and they wound up winning the tournament.
I’m not sure the USWNT would be able to get away with that in 2019 but it’s okay to be going through some struggles if it means being better long-term. Now if this happens next year and into 2019, then that would be a time to worry. Now, there’s plenty of time to figure it out.