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USMNT records highest FIFA world ranking since 2006

Gregg Berhalter has chosen a very young roster to represent the USMNT in the 2021 Gold Cup, and Joe Prince-Wright and Andy Edwards break down which players they're most interested to watch.

The USMNT have broken into the top 10 of the latest FIFA world rankings, as Gregg Berhalter’s side continue to push forward after a strong summer.

It turns out the kids are more than alright.

[ MORE: How to watch Premier League in USA ]

This is great news for the young American side, who are the biggest climbers in the top 20 of the FIFA world rankings.

After winning both the CONCACAF Nations League and Gold Cup this summer (with two extremely different squads) the USMNT have pushed up 10 places into 10th in the latest FIFA rankings.

Although Mexico lost to the U.S. in both major finals this summer in the CONCACAF region, El Tri still moved up two spots themselves and sit in ninth place, one place ahead of the USMNT.

Elsewhere, Belgium remain in top spot despite losing in the quarterfinals of EURO 2020 with Copa America runners up Brazil moving up one spot to second and France dropping a spot to third. Meanwhile the European Championships winner Italy moved up two spots to fifth and EURO 2020 runners up England remain in fourth.

Copa American champions Argentina moved up two places to sixth, Spain dropped one place to seventh, Portugal is down three places to eighth and then Mexico and the USMNT round off the top 10.

How big of a deal is this for the USMNT?

Aside from the prestige of being a top 10 national team in the world and the impact that will have on respect levels for U.S. Soccer, this has some other big implications for the USMNT players.

One thing it means is that American players hoping to play in England only have to have played 30 percent of USMNT competitive games over the last 24 months in order to qualify for a work-permit. Previously that threshold was higher due to the USMNT being out of the top 10 of FIFA’s world rankings.

In short: the door has just opened for American players to be able to move to English clubs more freely.

Given that the likes of Christian Pulisic, Gio Reyna, Josh Sargent, Weston McKennie and Tyler Adams have all had success in moving to Europe at a young age, the likes of Tanner Tessmann, Chris Richards, Gianluca Busio, Mark McKenzie and others are now following in their footsteps in making that move and many others can now do the same.

When people ask if the Gold Cup or Nations League games really matter, this kind of situation (and the subsequent benefits of a FIFA world ranking) proves that it does.

Below is a list of the current top 20 teams in the FIFA men’s world ranking.

FIFA world ranking (August 12, 2021)

1. Belgium (Even)
2. Brazil (Up 1)
3. France (Down 1)
4. England (Even)
5. Italy (Up 2)
6. Argentina (Up 2)
7. Spain (Down 1)
8. Portugal (Down 3)
9. Mexico (Up 2)
10. USMNT (Up 10)

11. Denmark (Down 1)
12. Netherlands (Up 4)
13. Uruguay (Down 3)
14. Switzerland (Down 1)
15. Colombia (Even)
16. Germany (Down 4)
17. Sweden (Up 1)
18. Croatia (Down 4)
19. Wales (Down 2)
20. Chile (Down 1)

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