Thursday, April 20, 2006

ATH: US Fourth in World!

U.S. Moves Up to Fourth in FIFA rankings

ZURICH, Switzerland (April 19, 2006) AP -- The United States moved into fourth place in the FIFA world rankings for April -- its highest showing ever.

Argentina, which had been fourth and is considered to be one of the main contenders along with Brazil to win the World Cup later this year, dropped into a tie for eighth place with Portugal.

Brazil is the No. 1 team in the world with 830 points, five less than last month. The Czech Republic is second with 779 points, followed by the Netherlands with 774.

The Americans dropped four points to 760, but still moved ahead of Argentina, which dropped 12 points.

The United States, which was drawn into one of the toughest groups at this year's World Cup with Italy, the Czech Republic and Ghana, reached the quarterfinals at the 2002 World Cup and won the 2005 Gold Cup.

Spain moved up one spot to round out the top five with 759 points, one more than sixth-place Mexico.

The rest of the top 10 includes France in seventh and England in 10th, nine points behind Portugal and Argentina.

World Cup host Germany and European champion Greece moved back into the top 20 after dropping out last month. They are tied for 19th with 699 points.

Croatia, which will face defending champion Brazil, Australia and Japan at the World Cup, dropped five spots to 24th.

Palestine, which moved up 17 places last month, picked up another six places this time to go into 115th place with 387 points. Tajikistan moved up 16 spots to 125th, and Kyrgyzstan moved up 13 places to 146th.

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