Costa Rica surpasses U.S., Germany first in FIFA rankings
Netherlands' Wesley Sneijder gets a shot past defender Costa Rica's Yeltsin Tejeda during the World Cup quarterfinal soccer match in Brazil, Saturday, July 5, 2014. The latest FIFA rankings place Costa Rica at No. 15, surpassing the U.S., and the Netherlands in the top three. (AP/Wong Maye-E)
The Associated Press
Published Thursday, August 14, 2014 8:43AM EDT
ZURICH, Switzerland -- World Cup quarterfinalist Costa Rica has risen above the United States to be CONCACAF's highest-ranked team in the latest FIFA rankings.
Costa Rica climbs one place to No. 15, and Mexico is at No. 17 after also rising one place this month.
The U.S. -- which, like Mexico, exited the World Cup in the second round -- falls three places to No. 18.
Although none of the CONCACAF rivals played last month, the moves reflect changing values of past results in the four-year cycle of matches FIFA uses in its calculations. For the first time, the rankings weigh South America as the strongest confederation ahead of UEFA.
World Cup winner Germany stays No. 1 ahead of Argentina and the Netherlands.
Former champion Spain is tied with Brazil for seventh place.