US Soccer Climbs 13 Spots in FIFA Rankings

ZURICH, Switzerland (AP) -- The United States moved up 13 spots to 16th place in the June FIFA rankings following a strong start in the CONCACAF Gold Cup.

The Americans reached their highest ranking at No. 4 in April 2006, then dropped steadily to as low as 31st from November to January after their first-round elimination in the World Cup and a seven-month layoff.

The latest rankings, released Wednesday, included the Americans' first two games in the Gold Cup, the championship of North and Central America and the Caribbean. The United States, the defending champion, plays in the quarterfinals Saturday.

World Cup champion Italy remained No. 1 for the third straight month and World Cup runner-up France moved past Brazil into second for the first time since September. Brazil dropped as low as third for the first time since March 2002.

Germany climbed one spot to fourth, its highest ranking since May 2003. Argentina, ranked No. 1 in March, fell two spots to fifth. Portugal, Spain, England, the Netherlands and the Czech Republic completed the top 10.

Mexico dropped six places to 26th, while Costa Rica moved up six spots to 46th.

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