ZURICH | The United States dropped 12 spots to 35th in the FIFA rankings, one above the Americans’ low in July and August 2012.
Much of the drop is attributable to a devaluation of points from last year’s Copa America. Under FIFA’s formula, a nation’s ranking is based on adding its average points from matches in the last 12 months to its average points in the three years before.
Germany took over the top spot for the first time in exactly two years, moving up two places Thursday after winning the Confederations Cup last weekend with a second-string roster. Brazil dropped to second and Argentina to third.
Since Germany last led the rankings, exactly Brazil, Argentina and Belgium have held the top spot.
Portugal, which finished third at the Confederations Cup, rose four places to No. 4. Switzerland climbed to No. 5 by beating the Faeroe Islands to extend its perfect record in World Cup qualifying.
Poland, also unbeaten in World Cup qualifying, rose to No. 6, and Confederations Cup runner-up Chile fell three places to No. 7. Colombia, France and Belgium completed the top 10, though all fell three places.
Mexico, fourth at the Confederations Cup, leads CONCACAF at No. 16.
FIFA usually uses the rankings to decide seeding for World Cup draw, scheduled for Dec. 1 in Moscow.