USWNT drops to fourth in latest FIFA ranking

The United States women’s national team has fallen to fourth in the latest FIFA ranking, its lowest point since FIFA began ranking women’s teams in 2003.

Before Friday, the U.S. women had never been ranked below No. 2 in the world. Spain, England and France make up the top three, in that order.

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The USWNT beat Brazil 1-0 in the Concacaf W Gold Cup final on Sunday but the 2-0 upset to Mexico in the final group stage match is what sent them down in the overall ranking, according to FIFA.

Mexico moved up Friday to 31st overall from a previous No. 35. Mexico failed to qualify for last year’s World Cup.

Mexico beat the United States in February for the second time ever, getting goals from Lizbeth Ovalle and Mayra Pelayo in the group stage victory. They were the first goal conceded by the U.S. to a Concacaf opponent in 33 matches.

The U.S. entered the game 40-1-1 against its continental rival, with its only previous loss a 2-1 defeat during Women’s World Cup qualifying in 2010.

It was the first loss for the U.S. under interim coach Twila Kilgore, who took over after the team’s dramatic exit from the Women’s World Cup last summer in the round of 16.

Chelsea manager Emma Hayes will replace Kilgore this spring.

The USWNT has won every Concacaf tournament it has participated in, for a total of 15 titles from the region.

The recent tournament marked the first Women’s Gold Cup, created to give women’s teams in the Concacaf region more competitive matches. Twelve teams played group stage matches across three cities: Carson, San Diego and Houston.

“I think it just shows how far the game is coming and there’s no easy games anymore,” Kilgore said after the loss to Mexico. “And if we don’t take care of business and we don’t execute, this is to be expected.”

The USWNT next plays two SheBelieves Cup matches in April. The next FIFA rankings will be published on June 14.