USA poised to leap to new heights in the ELO ratings

Discussion in 'USA Men: News & Analysis' started by ur_land, Jul 8, 2005.

  1. ur_land

    ur_land New Member

    Aug 1, 2002
    Boulder, CO
    I'm a stats geek, and so I've always been fascinated by ratings systems. In soccer, the official FIFA rankings get a lot of crap, but are important (at least in terms of seeding for the world cup: .

    But the FIFA raking is not the only system out there. The (compleltely unofficial) ELO system also ranks soccer teams: . It uses a system that was developed (I believe) for chess. The formula has several differences with FIFA's; the biggest distiction is that the ELO system uses the results for every available game for the team (dating back sometimes to the 19th century) to determine ranking points, while FIFA uses only the best 8 results from each of the last 8 years.

    After several decades in the ELO wilderness, the USA has moved rapidly up in the rankings. At our lowest point, we were 85th in world (in 1968), and we were consistently in the 60s, 70s, and 80s in the rankings until around 1992. With the 4-1 victory over Cuba, the USA has moved up into 13th place, the highest we've ever been ranked since 1916 (where there probably less than 20 teams in the world).

    Sweeden, currently in 12th place, are only 12 rating points ahead of us in the rankings. 11th place Italy (18 points ahead) and 10th place Portugal (21 points ahead) are also in striking distance.

    Two wins in the remaining Gold Cup games against Canada and Costa Rica would get us around 25 points, pushing us into the top 10 for the first time ever.

    Does this matter? Not really. But as a fan of the US team, it is great to to see a (somewhat objective) measure confirming what we all can see: our soccer team is becoming one of the best in the world.
  2. thigpig

    thigpig New Member

    Apr 24, 2005
    upstate NY
    really? because we can beat Cuba and Canada? we must be the best then
  3. ur_land

    ur_land New Member

    Aug 1, 2002
    Boulder, CO
    Way to completely miss the point.

    No we're not the best becasue we can beat Cuba and Canada. We're becoming one of the best teams beacuse we win the games we're supposed to, often by a large margin (not always in a pretty fashion: see Cuba last night), and have the ability to compete with every team in the world. Is there a gap between us and the Brazils, Englands, and Netherlands of the world? Yes. But it's not nearly as big as it was 20, 10, or even 5 years ago.
  4. Noah Dahl

    Noah Dahl New Member

    Nov 1, 2001
    Don't Bring Me Down.

    Is this one of those Jeff Lynne projects with the same hackneyed beat and everybodys gonna rave about what a genius he is?
  5. smock7

    smock7 Member

    Aug 4, 2004
    New York City
    I thought classic art rock was dead.

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