The United States women’s national team, or USWNT, has fallen to fifth in the latest FIFA ranking reveal. The drop means that the Stars and Stripes are now at the lowest spot in their history. FIFA initially began ranking women’s teams back in 2003. Emma Hayes’ new team was previously ranked fourth by the governing body in March.

Although they have fallen a spot since early March, the USWNT is undefeated since FIFA’s last rankings. The Americans beat Japan and then Canada on penalties in the SheBelieves Cup in April. They then, with Hayes at the helm, smashed South Korea 3-0 and 4-0 in two recent friendlies. Japan and Canada are currently ranked seventh and eighth, respectively. South Korea, on the other hand, remains 20th in the ratings.

Germany narrowly jumped above the USWNT to grab the fourth spot in the most recent rankings. The Germans are also unbeaten since the previous ratings were released. They have topped Austria, Iceland, and Poland (twice) in recent months. None of this trio, however, is currently inside the top 13 of FIFA’s rankings.

USWNT experiencing youth movement as Hayes enters the fray

News of the latest rankings by the governing body comes as the USWNT is undoubtedly dealing with a changing of the guard. Megan Rapinoe and Julie Ertz, typical mainstays in the squad, have both recently retired. Fellow veterans such as Becky Sauerbrunn, Kelly O’Hara, Abby Dahlkemper, and Alyssa Naeher were also not named in the team’s latest roster. All of these players have played at least 80 matches for the USWNT.

With key veterans departing the team, new youngsters have to step up in their places. Trinity Rodman, Jaedyn Shaw, and Korbin Albert are seemingly now leading the next wave of American talent. Along with the three budding stars, 16-year-old phenom Lily Yohannes is also taking advantage of the youth movement. The midfielder recently stole the show by scoring her first USWNT goal against South Korea earlier in the month.

Americans gaining momentum ahead of the Olympics

Spain, France, and England also remain ahead of the Americans in the latest rankings. Spain previously collected the 2023 Women’s World Cup title in Australia and New Zealand last summer. La Roja narrowly edged out the Three Lionesses for the trophy. England also won the 2022 Euros as well. France, on the other hand, has only lost two of their last dozen matches. Both of these defeats came against powerhouses Spain and England.

Despite the fall in the ratings, the USWNT will enter the upcoming Summer Olympics as one of the favorites. The Americans will, however, first face Mexico and Costa next month in tune-ups for the tournament in France. Hayes will want her squad to be firing on all cylinders ahead of the competition.

The USWNT has been placed in Group B of the Summer Olympics. They face a fairly tough test against Germany, Australia, and Zambia. The matchup against the Germans, in particular, will be interesting considering both teams are inside the top five of FIFA’s rankings. Hayes will lead the Americans in the tournament beginning on July 25.