#ConcacafRank: Who are the Top 10 teams in the region?
As the FIFA World Cup draws closer and closer, so too does the spotlight shine just a bit brighter on the Concacaf region, which will be represented in Russia by Mexico, Costa Rica, and Panama. But are these the three best teams in Concacaf? The question is asked by fans from every confederation, but in a region with a mere 3.5 allocations its extra imperative that the best sides qualify and perform well. And of course, most people will tell you that these are not Concacaf’s best sides, as USA is surely better than Panama. Right? Well, I decided that I wanted to confirm this; and so I embarked on a quest to find out the top 10 men’s national teams in the confederation.
What is the point? How does it work?
The official Fifa rankings have never been a good or reliable method of ranking teams. This is a fact known by just about everyone, and as a result the general interest in Fifa rankings is very low (except leading up to a draw, when the rankings get their only use), so I went about forming my own ranking system.
How does it work? It’s pretty simple, really. There are three segments of the rankings: The We Global Football ranking, the World Football Elo ranking, and the Media ranking. WGF and WFE are computerized ranking systems that use their own algorithms to rank every national team in the world. The media ranking is drawn from, well, the media. I asked numerous journalists and media members from around Concacaf for their input on this project.
Shown above are the top 10 from each of the three segments. You can see that the biggest disparity between the computers and the humans is that of Trinidad and Tobago; while the media ranked them quite well, neither computer ranking had them in the top 10 (15th in WGF and 12th in WFE). Guatemala performed well with the computers, whereas the people ranked them 11th, just missing out to Haiti by a slim margin.
Notably, both computers have placed the United States second, ahead of Costa Rica. The media had Costa Rica as a clear #2.
WGF also included Curacao, who were barely mentioned at all by the media during the polling. The Elo Ratings have them at 15th.
The #ConcacafRank Top 10
And there you have it. According to the #ConcacafRank formula, Concacaf is not being represented by its best three teams at the World Cup this summer. USA, the second best team in the region, shockingly missed out, and Concacaf will be represented instead by the #1, #3, and #4 teams.