FIFA announced on Friday that the top seven teams in the global rankings from October — along with the host nation — will serve as the top seeds in the World Cup next summer in Brazil.
The rankings are set to be released on Oct. 17 and, despite their recent success in the CONCACAF Hexagonal round, it’s highly unlikely the US national team will vault from their current spot (No. 13) to a spot in the top seven and earn their first-ever seed in the tournament.
The announcement means that the seeds could instead go to teams who did not appear in the 2010 World Cup — Belgium seem primed for a spot after failing to qualify for South Africa or Germany in 2006, while Colombia could be seeded in their first appearance since 1994 – while traditional powers like England, Portugal or even 2010 runners-up the Netherlands could miss out.
Currently, the top seven teams are Spain, Argentina, Germany, Italy, Colombia, Belgium and Uruguay. Brazil – currently ranked No. 8 – get an automatic seed.
Uruguay are the only team in danger of not qualifying for the World Cup despite their lofty ranking. They would be replaced by the next-highest ranked team that has qualified, currently the Netherlands, followed by Croatia and Portugal.
The other draw pots will be determined by "geographic and sports criteria."
The US national team – which clinched a berth in Brazil last month – will close out its World Cup qualifying campaign against Jamaica in Kansas City on Oct. 11 and against Panama in Panama City on Oct. 15. They've played both Belgium and Germany this year, losing to Belgium 4-2 on May 29 in Cleveland and topping Germany 4-3 four days later in Washington, D.C.