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U.S. men's national team up to 13th in FIFA ranking prior to World Cup

Captain Clint Dempsey will lead the U.S. men's national team -- the 13th-ranked team in the world -- at the World Cup. Photo:

Captain Clint Dempsey will lead the U.S. men's national team -- the 13th-ranked team in the world -- at the World Cup.

The U.S. men's national team will enter the World Cup as the 13th-ranked team on the planet. 

Jurgen Klinsmann's side moved up one place in the final ranking released prior to the World Cup, with wins over Azerbaijan and Turkey the only results the Americans have had since last month's edition. The USA remains the highest-ranked team in CONCACAF, with Mexico sliding one place down to 20th. The region's other two World Cup participants, Costa Rica and Honduras, are 28th and 33rd, respectively. 

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As for the USA's World Cup group opponents, Germany maintained its place at No. 2, sitting behind No. 1 and defending World Cup champion Spain. Portugal is down one place to No. 4, with World Cup host Brazil swapping positions to rank behind Joachim Low's Germans. 

Ghana, the USA's first group opponent, is up one place to 37th. 

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Saturday's opponent in the USA's final pre-World Cup friendly, Nigeria, ranks 44th in the world. The Super Eagles are also World Cup-bound and will play in Group F with Argentina, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Iran.

As for the rest of the Top 10, Lionel Messi's Argentina ranks fifth behind Portugal and is followed by Switzerland, Uruguay, Colombia, Italy and England, respectively. Belgium, who will play the USA in a closed-door scrimmage on June 12, the day of the World Cup opener, ranks 11th.

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