By SI Wire
December 18, 2014

The United States men's national team rose one spot to No. 27 in the final FIFA world rankings of the year, which were released Thursday. The team is ranked one position higher than in the November rankings. 

The U.S. men advanced to the round of 16 at the World Cup in Brazil this summer but lost 2-1 to Belgium. The U.S. was ranked 18th in the post-tournament rankings, ending an 11-month stay in the top 15. 

Losses to Ireland and Colombia dropped the USMNT to No. 28 in the November rankings. The U.S. has not played since the last rankings were released, but the Ivory Coast fell from No. 24 to No. 28 after a loss to South Africa, resulting in the bump. 

USA's John Brooks scores first goal since Ghana winner​

Rwanda gained the most ground in the rankings, rising 22 spots to No. 68. Cuba fell further than any team, from 79th to 113th. 

The top 23 spots in the rankings remain unchanged from last month, including World Cup champion Germany and runner-up Argentina maintaing the first and second spots, respectively.

USA's CONCACAF rival Mexico ends the year as the highest-ranked team in the region, coming in at No. 20 

Bob Bradley's Stabaek playing in MLS preseason tournament

Jack Jorgensen

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