- Associated Press - Thursday, September 14, 2017

ZURICH (AP) - The United States has dropped two places in the FIFA rankings to No. 28 as it struggles to qualify for the World Cup.

In qualifiers this month, the Americans lost 2-0 at home against Costa Rica and then tied 1-1 at Honduras.

The United States is fourth in the CONCACAF qualification standings heading into the final two matches. If the Americans can’t take one of the region’s three automatic qualification places for Russia next year, they will have to face an Asian confederation team in the playoffs in November.

But even sealing a playoff spot isn’t certain, with Honduras only behind the United States on goal difference.

Germany is back at the top of the rankings, taking over from Brazil after a busy World Cup qualifying program. European champion Portugal is up three places to No. 3, while Argentina fell one to No. 4 and Belgium climbed four places to No. 5.

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