New FIFA rankings out
The Netherlands and France are up (1 and 3 spots respectively), and the USA is down one to seventh. This, along with France's win in Ireland last week, pretty much ends our dream of being seeded. In order for that miracle to happen, we would need both France and Spain to only make the playoffs and lose there.
It was never that likely, but there was always an outside shot. In hindsight, the key moment was losing the 2003 Gold Cup semifinal against Brazil. If we had won the game, we would've gotten a ton of points in the rankings, and had a chance to beat Mexico to win the tournament. In addition, we would've played in the Confederations Cup. But it's not a big deal. Teams that are good do good in the World Cup, and teams that aren't don't. There are very few easy games, so let's bring it on already.
If we make it to the quarterfinals again, next time around in 2010 we'll almost certainly be seeded. That's another reason to hope for success next June.