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CHICAGO (AP) _ U.S. soccer reached another milestone Thursday when it was voted into the top 10 of the FIFA world rankings for the first time ever.

The latest rankings from the world soccer governing organization had the United States tied for ninth with Italy, two positions higher than before the World Cup, where it made the quarter-finals, losing 1-0 to eventual runner-up Germany.

``There's no question that this recognition is representative of the outstanding effort of our team in 2002, where we were able to get the results on the field in winning the Gold Cup and advancing to the final eight at the World Cup,'' coach Bruce Arena said.

``Hopefully this will serve as another sign of the respect we've been able to bring to U.S. soccer and the American players playing both in Europe and Major League Soccer.''

World Cup winner Brazil remains No. 1 in the world, followed by South American rival Argentina, which was eliminated in the first round of the World Cup.