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Canadian men climb eight spots to No. 40 in latest FIFA rankings

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Fuelled by wins over Mexico and Costa Rica, Canada has risen eight places to No. 40 in the latest FIFA world rankings, matching its highest-ever position.

The Canadian men also hit No. 40 in December 1996. FIFA, which started the rankings in 1992, revamped its rating formula in 2018.

Canada started the year at No. 72 but has steadily risen thanks to a 13-2-4 record in 2021 that has seen John Herdman’s team top the ongoing final round of World Cup qualifying in CONCACAF, which covers North and Central America and the Caribbean.

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Canada’s lone losses have been to the U.S. and Mexico at the Gold Cup. The Canadians have outscored their opposition 55-11 this year.

Canada was 94th, sandwiched between Gabon and the Faroe Islands, when Herdman took over as coach in January 2018. Back then the Canadian men ranked 10th among CONCACAF countries in the FIFA rankings, looking up at Mexico, the U.S., Costa Rica, Jamaica, Panama, Haiti, Honduras, Curacao, and Trinidad and Tobago.

Today they stand third in the region.

Six matches remain in Canada’s road to the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar. Watch all remaining qualifiers live on Sportsnet, starting Jan. 27.

World Cup qualifying losses to the U.S. and Canada this month saw Mexico fall five spots to No. 14 while the U.S. rose one place to No. 12 to take over top spot in CONCACAF.

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The top three were unchanged with Belgium leading Brazil and France, albeit with a much smaller points cushion. England and Argentina both moved up one place, to No. 4 and 5 respectively, with Italy dropping two rungs to No. 6. Spain and Portugal were unchanged at No. 7 and No. 8. Denmark and the Netherlands completed the top 10, with both moving up one position at the expense of Mexico.

No. 11 Germany and No. 13 Switzerland also vaulted over the Mexicans.

Equatorial Guinea (No. 114, up 11 ), Ecuador (No. 46, up nine) and Togo (No. 125, up nine) were the biggest movers of the month. Central African Republic was the biggest loser (No. 130, down 15) although Mexico suffered the biggest drop in points, down 34.16.

Of the 13 countries already qualified for Qatar 2022, 11 are ranked in the top 15. Serbia (No. 23, up two) and host Qatar (No. 51, down five) are the other qualified teams.

In February 2002, Canada jumped 20 places to No. 73 in the rankings, courtesy of a third-place finish at the Gold Cup. At the time, it marked Canada’s biggest climb up the world soccer ladder since winning the 2000 Gold Cup, when it rose 24 spots to 61st overall.

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In June 2007, Canada climbed 38 places from No. 94 to No. 56 as it progressed to the Gold Cup semifinals. It reached No. 52 the following month.

Canada’s lowest-ever ranking was 122nd, in both August and October 2014.

The Canadian women, gold medallists at the recent Tokyo Olympics, are currently ranked sixth by FIFA.



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College football rankings: Ohio State, TCU have earned spots in final four

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Michigan and Georgia are clear playoff teams. We’ll soon find out who the CFP Selection Committee thinks deserves a spot beside them.



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No. 11 Utah Utes take down the No. 4 USC Trojans for the PAC 12 Championship | Number One CFB Show

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RJ Young reacts to the No. 11 Utah Utes taking down the No. 4 USC Trojans for the PAC 12 Championship.



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Canucks’ Luke Schenn passes Brooks Orpik for most hits by an NHL defenceman

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Luke Schenn of the Vancouver Canucks, after a six-hit night, has been crowned the hit king amongst NHL defencemen, passing Brooks Orpik for most hits since the stat has been recorded.

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Some 2,947 hits later, the journeyman hasn’t stopped doing what he does best and is now able to say he stands at the peak of his craft. He hit the mark in 888 games.

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A couple of days ago Schenn told Sportsnet that he “didn’t really think too much of it,” and that he “doesn’t really care too much about the number,” however as he broke the record, the fans in attendance made sure to let him know how much they cared.

Chants of “LUKE! LUKE!” broke out at Rogers Arena in Vancouver for the new leader in the category.

The 33-year-old has played for seven teams throughout his career and won two Stanley Cups during his time with the Tampa Bay Lightning. On every team he’s been on, he’s done what he does best. Hit.

Five forwards still remain above him on the hits leaderboard: Milan Lucic, Alex Ovechkin, Matt Martin, Dustin Brown, and the recently coronated Cal Clutterbuck sits atop the rankings with 3,647.

It was a celebratory day for the Schenn family, as brother Brayden played in his 800th NHL game across the country as his St. Louis Blues took on the Pittsburgh Penguins. But Brayden still has a ways to go if he wants to catch up to Luke’s physical domination, as the centre only has 1,700 hits to his name.

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