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Sports Canada on the rise in FIFA rankings, cracks all-important top six in CONCACAF

21:10  24 october  2019
21:10  24 october  2019 Source:   msn.com

The Canadian men’s soccer team is entering another universe in Nations League play

  The Canadian men’s soccer team is entering another universe in Nations League play It was 21 months ago that John Herdman took the reins as coach of the Canadian men’s soccer team, but the skipper believes the best is yet to come — both from his team and the opposition. Canada will face the United States in a CONCACAF Nations League game at BMO Field next Tuesday night, and Herdman anticipates the Americans will be among the toughest opponents they have faced since he took charge in January 2018. “They’re up there with the best we’ve played,” he said Wednesday. “We’ve only played Mexico and Haiti that really, really challenged us. This is building on those learnings.

Canada climbed six places to No. 69 in the latest FIFA rankings , leapfrogging El Salvador to crack the top six in the CONCACAF region. The move, powered by a famous 2-0 upset win over the U.S. on Oct. 15, puts the Canadian men on track to make the Hex — the most direct route of World Cup qualifying

Canada climbed six places to No. 69 in the latest FIFA rankings , leapfrogging El Salvador to crack the top six in the CONCACAF region. The move, powered by a famous 2-0 upset win over the U.S. on Oct. 15, puts the Canadian men on track to make the Hex — the most direct route of World Cup qualifying

Canada climbed six places to No. 69 in the latest FIFA rankings, leapfrogging El Salvador to crack the top six in the CONCACAF region.

The move, powered by a famous 2-0 upset win over the U.S. on Oct. 15, puts the Canadian men on track to make the Hex — the most direct route of World Cup qualifying out of North and Central America and the Caribbean.

The top six CONCACAF teams, come the rankings after the June international window, will make the Hex round. They will play a round-robin with the top three finishers qualifying for Qatar 2022 and the fourth moving on to a playoff.

Teams ranked No. 7 through 35 will have to slog it put through a longer process with only the last team standing having a chance to qualify — and that through two playoffs.

Alphonso Davies is the face of Canadian men’s soccer — and he’s just getting started

  Alphonso Davies is the face of Canadian men’s soccer — and he’s just getting started Alphonso Davies doesn’t really like public speaking. If he has to talk in front of a crowd, he can. Given the choice, though, he would rather not. You would have never guessed it after the Edmonton-raised soccer star, then 17, stepped to the podium in front of the powerful FIFA congress in Moscow in June 2018. He had been chosen to speak in favour of a joint bid by Canada, the United States and Mexico to co-host the 2026 World Cup. “They didn’tIf he has to talk in front of a crowd, he can. Given the choice, though, he would rather not.

The top six Concacaf teams in next June's rankings will play for three World Cup berths during qualifying from September 2020 through September 2021, known as the hexagonal. All the other teams in the region will compete for the right to meet the fourth-place team in the hex in a playoff.

The top six in CONCACAF , which covers North and Central America and the Caribbean , in the June rankings will qualify for the Hex round of World Teams ranked seven through 35th in the region will have to slog it out in a separate qualifying bracket with the last team standing moving on to face the

Canada stood seventh in the region when the new CONCACAF qualifying procedure was announced.

With 1,339 points — a rise of 17 points — it now holds a slim three-point edge over No. 73 El Salvador (1,336) and 16 points over No. 76 Curacao (1,323). It had trailed El Salvador by five points in the last rankings.

The Canadians are 29 points behind No. 63 Honduras (1,368), 97 behind No. 47 Costa Rica (1,436) and 102 in arrears of No. 45 Jamaica (1,441).

Canada plays the U.S. again on Nov. 15 in Orlando. A win or tie and it will win its CONCACAF Nations League A group, which would move John Herdman's team into the tournament's final four next June with more valuable ranking points up for grabs.

Mexico (1,613) continues to top CONCACAF, moving up one place to No. 11. The Americans (1,530) remain No. 2 in the region but dropped two places to No. 23 on the world ladder.

There were no changes in the top four with Belgium (1,755 points) ahead of France, Brazil and England. Uruguay climbed one spot to No. 5 at the expense of No. 6 Portugal. Croatia moved up one place to No. 7 followed by Spain (down one), Argentina (up one) and Colombia (down one).

Team on the rise include Ukraine (No. 22, up three), Japan (No. 28, up three), Turkey (No. 32, up four) and Russia (No. 37, up five).

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 24, 2019.

Follow @NeilMDavidson on Twitter.

Neil Davidson, The Canadian Press

Ottawa Fury pro soccer team suspends operations .
OTTAWA — The Canadian pro soccer landscape no longer includes the nation's capital after Ottawa's sports scene absorbed another blow Friday. The Ottawa Fury have suspended operations, saying they have not been able to obtain required sanctioning from governing bodies to continue play in the American-based United Soccer League. "How could this team be suspending operations? Politics, of course," said team president John Pugh of the Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group (OSEG), which owns the franchise."We needed to be sanctioned and that did not come. They knew our deadlines. They knew the deadlines we had been given by our league.

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