Canadian women drop to No. 5 in FIFA world rankings

Canada coach John Herdman stands on the sideline. (Eugenio Savio/CP)

TORONTO — While Canada has slipped one spot to No. 5 in the latest FIFA world rankings, coach John Herdman sees only positives.

With 2,027 points, Canada trails fourth-place France by just three points. No. 3 England is also in the Canadian women’s sights.

"It’s the first time we’ve been that close to France for a long time. And within 10 points of England," Herdman said Friday. "So we are actually just 10 points away from third place and that’s been sort of unheard of for Canada. There’s always been a big stretch between No. 3 in the world and (Nos.) 4 and 5.

"We’re a couple of big wins away from taking that No. 3 spot and continuing on. And obviously with the U.S. coming up, it just adds extra incentive for us."

Canada’s next action is a two-game series against the top-ranked Americans in November, in Vancouver and San Jose.

Canada has never been higher than fourth in the rankings, a position it first achieved last year after winning bronze at the Rio Olympics. Herdman’s team gained 93 ranking points and moved up six spots in the wake of beating host Brazil 2-1 in the third-place match.

It marked the first time that Canada had cracked the top five, surpassing its previous high of seventh. The 93-point gain, meanwhile, was a record in the 13-year history of the rankings.

Friday’s rankings changes were due to the recent UEFA Women’s Championship.

The U.S. (2,104 points) and Germany (2,077 points) remain 1-2 with European semifinalist England jumping two places to No. 3, an all-time high. That bumped France to No. 4 and Canada to No. 5.

Australia climbed one place to No. 6 with the Netherlands, which won the European title, vaulting five places to No. 7 to crack the top 10 for the first time. Japan slipped two spots to No. 8 and Brazil one to No. 9. North Korea remained at No. 10.

Sweden fell out of the top 10, dropping two rungs to No. 11. European runner-up Denmark climbed three places to No. 12.

Herdman’s team has not played since blanking Costa Rica 6-0 in Toronto on June 11. The Canadian women are 6-2-1 this year.