US, Canada rise in year-end FIFA rankings...as does Haiti

USMNT's Jurgen Klinsmann in Mexico City

Photo Credit: 
Mexsport

Say what you will about FIFA rankings — and we're sure you will have plenty to say — but they do give us a way to measure national teams when head-to-head competition isn't available.

If the just-released year-end 2012 rankings are any indication, the Jurgen Klinsmann revolution is starting to pay dividends, as the US rose six spots, as compared with last year, to finish at No. 28. 

The US, who in 2012 posted its joint best-ever record (9W, 2L, 3D), were powered by friendly wins against heavyweights Italy and Mexico. On the other hand, the Yanks' struggles during the third round of World Cup qualifying hurt, leaving them in their third-lowest final ranking in the past decade.

Canada, who failed to advance to the Hexagonal again, climbed eight spots to No. 64, their highest ranking since 2009 and third-highest final ranking in the last decade.

Several other CONCACAF nations, most notably Mexico, Cuba, and Haiti, shot up in the rankings.

El Tri jumped back into the top 20 for the first time since 2009, finishing up six spots at No. 15.

Cuba, thanks to their title run in last week's Caribbean Cup, leapt 41 spots (compared to the November ranking) to finish at No. 100, and Haiti rose 18 points to No. 39 — third-highest position among CONCACAF sides — on the back of their third-place finish in the same tournament.

Obviously, though, the Haitians are not better than CONCACAF middleweights like Panama (No. 51), Jamaica (No. 56), Honduras (No. 58), and Costa Rica (No. 66) — all of whom qualified for the Hexagonal with the US and Mexico. 

So, like we said, say what you will about the FIFA rankings. 

   

Year-End FIFA Rankings through the years

USA Canada Mexico
2012: 28
2011: 34
2010: 18
2009: 14
2008: 22
2007: 19
2006: 31
2005: 8
2004: 11
2003: 11
2012: 64
2011: 72
2010: 84
2009: 56
2008: 90
2007: 55
2006: 82
2005: 84
2004: 90
2003: 87
2012: 15
2011: 21
2010: 27
2009: 17
2008: 26
2007: 15
2006: 20
2005: 5
2004: 7
2003: 7