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USL Championship Power Rankings – Preseason

By USLChampionship.com Staff, 03/06/19, 2:15PM EST

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The defending champions are No. 1, where does every other team fall before opening kickoff?

The 2019 USL Championship Power Rankings are compiled each week by staff writers John Arlia and Nicholas Murray. Check back every Monday during the regular season to see who’s hot and who’s not, as the biggest season in the league’s history progresses.

Select a logo to find where your team is ranked.

Atlanta United 2 Austin Bold FC Birmingham Legion FC Bethlehem Steel FC Charleston Battery Charlotte Independence Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC El Paso Locomotive FC Fresno FC
Hartford Athletic Indy Eleven LA Galaxy II Louisville City FC Las Vegas Lights FC Loudoun United FC Memphis 901 FC Nashville SC North Carolina FC
New Mexico United New York Red Bulls II Orange County SC OKC Energy FC Ottawa Fury FC Phoenix Rising FC Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC Portland Timbers 2 Rio Grande Valley FC
Reno 1868 FC San Antonio FC Real Monarchs SLC Saint Louis FC Sacramento Republic FC Swope Park Rangers Tacoma Defiance Tampa Bay Rowdies Tulsa Roughnecks FC

Rank

 

Team

Change

Summary

1 Louisville City FC
(0-0-0)
Week 1: @NC

2018:
USL Cup Champions
The defending champions earn the right to sit on top of the preseason rankings ahead of their opening trip to face North Carolina FC on Saturday.
2 Phoenix Rising FC
(0-0-0)
Week 1: @SA

2018:
Lost in USL Cup Final
Phoenix has reloaded after its offseason departures and will give San Antonio FC a strong first test in a marquee season opener for both clubs at Toyota Field.
3 Nashville SC
(0-0-0)
Week 1: LDN

2018:
Lost in Conf. Semifinals
The biggest winner of the offseason has a loaded attack to go with its stingy defense, which projects NSC as the biggest challenger right now to Louisville’s crown in the East.
4 Indy Eleven
(0-0-0)
Week 1: @STL

2018:
Lost in Conf. Quarterfinals
The Eleven underwhelmed in preseason, but on paper at least, it looks like a serious title contender.
5 Sacramento Republic FC
(0-0-0)
Week 1: SLC

2018:
Lost in Conf. Semifinals
It’s an improved for Sacramento in 2019. The arrivals of Stefano Bonomo and return of Tyler Blackwood will offer good support for Cameron Iwasa.
6 Orange County SC
(0-0-0)
Week 1: @RNO

2018:
Lost in Conf. Finals
Thomas Enevoldsen is gone, but Orange County has most of its first-place squad back for another year. The season opener at Reno 1868 FC is a must-see.
7 OKC Energy FC
(0-0-0)
Week 1: @ELP

2018:
10th in West
Energy FC has racked up some impressive preseason performances, including seven goals in seven games for Deshorn Brown. If he can stay on-target, Steve Cooke’s men will be a tough out for any team.
8 Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC
(0-0-0)
Week 1: --

2018:
Lost in Conf. Semifinals
The Hounds should be airtight defensively once again. Whether they can break through to the next level will depend in large part on new arrivals Steevan Dos Santos and Christian Volesky.
9 Reno 1868 FC
(0-0-0)
Week 1: OC

2018:
Lost in Conf. Semifinals
A 3-0 preseason win against the San Jose Earthquakes was a sign that Head Coach Ian Russell’s squad is up for another successful year. A visit from Orange County SC in the opener will be its first big test.
10 San Antonio FC
(0-0-0)
Week 1: PHX

2018:
9th in West
A major roster overhaul has SAFC looking like a strong prospect for a postseason return, especially if the attacking pieces fit together in time for Phoenix’s visit on Saturday.
11 Tampa Bay Rowdies
(0-0-0)
Week 1: @MEM

2018:
12th in East
We said this last year, but the Rowdies look like a talented squad on paper. How it turns out in practice is another thing, but we’ll learn something from their trip to Memphis.
12 Charleston Battery
(0-0-0)
Week 1: OTT

2018:
Lost in Conf. Semifinals
Never bet against Mike Anhaeuser’s ability to get the most from his squad. With most of the 2018 team returning, another good season seems likely.
13 Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC
(0-0-0)
Week 1: @LA

2018:
11th in West
The Switchbacks went undefeated through the preseason and claimed the Wasatch Winter Cup over Reno 1868 FC and Real Monarchs SLC. Will that translate to the regular season?
14 Real Monarchs SLC
(0-0-0)
Week 1: @SAC

2018:
Lost in Conf. Semifinals
There are a lot of new faces for Head Coach Martin Vasquez to work with, but the return of Maikel Chang, Masta Kacher and others should make Real’s visit to Sacramento an interesting one.
15 Saint Louis FC
(0-0-0)
Week 1: IND

2018:
Lost in Conf. Quarterfinals
After making the playoffs a season ago, STLFC has looked to boost its attack as it enters Year 2 under Head Coach Anthony Pulis. Indy Eleven’s visit on Saturday is a big first test.
16 Charlotte Independence
(0-0-0)
Week 1: --

2018:
11th in East
Enzo Martinez is back, Head Coach Jim McGuinness is in charge and Dom Oduro is hungry for goals – and pizza. Charlotte could be on the verge of a nice bounce-back year.
17 New Mexico United
(0-0-0)
Week 1: FRS

2018:
N/A
There’s a good vibe around Isotopes Park ahead of NMU’s inaugural match and the squad looks good on paper. An opening day win would be a big boost for the debutants.
18 Las Vegas Lights FC
(0-0-0)
Week 1: AUS

2018:
15th in West
The Eric Wynalda era is underway at Cashman Field, with Irvin Parra leading the way for the retooled squad. Can Lights FC back up its owner’s guarantee with a win over Austin?
19 New York Red Bulls II
(0-0-0)
Week 1: SPR

2018:
Lost in Conf. Finals
The Red Bulls II always find a way, and with players like Jared Stroud and Tom Barlow set to mix it up again this season, enough attacking talent remains to get back to the playoffs.
20 Bethlehem Steel FC
(0-0-0)
Week 1: @BHM

2018:
Lost in Conf. Semifinals
The results in preseason may have been up and down for Steel FC, but once Head Coach Brendan Burke gets his squad set, James Chambers will lead the way for what should be another solid season.
21 Fresno FC
(0-0-0)
Week 1: @NM

2018:
12th in West
The Foxes went through preseason undefeated, and while the competition might not have been as high-level as some, it may have found its No. 9 in Jaime Chavez.
22 North Carolina FC
(0-0-0)
Week 1: LOU

2018:
9th in East
Bad weather and postponements meant we didn’t get to learn too much about what Head Coach Dave Sarachan is cooking up at WakeMed Soccer Park. A visit from Louisville on Saturday will change that.
23 Swope Park Rangers
(0-0-0)
Week 1: @NY

2018:
Lost in Conf. Semifinals
The Rangers are in the East for the first time and get a rematch of the 2016 USL Cup right off the bat. Will Paulo Nagamura’s side get revenge on the Red Bulls II this time around?
24 El Paso Locomotive FC
(0-0-0)
Week 1: OKC

2018:
N/A
Patience and pace of play is going to be the watchword for Locomotive FC under Head Coach Mark Lowry. El Paso will get a good test against OKC Energy FC in its inaugural home opener on Saturday.
25 Birmingham Legion FC
(0-0-0)
Week 1: BST

2018:
N/A
There’s talent on Legion FC’s roster, but the question is going to be how quickly it can come together. Bethlehem’s visit on Saturday could be a good litmus test.
26 Portland Timbers 2
(0-0-0)
Week 1: @TUL

2018:
Lost in Conf. Semifinals
T2 earned its first postseason appearance a season ago, but the club’s squad looks much different now. How Portland compensates for departures like Jack Barmby and Augustine Williams is going to be key.
27 Ottawa Fury FC
(0-0-0)
Week 1: @CHS

2018:
10th in East
When Fury FC scored the first goal in 2018, it was a tough side to beat. When it didn’t, comebacks were hard to come by. Getting out to a good start on the road in Charleston would be a nice opening statement.
28 Rio Grande Valley FC
(0-0-0)
Week 1: @TAC

2018:
13th in West
The Toros kick off the season on the road in Tacoma on Friday night. With a full season of Carlos Small leading the attack ahead, we should see more goals than in 2018.
29 Hartford Athletic
(0-0-0)
Week 1: @ATL

2018:
N/A
Hartford will want to get its inaugural season off to a good start in Atlanta on Saturday. If it doesn’t, the rest of its eight-game road trip to start the season is going to look tougher than it already does.
30 LA Galaxy II
(0-0-0)
Week 1: COS

2018:
14th in West
Los Dos have two of their big attacking pieces back in Ethan Zubak and Frank Lopez, but the side is going to have to be better defensively if it’s going to be a playoff contender.
31 Memphis 901 FC
(0-0-0)
Week 1: TBR

2018:
N/A
The atmosphere for 901 FC’s opening game in club history should be a raucous one, but the side is going to need a big-time performance against the visiting Tampa Bay Rowdies to send the fans home happy.
32 Austin Bold FC
(0-0-0)
Week 1: @LV

2018:
N/A
There’s a lot of experience in Head Coach Marcelo Serrano’s squad but how it all comes together is going to be key. Bold FC will get a pressure test in Las Vegas in its inaugural contest on Saturday.
33 Tulsa Roughnecks FC
(0-0-0)
Week 1: POR

2018:
17th in West
A renewed sense of optimism is running around ONEOK Field after the club’s offseason changes. An opening home victory against the Timbers 2 on Saturday would be massive for the club’s hungry supporter base.
34 Atlanta United 2
(0-0-0)
Week 1: HFD

2018:
14th in East
It would be quite something if it pulled off a second straight home-opener victory against Hartford on Saturday after downing the New York Red Bulls II a year ago.
35 Tacoma Defiance
(0-0-0)
Week 1: RGV

2018:
16th in West
The new brand is a winner, but it remains to be seen if that will translate to the club’s on-field performance. A home opener against Rio Grande Valley FC offers hope of an opening win.
36 Loudoun United FC
(0-0-0)
Week 1: @NSH

2018:
N/A
For an expansion club to be handed its first game on the road against one of the presumptive Eastern Conference favorites is a rough draw. It’s hard to see Loudoun coming away with points in its season debut.

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