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USL Championship Power Rankings – Week 26

By Staff, 09/02/19, 5:00PM EDT


Copa Tejas champion Austin breaks into the Top 10 after wild weekend of action

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.

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

Biggest Movers






1 Phoenix Rising FC
Week 26: W, 4-2 @TAC, W, 3-0 @COS
Week 27: SA

Last Week: 1
A pair of road victories over the week extended Rising FC’s record winning streak to 17 games and saw it become the first team to clinch its spot in the postseason.
2 Indy Eleven
Week 26: T, 1-1 @LOU
Week 27: NY, @CHS
Last Week: 3
Tyler Pasher continues to shine for the Eleven as the midfielder reached double-digit goals for the season in Indy’s road draw against LouCity.
3 New York Red Bulls II
Week 26: --
Week 27: @IND
Last Week: 6
The East-leading Red Bulls II had the weekend off to prepare for Wednesday’s trip to Indy, which could go a long way in determining which team sits atop the conference come October.
4 Nashville SC
Week 26: W, 2-1 @TBR
Week 27: @STL
Last Week: 7
Nashville recorded only three shots on target in Tampa Bay but scored with two of them as Gary Smith’s squad finally got the marquee result against a top-six side that its resume lacked.
5 Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC
Week 26: W, 4-0 @OTT
Week 27: LOU
Last Week: 8
The Hounds have won seven of their last eight after Steevan Dos Santos and Neco Brett helped light up Ottawa Fury FC on Friday to move into fifth place in the East.
6 Fresno FC
Week 26: L, 1-2 @TUL
Week 27: @RNO
Last Week: 2
The Foxes suffered a shock defeat in Tulsa but are still in control of second place out West heading into Saturday’s trip to Reno after 1868 FC dropped its third straight contest.
7 Tampa Bay Rowdies
Week 26: L, 1-2 NSH
Week 27: @CLT
Last Week: 5
The Rowdies have lost three of their last four games and are suddenly facing a fight to secure a top-four place in a top-heavy Eastern Conference.
8 Birmingham Legion FC
Week 26: T, 1-1 @LDN
Week 27: @ATL
Last Week: 9
Legion FC extended its unbeaten run to eight games with a point against Loudoun, but it will need to add to that against ATL UTD 2 on Wednesday to maintain the gap above Saint Louis.
9 Louisville City FC
Week 26: T, 1-1 IND
Week 27: @PIT
Last Week: 10
Abdou Thiam rescued a point for Louisville in the LIPAFC to extend the club’s unbeaten run to five games. A tough trip to Pittsburgh provides another opportunity to gain ground.
10 Austin Bold FC
Week 26: W, 3-0 RGV
Week 27: @COS
Last Week: 16
Bold FC claimed the inaugural edition of the Copa Tejas with its win over Rio Grande Valley and has now recorded nine of its 11 wins this season on home turf.
11 North Carolina FC
Week 26: L, 0-4 @LDN
Week 27: BST
Last Week: 4
North Carolina seems to have a knack for playing to the level of its opponents, which is good when you’re beating the league leaders away from home but bad when you’re losing 4-0 to Loudoun.
12 Orange County SC
Week 26: W, 2-0 @NM
Week 27: @POR
Last Week: 17
Orange County couldn’t have asked for a better time for its second road win of the season and seems to be peaking at the right time as three straight wins have the side up to seventh place.
13 Real Monarchs SLC
Week 26: T, 2-2 OKC
Week 27: LV, @LA
Last Week: 14
The Monarchs are winless in their last three games but still control their destiny for a top-four finish thanks to their games in hand on Bold FC and Energy FC.
14 OKC Energy FC
Week 26: T, 2-2 @SLC
Week 27: NM
Last Week: 15
Energy FC earned a hard-fought draw at the Monarchs but still sits just three points clear of the playoff line and its next opponent – New Mexico United.
15 LA Galaxy II
Week 26: W, 1-0 SAC
Week 27: SLC
Last Week: 18
The Galaxy II are the only team in the Western Conference playoff positions with a negative goal differential (-6), but they won’t care as long as they stay there.
16 Ottawa Fury FC
Week 26: L, 0-4 PIT
Week 27: @STL, @ATL
Last Week: 12
Fury FC suffered its heaviest home defeat in the Championship against the Hounds and won’t have much time to figure things out before kicking off a three-game road trip in Saint Louis.
17 Reno 1868 FC
Week 26: L, 1-3 POR
Week 27: FRS
Last Week: 11
Reno has lost three straight games by two or more goals and will have to sort out its defense ahead of Saturday’s top-three clash with Fresno at Greater Nevada Field.
18 San Antonio FC
Week 26: L, 1-5 @TAC
Week 27: @PHX
Last Week: 13
After thrashing New Mexico 5-0 last weekend, Friday night’s 5-1 defeat to the Defiance came as a bit of a shock. Now, a daunting trip to Phoenix awaits.
19 Saint Louis FC
Week 26: W, 3-2 HFD
Week 27: OTT, NSH
Last Week: 24
Seeing Kyle Greig firing again and picking up its first win since July 27 should give Saint Louis confidence ahead of important home contests with Ottawa and Nashville.
20 Sacramento Republic FC
Week 26: L, 0-1 @LA
Week 27: @TAC
Last Week: 19
Back-to-back losses have done some damage to Republic FC’s top-four hopes, but the side can help itself with a home victory over a tricky Tacoma side on Saturday.
21 El Paso Locomotive FC
Week 26: --
Week 27: TUL, @LV
Last Week: 22
Locomotive FC has scored just three goals in its past five games, so hopefully it used the weekend off for target practice ahead of Wednesday’s visit of the Roughnecks.
22 Charleston Battery
Week 26: T, 0-0 @CLT
Week 27: IND
Last Week: 23
The Battery settled for a scoreless draw with the Independence in the Southern Derby and will now need to beat North Carolina later this month to reclaim the regional trophy.
23 Portland Timbers 2
Week 26: W, 3-1 @RNO
Week 27: OC
Last Week: 26
Portland’s playoff hopes got a significant boost with its road win over Reno and T2 will like its chances to carry on with five of its next six games coming at Providence Park.
24 New Mexico United
Week 26: L, 0-2 OC
Week 27: @OKC
Last Week: 20
United has gone 245 minutes without a goal from open play, its longest such stretch of the season. That’s an issue given its defensive concerns.
25 Loudoun United FC
Week 26: T, 1-1 BHM, W, 4-0 NC
Week 27: @HFD
Last Week: 28
Loudoun put on a dazzling attacking display to record its first win at Segra Field and could still be holding out a little hope with four winnable games ahead of it.
26 Las Vegas Lights FC
Week 26: T, 1-1 @TUL
Week 27: @SLC, ELP
Last Week: 25
If Las Vegas fails to make the postseason, it will be squarely because of its inability to win games away from Cashman Field. A trip to the Monarchs on Wednesday offers a chance to prove us wrong.
27 Charlotte Independence
Week 26: T, 0-0 CHS
Week 27: TBR

Last Week: 27
The Independence earned a home point against Southern Derby rival Charleston but are still winless in their last seven games. A visit from the Rowdies on Saturday probably won’t help.
28 Rio Grande Valley FC
Week 26: L, 0-3 @AUS
Week 27: TUL
Last Week: 21
Rio Grande Valley’s playoff hopes are on life support after Sunday’s defeat in Austin, making this weekend’s visit of the Roughnecks a must-win.
29 Tacoma Defiance
Week 26: L, 2-4 PHX, W, 5-1 SA
Week 27: @SAC
Last Week: 30
The Defiance led Rising FC inside the final 15 minutes on Tuesday and knocked off San Antonio on Friday. Tacoma can certainly play spoiler down the stretch, especially at home.
30 Hartford Athletic
Week 26: L, 2-3 @STL
Week 27: LDN
Last Week: 29
The Athletic’s league-worst defense has conceded 14 goals over its past four games and 66 on the season.
31 Memphis 901 FC
Week 26: W, 2-1 @ATL
Week 27: SPR

Last Week: 31
Adam Najem’s late brace against ATL UTD 2 ended Memphis’ two-game scoring drought and three-game losing streak in one fell swoop.
32 Bethlehem Steel FC
Week 26: W, 2-0 SPR
Week 27: @NC
Last Week: 33
Michee Ngalina’s lovely free kick helped Steel FC to its first home win since June 15 and just its third in 14 tries this season.
33 Tulsa Roughnecks FC
Week 26: T, 1-1 LV, W, 2-1 FRS
Week 27: @ELP, @RGV
Last Week: 35
Rodrigo da Costa’s stunning bicycle kick was worthy of a win, which finally came for Tulsa after failing to pick up three points since April 24.
34 Atlanta United 2
L, 1-2 Week 26: MEM
Week 27: BHM, OTT
Last Week: 32
Atlanta saw a late lead slip for the second time in as many games as the defense collapsed late against Memphis.
35 Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC
Week 26: L, 0-3 PHX
Week 27: AUS
Last Week: 34
The Switchbacks were blitzed early by Rising FC and have now conceded 19 goals over a seven-game winless run.
36 Swope Park Rangers
Week 26: L, 0-2 @BST
Week 27: @MEM

Last Week: 36
The Rangers have lost six straight games and now have two fewer wins on the season than every other team in the league.

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