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USL Championship Power Rankings – Week 29

By Staff, 09/23/19, 5:15PM EDT


Orange County sweeps into top spot on back of six-game winning streak

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 Orange County SC
Week 29: W, 1-0 @TUL
Week 30: @RGV
Last Week: 2
Orange County’s winning run reached six games after a stoppage-time victory in Tulsa that sees the side enter the week in pole position to finish fourth in the Western Conference.
2 Fresno FC
Week 29: W, 5-0 RGV, W, 2-1 PHX
Week 30: @SA
Last Week: 7
The Foxes put five past Rio Grande Valley in midweek, setting the table for a season-defining win over Rising FC that ended Phoenix’s streak and clinched Fresno’s first ever trip to the postseason.
3 Phoenix Rising FC
Week 29: L, 1-2 @FRS
Week 30: @NM
Last Week: 1
The streak is dead, long live the streak! The odds are good that Rising FC’s 20-game winning run won’t be matched anytime soon. Phoenix is closing in on the regular season title and still has a perfect record on Dollar Beer Night, so don’t feel too bad for it.
4 Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC
Week 29: T, 0-0 @NSH
Week 30: @MEM, IND
Last Week: 5
The Hounds held on for their fifth consecutive shutout despite playing the entire second half on the road against Nashville SC with 10 men. “Lilleyball” is BACK.
5 Louisville City FC
Week 29: W, 5-3 NY
Week 30: TBR
Last Week: 9
Nothing brings Louisville’s offense to life like a visit from the Red Bulls II. The champs have now scored 13 goals against New York at Slugger Field in their last three meetings including the postseason.
6 Tampa Bay Rowdies
Week 29: L, 0-1 @OTT, W, 6-1 BST
Week 30: @LOU

Last Week: 6
Want to see the definition of a dribbling masterclass? Check out the highlights of Malik Johnson from the Rowdies’ rout of Steel FC on Saturday night.
7 Nashville SC
Week 29: W, 1-0 BHM, T, 0-0 PIT
Week 30: @LDN
Last Week: 10
Nashville may not be turning on the style at the moment, but it’s showing the grittiness needed to grind out results and clinched its spot in the postseason with five games to go.
8 Birmingham Legion FC
Week 29: L, 0-1 @NSH, W, 1-0 IND
Week 30: --
Last Week: 11
Legion FC fans rode an emotional roller coaster of a week, losing late in Nashville, knocking off second-place Indy and then watching the Battery salvage three points late to stay a point behind Birmingham.
9 Reno 1868 FC
Week 29: W, 3-1 @NM
Week 30: SLC
Last Week: 17
Friday night was a milestone night for 1868 FC as Corey Hertzog scored his 60th career regular-season goal and Head Coach Ian Russell won his 50th match in charge as Reno sealed its postseason spot with a victory against New Mexico.
10 Indy Eleven
Week 29: L, 0-1 @BHM
Week 30: @ATL, @PIT
Last Week: 3
The Eleven’s attack looked flat in its loss to Birmingham, but Indy still has the inside track to the East’s top spot heading into this week thanks to New York’s back-to-back defeats.
11 Saint Louis FC
Week 29: W, 2-0 NY, L, 0-1 @MEM
Week 30: ATL
Last Week: 8
Saint Louis will have been disappointed to see its five-game win streak snapped on Saturday against Memphis, but a home date with ATL UTD 2 offers Anthony Pulis’ squad a great opportunity to respond.
12 Sacramento Republic FC
Week 29: T, 0-0 @OKC
Week 30: ELP

Last Week: 12
Thomas Enevoldsen and Republic FC were held off the scoreboard on their trip to OKC and now have some catching up to do in the race for a top-four finish.
13 New York Red Bulls II
Week 29: L, 0-2 @STL, L, 3-5 @LOU
Week 30: CHS
Last Week: 4
The Red Bulls II still sit atop of the Eastern Conference standings entering the week but have just a 13-pecent chance to finish the season there, according to
14 Austin Bold FC
Week 29: W, 4-1 LV
Week 30: @POR
Last Week: 18
Bold FC looked sharp in its regular-season home finale, but now Austin’s playoff mettle will be tested. Earning a victory in Portland on Sunday would be a big step forward.
15 Real Monarchs SLC
Week 29: W, 4-1 @TAC, L, 1-3 @RGV
Week 30: @RNO
Last Week: 13
The Monarchs split a pair of road contests against teams well below the playoff line and now face a final five-game stretch where they will only face teams currently inside the top seven.
16 Memphis 901 FC
Week 29: W, 1-0 STL
Week 30: PIT, BST
Last Week: 23
Memphis beat Saint Louis to extend its winning streak to four games, but the expansion side’s playoff odds actually went down because of results elsewhere. 901 FC’s run has certainly been encouraging but is likely too little too late.
17 Ottawa Fury FC
Week 29: W, 1-0 TBR, W, 4-1 HFD
Week 30: @NC
Last Week: 25
A pair of wins over the week couldn’t have come at a better time for Fury FC as the Canadian side now sits seven points clear of the playoff line with five games to go. A first playoff berth is within sight.
18 LA Galaxy II
Week 29: T, 1-1 SA
Week 30: OKC
Last Week: 14
The Galaxy II’s draw with San Antonio kept its playoff rival at arm’s length and kept Los Dos above the playoff line. A home win over Energy FC next weekend would do the same.
19 New Mexico United
Week 29: L, 1-3 RNO
Week 30: PHX
Last Week: 15
New Mexico has conceded 51 goals this season and now hosts a Phoenix side fresh off its first loss in four-and-a-half months. It’d be a surprise if that number didn’t rise this weekend.
20 El Paso Locomotive FC
Week 29: W, 2-0 COS
Week 30: @SAC

Last Week: 20
Locomotive FC got the home win it desperately needed on Saturday against Colorado Springs and is now above the playoff line with a game (or two) in hand on its playoff rivals.
21 Charleston Battery
Week 29: L, 1-3 @ATL, W, 2-1 NC
Week 30: @NY

Last Week: 21
Nico Rittmeyer’s stoppage-time header clinched the Southern Derby for the Battery against rival North Carolina and may go a long way towards ensuring Charleston’s streak of reaching the postseason in each of its seasons in the Championship continues.
22 San Antonio FC
Week 29: T, 1-1 @LA
Week 30: @TUL, FRS
Last Week: 16
A point on the road with 10 men certainly wasn’t the worst possible result for San Antonio, but it’ll need all three on Wednesday night on a tricky trip to Tulsa.
23 Portland Timbers 2
Week 29: W, 6-3 TAC
Week 30: AUS
Last Week: 26
Portland scored a season-high six goals in its win over Tacoma after managing just a single goal in each of its previous two games. T2 will be hoping the floodgates remain open when Austin visits this weekend.
24 North Carolina FC
Week 29: L, 1-2 @CHS
Week 30: OTT
Last Week: 22
North Carolina has taken just one point from a possible 15 over the last month and is subsequently looking more and more likely to be hosting a game in the play-in round.
25 OKC Energy FC
Week 29: T, 0-0 SAC
Week 30: @LA
Last Week: 24
With just four games left, Energy FC is running out of time to climb its way back into the playoff places after its scoreless draw on Sunday against Sacramento. This weekend’s trip to LA is essentially a must-win.
26 Las Vegas Lights FC
Week 29: L, 1-4 @AUS
Week 30: --
Last Week: 19
Lights FC’s road woes returned on Sunday in Austin as the side suffered its 10th away defeat of the campaign. A win in Colorado Springs next weekend is now an absolute necessity.
27 Atlanta United 2
Week 29: W, 3-1 CHS
Week 30: IND, @STL
Last Week: 31
Atlanta gained a lot of fans in Birmingham on Wednesday as the side pulled a shock win over the Battery. The East’s top sides will be hoping it can do the same when Indy visits Fifth Third Bank Stadium this week.
28 Bethlehem Steel FC
Week 29: W, 5-2 LDN,L, 1-6 @TBR
Week 30: @MEM
Last Week: 30
Steel FC enjoyed a seesaw of a week as it romped to a 5-2 victory over Loudoun in midweek only to get routed 6-1 by the Rowdies on Saturday night.
29 Tulsa Roughnecks FC
Week 29: L, 0-1 OC
Week 30: SA, @TAC

Last Week: 29
The Roughnecks threw everything they had at Orange County on Saturday night, which resulted in surrendering a 2-on-0 breakaway and the game-winning goal late in stoppage time.
30 Swope Park Rangers
Week 29: W, 3-0 @CLT
Week 30: @LDN
Last Week: 34
The Rangers won back-to-back games for the first time this season and managed to go unbeaten (2-0-1) on its three-game Southern Derby swing against Charleston, North Carolina and Charlotte.
31 Rio Grande Valley FC
Week 29: L, 0-5 @FRS, W, 3-1 SLC
Week 30: OC
Last Week: 33
Rio Grande Valley fans will be sharing similar thoughts as Steel FC fans after getting mauled 5-0 in midweek by Fresno only to bounce back for a 3-1 home win over the Monarchs.
32 Loudoun United FC
Week 29: L, 2-5 @BST
Week 30: SPR, NSH
Last Week: 28
Loudoun has lost three straight games but will now return to Segra Field for a five-game homestand as it looks build momentum and set the tone for 2020.
33 Hartford Athletic
Week 29: L, 1-4 @OTT
Week 30: @CLT
Last Week: 27
Hartford conceded a pair of penalties in the opening 20 minutes of its trip to Ottawa and has now allowed 73 goals this season, the most in the Eastern Conference.
34 Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC
Week 29: L, 0-2 @ELP
Week 30: LV
Last Week: 36
The Switchbacks were eliminated from postseason contention by El Paso on Saturday night and have now lost seven times during their 10-match winless run.
35 Tacoma Defiance
Week 29: L, 1-4 SLC, L, 3-6 @POR
Week 30: TUL

Last Week: 35
The Defiance conceded 10 goals over the week and will need to tighten things up at the back if they want to play spoiler over the final stretch of the season.
36 Charlotte Independence
Week 29: L, 0-3 SPR
Week 30: HFD
Last Week: 32
The Independence were eliminated from playoff contention on Saturday in a 3-0 home loss to last-place Swope Park. That pretty much says it all.

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