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USL Championship Power Rankings – Week 31

By Staff, 10/07/19, 4:45PM EDT


Hounds hold onto top spot after completing undefeated home slate

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 Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC
Week 31: W, 2-1 @LDN, T, 1-1 ATL
Week 32: @STL

Last Week: 1
A four-point week for the Hounds kept them in pole position to earn homefield advantage in the Eastern Conference, which would certainly come in handy as the side finished its home campaign 10-0-7 at Highmark Stadium.
2 Phoenix Rising FC
Week 31: W, 5-3 @POR
Week 32: SLC

Last Week: 2
Rising FC earned its 23rd win of the season on Saturday to move level with FC Cincinnati’s league record from a season ago. A home victory over the Monarchs this weekend would see Phoenix break that mark and FCC’s points record of 77, as well as clinch the Four Corners Cup.
3 Nashville SC
Week 31: --
Week 32: LOU, NC

Last Week: 3
Nashville’s chances of a top-two finish got a boost from results elsewhere over the weekend and the side can help its own cause with a victory against rival Louisville on Tuesday to kick off a regular season-ending three-game homestand.
4 Louisville City FC
Week 31: W, 1-0 @STL
Week 32: @NSH, SPR
Last Week: 5
Louisville claimed the Kings’ Cup with an impressive victory in Saint Louis on Saturday to push its unbeaten run to 10 games – the longest active streak for any team in the Championship.
5 Orange County SC
Week 31: W, 2-0 OKC
Week 32: @SLC, @SAC
Last Week: 8
Orange County has recorded seven shutouts over its last 12 games and held visiting Energy FC without a shot attempt over 90 minutes on Saturday night. Defense does win championships after all…
6 El Paso Locomotive FC
Week 31: W, 2-1 FRS, T, 0-0 @RNO
Week 32: AUS
Last Week: 14
El Paso has taken seven points from a possible nine over its past three games, all of which came against teams currently in the top four. And to be honest, Locomotive FC should’ve beaten Reno too.
7 Austin Bold FC
Week 31: PP @SLC
Week 32: @ELP
Last Week: 9
Austin’s Copa Tejas clash in El Paso on Thursday night has taken on a lot more meaning as the side looks to honor Promise Isaac and clinch a playoff berth.
8 Real Monarchs SLC
Week 31: PP AUS
Week 32: OC, @PHX
Last Week: 10
The Monarchs have the highest possible points total of any team vying for fourth place in the West but will also have the busiest finish of any team in the league with four games in 11 days.
9 Tampa Bay Rowdies
Week 31: L, 0-2 @LDN
Week 32: IND
Last Week: 4
The Rowdies will quickly forget about Friday night’s road defeat in Loudoun if they can leapfrog Indy Eleven with a victory when their top-four rival visits Al Lang Stadium on Saturday night.
10 Indy Eleven
Week 31: L, 0-1 @OTT, W, 3-0 MEM
Week 32: @TBR
Last Week: 18
Saturday night showed just how important homefield advantage in the postseason might be for Indy as the Eleven bounced back from four consecutive road defeats with a comfortable win over Memphis.
11 Reno 1868 FC
Week 31: T, 0-0 ELP
Week 32: @LV
Last Week: 12
1868 FC goalkeeper JT Marcinkowski showed exactly why he’s been called into the U.S. U-23 National Team this week as he frustrated Locomotive FC with nine saves in a scoreless draw.
12 Atlanta United 2
Week 31: T, 1-1 @PIT
Week 32: BST
Last Week: 16
With a draw on Saturday at Highmark Stadium, ATL UTD 2 became only the fourth team to take at least a point off Pittsburgh since mid-July and is the only non-playoff side to do so over that stretch. Atlanta’s six-game unbeaten run isn’t too shabby, either.
13 Fresno FC
Week 31: L, 1-2 @ELP, L, 1-4 TAC
Week 32: LA
Last Week: 6
The Foxes haven’t collected a point in their three games since snapping Phoenix’s 20-game winning streak, but Fresno still holds the inside track to second place behind Rising FC thanks to Reno’s inability to capitalize.
14 Memphis 901 FC
Week 31: L, 0-3 @IND
Week 32: CLT
Last Week: 11
Memphis is still mathematically alive with three games to go, but 901 FC really needed to keep its winning run going in Indy to have a legitimate hope.
15 North Carolina FC
Week 31: W, 2-0 NY
Week 32: @NSH
Last Week: 23
North Carolina is into the postseason after completing a season sweep of the Red Bulls II on Saturday night and will be rooting for Nashville to knock off sixth-place Louisville on Tuesday before heading to First Tennessee Park at the weekend.
16 Birmingham Legion FC
Week 31: L, 1-3 @SPR, T, 0-0 CHS
Week 32: @HFD
Last Week: 7
Legion FC is still above the playoff line after battling the Charleston Battery to a draw on Saturday, but Birmingham’s loss to Swope Park prior to that could certainly come back to bite it.
17 Sacramento Republic FC
Week 31: T, 2-2 LA, W, 3-2 @TUL
Week 32: OC
Last Week: 21
Thomas Enevoldsen’s California renaissance continues as the Dane notched two goals and an assist to lead Republic FC to fourth place after a four-point week.
18 LA Galaxy II
Week 31: T, 2-2 @SAC, L, 0-2 @COS
Week 32: @FRS
Last Week: 13
Things could be way worse for the Galaxy II after throwing away a late lead in Sacramento and falling to lowly Colorado Springs, but the side enters the week three points above the playoff line thanks to defeats for playoff hopefuls San Antonio and Portland.
19 New York Red Bulls II
Week 31: L, 0-2 @NC
Week 32: --
Last Week: 15
New York maintained 65 percent possession and outshot North Carolina 25-14 on its trip to Cary but failed to make the most of its chances and find a way by NCFC goalkeeper Alex Tambakis.
20 Ottawa Fury FC
Week 31: W, 1-0 IND
Week 32: @SPR, BST
Last Week: 24
A home victory over Indy coupled with the draw between Birmingham and Charleston was a welcome boost for Fury FC, which could clinch its spot in the postseason on Tuesday night with a road win over the Swope Park Rangers.
21 Charleston Battery
Week 31: T, 0-0 @BHM
Week 32: LDN
Last Week: 20
The Battery will be confident they can extend their 100-percent record of reaching the postseason after earning a point in Birmingham. Finding offense over its season-defining three-game homestand may be tough, though, with Ataulla Guerra suspended and Zeiko Lewis likely on international duty.
22 New Mexico United
Week 31: T, 1-1 RGV
Week 32: @TUL
Last Week: 19
United would’ve preferred to beat Rio Grande Valley but results elsewhere meant a draw was enough to move above the playoff line. It also means New Mexico is looking more and more like a play-in round candidate.
23 Las Vegas Lights FC
Week 31: W, 4-2 SA
Week 32: RNO
Last Week: 25
Irvin Parra powered Lights FC to victory over San Antonio to keep its playoff hopes alive and set up the biggest game in Las Vegas’ short history when Silver State Cup rival Reno 1868 FC visits Cashman Field this weekend.
24 Saint Louis FC
Week 31: L, 0-1 LOU
Week 32: @LDN, PIT
Last Week: 17
Saint Louis will be disappointed to have ceded the Kings’ Cup to Louisville on home turf, but the draw between Birmingham and Charleston kept it in ninth position for now. A bounce-back performance against Loudoun in midweek would go a long way to a postseason return.
25 San Antonio FC
Week 31: L, 2-4 @LV
Week 32: @POR
Last Week: 22
San Antonio’s defeat in Las Vegas on Saturday left it with no margin for error heading into what is essentially now an elimination game for Head Coach Darren Powell’s side in Portland on Friday night.
26 Tulsa Roughnecks FC
Week 31: L, 2-3 SAC
Week 32: NM

Last Week: 26
The newest piece of Tulsa’s Brazilian revolution, Marlon, notched his fifth goal in just his eighth appearance on Saturday night against Republic FC. He and Rodrigo da Costa have some serious attacking potential.
27 Loudoun United FC
Week 31: L, 1-2 PIT, W, 2-0 TBR
Week 32: STL, @CHS
Last Week: 30
Loudoun may have been officially eliminated from postseason contention last week but playing spoiler by grabbing a home victory over the Rowdies must have felt good.
28 Rio Grande Valley FC
Week 31: T, 1-1 @NM
Week 32: @OKC

Last Week: 28
Rio Grande Valley continues to make things difficult for opponents to the very end, earning a 1-1 draw in New Mexico to make it seven points out of nine against teams fighting for playoff positioning.
29 Charlotte Independence
Week 31: W, 2-1 @BST
Week 32: @MEM
Last Week: 31
The Independence put together back-to-back wins for the second time this campaign and will look for their first three-game winning streak of the year next weekend in Memphis.
30 Tacoma Defiance
Week 31: W, 4-1 @FRS
Week 32: COS
Last Week: 35
At long last, Tacoma earned its first road victory of the season with some clinical finishing in Fresno. It may not have meant much in the standings, but a three-goal win over the second-place Foxes should do a world of good confidence-wise for the Defiance.
31 Portland Timbers 2
Week 31: L, 3-5 PHX
Week 32: SA
Last Week: 27
Portland’s desperate rally with 10 men came up short against Rising FC and left the side likely needing to sweep its final three games to secure a return to the postseason.
32 Swope Park Rangers
Week 31: W, 3-1 BHM, T, 2-2 @HFD
Week 32: OTT, @LOU
Last Week: 33
Wilson Harris has scored nine goals since August 14 – tied for most in the Championship with Reno’s Danny Musovski – and has taken over the team lead with 11 tallies on the season.
33 Bethlehem Steel FC
Week 31: L, 1-2 CLT
Week 32: @ATL, @OTT
Last Week: 32
Steel FC played up a man for nearly an hour on home turf Sunday night but still found a way to fall to the Independence in a way that sums up the side’s disappointing campaign.
34 Hartford Athletic
Week 31: T, 2-2 SPR
Week 32: BHM

Last Week: 34
After managing just a draw against Swope Park at Dillon Stadium on Saturday, the Athletic look likely to end their expansion campaign on the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings.
35 Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC
Week 31: W, 2-0 LA
Week 32: @TAC
Last Week: 36
The Switchbacks gave the fans at Weidner Field something to cheer about as the side ended its home slate with a victory over Los Dos that may have a long-term impact in the playoff race.
36 OKC Energy FC
Week 31: L, 0-2 @OC
Week 32: RGV
Last Week: 29
Energy FC needed victory at Orange County to keep its slim playoff hopes alive and became the first team since the league started using Opta in 2017 to fail to record a shot attempt over 90 minutes. Bring on the offseason.

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