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USL Championship Power Rankings – Week 7

By USLChampionship.com Staff, 08/10/20, 3:00PM EDT

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Tampa Bay’s undefeated streak puts it at the top of the rankings this week

TAMPA, Fla. – Last week, we argued in favor of promoting a team that hadn’t played into first place in the Power Rankings. This week, we’re going to reverse course completely and install the Tampa Bay Rowdies there instead. Why? Well, for one, I am a capricious person who cannot make up his mind about anything.

And two, the Rowdies’ resume is too good to ignore at this point. Not only undefeated, they’ve got the highest potential ceiling when it comes to points in the Eastern Conference after Indy Eleven’s recent string of dropped points. At the same time, it feels as though there’s more to come with a lineup that’s still continuing to mesh as it nears its halfway point of the season.

As always, feel free to come and yell at me on Twitter if you’d like (@NJEMurray).

Atlanta United 2 Austin Bold FC Birmingham Legion FC Charleston Battery Charlotte Independence Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC El Paso Locomotive FC
Hartford Athletic Indy Eleven LA Galaxy II Las Vegas Lights FC Loudoun United FC Louisville City FC Memphis 901 FC
The Miami FC New Mexico United New York Red Bulls II North Carolina FC OKC Energy FC Orange County SC Philadelphia Union II
Phoenix Rising FC Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC Portland Timbers 2 Real Monarchs SLC Reno 1868 FC Rio Grande Valley FC Sacramento Republic FC
Saint Louis FC San Antonio FC San Diego Loyal SC Sporting KC II Tacoma Defiance Tampa Bay Rowdies FC Tulsa

Biggest Movers

Rank

 

Team

Change

Summary

1 Tampa Bay Rowdies
(4-0-2)
Week 8: @ATL, MIA
1
Last Week:
2
The Rowdies are not only seizing the big moments, they’re looking awfully strong the rest of the time as well. New favorite to come out of the Eastern Conference.
2 Orange County SC
(1-0-2)
Week 8: @SD, LV
1
Last Week:
1
With points to make up on the top two in Group B, OCSC’s visit to San Diego on Wednesday night is a very big game that should have your attention.
3 Phoenix Rising FC
(4-1-1)
Week 8: SD

Last Week:
3
The win against New Mexico maybe wasn’t quite as dominant as the final score might indicate, but Junior Flemmings is putting on an absolute show right now to move into a tie for the lead in the Golden Boot race.
4 San Antonio FC
(4-0-1)
Week 8: @TUL, ATX
2
Last Week:
6
SAFC has looked the strongest its been since 2017 so far this season, and can build a sizeable lead in Group D with games against second-place FC Tulsa on Wednesday and third-place Austin Bold FC on Saturday.
5 Indy Eleven
(5-2-1)
Week 8: PIT
1
Last Week:
4
Make no mistake, Indy is still a very good team. But we’re in the what have you done for me lately business here, and one win in four games is keeping the door open for others.
6 Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC
(4-2-0)
Week 8: @IND
1
Last Week:
5
The Hounds racked up another four goals and Kenardo Forbes didn’t even record an assist. What a slacker.
7 Reno 1868 FC
(4-1-0)
Week 8: SAC, POR
1
Last Week:
8
It’s still a bit early to be certain, but 19-year-old goalkeeper Eric De La Cerda came through in a big way on Saturday night in 1868 FC’s win and is looking like he has a bright future ahead of him.
8 Birmingham Legion FC
(4-1-1)
Week 8: @CLT, @NC
2
Last Week:
10
From the high-flying exploits in midweek against Charlotte to a more grind-it-out approach against Atlanta on Saturday, Legion FC picked up six points and is headed in the right direction again.
9 Sacramento Republic FC
(2-1-3)
Week 8: @RNO, TAC

Last Week:
9
A win is a win, but Republic FC is still going to need to start producing more consistently in front of goal if it’s going to live up to the expectations it has set this season. Doing so in Reno on Wednesday is a great chance to start.
10 New Mexico United
(3-2-1)
Week 8: @COS
3
Last Week:
7
United went for it when it got back within a goal against Phoenix in the second half and got burned a little for it. But there’s nothing wrong with going down with a fight, and the club’s overall position is still solid.
11 Hartford Athletic
(4-1-0)
Week 8: NY

Last Week:
11
The Athletic got to sit back and watch this week, and they had to love the Red Bulls II’s pair of defeats that kept a six-point gap between themselves and the teams below the playoff line.
12 San Diego Loyal SC
(3-1-2)
Week 8: OC, @PHX

Last Week:
12
There are going to be more big games to come, but if San Diego can defend its home turf against Orange County on Wednesday night, its playoff chances are going to rise once again.
13 North Carolina FC
(2-1-1)
Week 8: BHM
1
Last Week:
14
Not only has NCFC taken two wins in a row, it’s got a fighting chance at first place in the near future. Saturday’s rematch with Birmingham is going to be a must-see.
14 FC Tulsa
(2-0-2)
Week 8: SA
6
Last Week:
20
Tulsa is still undefeated through four games, and it feels like the side is getting better with each outing. It’s going to be fascinating to see if that trend continues on Wednesday at home to San Antonio.
15 Sporting KC II
(2-3-1)
Week 8: @LOU, @STL

Last Week:
15
SKC II was so close to a third consecutive victory before Saint Louis’ last-minute equalizer last Wednesday. Still, this team appears to be going places as it heads back to Louisville this week.
16 Saint Louis FC
(3-3-1)
Week 8: SKC
3
Last Week:
13
This was the first pretty rough week Saint Louis has had, but thanks to its late equalizer against SKC II and the draw between Indy and LouCity it came out relatively unscathed. Going to need to pick up the pace, though.
17 El Paso Locomotive FC
(2-2-2)
Week 8: @SLC
1
Last Week:
16
The goals finally arrived for Locomotive FC against the Switchbacks, now El Paso has to make sure that level of execution remains in place in its Western Conference Final rematch with the Monarchs on Saturday.
18 Real Monarchs SLC
(1-2-1)
Week 8: ELP
1
Last Week:
17
Real’s season could be made or broken in the next 19 days. Four games against second-place El Paso and first-place New Mexico arrive in that span, giving the Monarchs the chance to make a sizeable jump – or fall into a sizeable hole.
19 Louisville City FC
(2-3-1)
Week 8: SKC, LDN
1
Last Week:
18
LouCity came out flying to start and closed the game strongly as well but it still wasn’t enough to take victory, and that’s only going to increase the pressure on Wednesday’s game with SKC II.
20 Austin Bold FC
(2-2-0)
Week 8: @SA
3
Last Week:
23
Sure, RGVFC was down to 10 men for all four goals, but Bold FC needed that victory badly and now gets to try and plot its revenge against San Antonio FC on Saturday night.
21 Charleston Battery
(2-2-2)
Week 8: ATL

Last Week:
21
The Battery didn’t have a great week, all things considered, but two points from two games and seeing its primary rivals for second place in Group H lose over the weekend? That’s perfectly fine for now.
22 LA Galaxy II
(3-1-0)
Week 8: --

Last Week:
22
The games are going to start coming fast for Los Dos when they return to action on August 19 against Phoenix, the biggest question will be whether they can keep up with the pace being set.
23 Charlotte Independence
(1-1-2)
Week 8: BHM, MEM
1
Last Week:
24
The Independence will certainly feel they should have taken victory against Charleston on Saturday night. They didn’t, North Carolina did, and now they’ve got to find a way to solve a Birmingham side that thumped them last week.
24 Tacoma Defiance
(2-3-1)
Week 8: @LV, @SAC
3
Last Week:
27
The Defiance’s victory against Portland last Monday was tempered somewhat by its loss to Reno on Saturday, but the good outweighed the bad overall.
25 Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC
(1-3-1)
Week 8: NM

Last Week:
25
The Switchbacks’ rally late in El Paso came too late to pull a result out of the fire, but they could hope to carry some of that spirit into their game with New Mexico on Saturday evening.
26 Memphis 901 FC
(1-3-2)
Week 8: @CLT

Last Week:
26
That was a frustrating afternoon for 901 FC, made doubly so because not only does North Carolina now have more points in Group G, it’s also got games in hand. Getting back in the win column on Saturday is going to be important in Charlotte.
27 New York Red Bulls II
(2-4-0)
Week 8: LDN, @HFD
8
Last Week:
19
The Red Bulls II are playing their way out of a chance at the playoffs with their defensive mishaps. They’ve found ways to respond in the past, what’s going to happen this time?
28 OKC Energy FC
(1-3-2)
Week 8: RGV

Last Week:
28
It’s got to hurt to not only get beaten 3-0 at home for a second consecutive game, but also see your biggest rival undefeated and above you in the standings. A win against the Toros is going to be essential.
29 Atlanta United 2
(1-4-2)
Week 8: TBR, @CHS

Last Week:
29
Atlanta continues to be a challenging opponent for everyone, but it will be kicking itself that it didn’t close out the victory against Charleston last Wednesday night.
30 Philadelphia Union II
(1-4-1)
Week 8: --
5
Last Week:
35
Would you look at that? Two 16-year-olds find the net and the Union II have something to celebrate for the first time this season. Congratulations to interim Head Coach Marlon LeBlanc.
31 The Miami FC
(0-3-0)
Week 8: @TBR
1
Last Week:
30
Miami has dug itself into a serious hole so far. Can Paul Dalglish returning to the sideline get things turned around in time for a rematch with Tampa Bay on Sunday?
32 Las Vegas Lights FC
(0-2-1)
Week 8: TAC, @OC
1
Last Week:
31
This could be a challenging week for Lights FC with the Defiance surpassing expectations so far as they visit Cashman Field, and then a trip to Orange County on Saturday night.
33 Loudoun United FC
(0-2-1)
Week 8: @NY, @LOU
1
Last Week:
32
Loudoun should be able to take inspiration from the Union II for Wednesday’s visit to New York. If Philadelphia can beat the Red Bulls II, why not them as well?
34 Rio Grande Valley FC
(0-5-2)
Week 8: @OKC
1
Last Week:
33
It was a great start for the Toros in Austin, but it quickly subsided to another defeat. The breaks just do not want to go the way of RGVFC right now.
35 Portland Timbers 2
(0-5-0)
Week 8: @RNO
1
Last Week:
34
As if being without a point wasn’t bad enough, how about losing a game where the only goal was scored when a header rebounded off the crossbar, off your goalkeeper and rolled into the net?

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