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USL Championship Power Rankings – Week 6

By NICHOLAS MURRAY - nicholas.murray@uslsoccer.com, 04/18/22, 4:00PM EDT

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LouCity’s undefeated start has seen new faces shine, has echoes of 2018 successes

Hello, and welcome to the latest edition of the Championship’s Power Rankings, where a complicated weekend left us with one final team standing undefeated at the top of the rankings.

Louisville City FC continued its best start in club history on Saturday night with its 5-2 victory against San Diego Loyal SC, sitting with five wins out of seven to start the season. All the underlying numbers support that position, with Head Coach Danny Cruz’s side having become the favorite to win the league at 16% on fivethirtyeight.com while sitting with the most Expected Points (14.54xP) and second-best Expected Goal Differential (+7.01xGD) on American Soccer Analysis.

This isn’t a surprise given LouCity’s history, but what’s been impressive has been how the newcomers have so quickly assimilated into the club’s lineup. No Cameron Lancaster due to injury? That’s fine, Wilson Harris has five goals in all competitions to start the season. Start a 16-year-old in six of seven games to start the season at center back? Josh Wynder’s more than holding his own. Then there’s Kyle Morton in goal and Manny Perez at right back, who’ve both been stellar.

The last time Louisville made a start this good was in 2018, when it won 5 of 6 to start the campaign. Then, there was a season that included the Triumvirate taking over midseason to coach after former Head Coach James O’Connor’s departure, a run to the Quarterfinals of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, and the arrival of first John Hackworth and then Cruz as part of his coaching staff.

LouCity fans probably don’t need me to remind them of how that season ended.

There’s good reason to believe this year, too.

Atlanta United 2 Birmingham Legion FC Charleston Battery Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC Detroit City 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 Monterey Bay F.C. New Mexico United
New York Red Bulls II Oakland Roots SC Orange County SC Phoenix Rising FC Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC Rio Grande Valley FC Sacramento Republic FC San Antonio FC
San Diego Loyal SC Tampa Bay Rowdies FC Tulsa

Biggest Movers

Rank

 

Team

Change

Summary

1 Louisville City FC
(5-0-2)
Week 7: @ CHS
1
Last Week:
2
The last undefeated team standing, LouCity isn’t just forcing opponents into mistakes, it’s capitalizing on them as well. Five of the 20 goals scored this season off defensive errors have been by the Eastern Conference leader.
2 San Antonio FC
(5-1-0)
Week 7: @ NM
6
Last Week:
8
San Antonio has won five out of six to start the season after its Copa Tejas victory against El Paso Locomotive FC. It’s not high scoring, but it’s being effective so far.
3 Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC
(5-1-0)
Week 7: @ TUL
2
Last Week:
1
The Switchbacks’ perfect start is over after Saturday’s loss to Memphis 901 FC and now they’ll get a tricky road trip to face FC Tulsa to try and rebound this weekend.
4 Phoenix Rising FC
(4-2-0)
Week 7: v. MIA
2
Last Week:
6
It never hurts to have a goalkeeper who can almost-singlehandedly win you a contest. Ben Lundt’s display on Saturday was the 2020 Championship Goalkeeper of the Year at his best​.
5 Sacramento Republic FC
(3-1-1)
Week 7: @ RGV

Last Week:
5
Sacramento has shown it can get the job done at home this season. If it can pull a victory on the road against Orange County SC on Saturday, it’ll be another reason to believe in the side’s potential.
6 The Miami FC
(3-2-1)
Week 7: @ PHX
3
Last Week:
9
Two consecutive shutouts, two consecutive wins and growing momentum ahead of Tuesday’s massive Open Cup clash with Inter Miami CF. You can guarantee HC Anthony Pulis’ side is looking forward to this one.
7 New Mexico United
(2-1-2)
Week 7: v. SA

Last Week:
7
New Mexico will be disappointed not to have taken something from its trip to Phoenix on Saturday, but if it keeps playing that way consistently this season, the reward will surely come.
8 Detroit City FC
(3-1-2)
Week 7: @ HFD
2
Last Week:
10
Nathan Steinwascher was superb on Friday night – as he has been this season overall. If you’re looking for an Open Cup gamechanger, he might be your man when DCFC hosts the Columbus Crew on Tuesday.
9 Tampa Bay Rowdies
(3-1-3)
Week 7: @ NY
3
Last Week:
12
That was much more like the Rowdies’ attack we were expecting this season. If they can get captain Sebastian Guenzatti on track in front of goal, it’s going to be even more difficult for opponents.
10 San Diego Loyal SC
(5-2-0)
Week 7: ---
7
Last Week:
3
SD Loyal let a road victory in Oakland slip away on Wednesday night and then racked up three errors that led directly to goals against Louisville City FC. Time to quickly turn the page ahead of Tuesday’s visit to the LA Galaxy.
11 Las Vegas Lights FC
(4-3-0)
Week 7: v. LA
5
Last Week:
16
Lights FC wasn’t near its high-flying best on Saturday, but showing it can find a way to win without that is also a positive sign, especially against a team that had been running as well as Riverhounds SC.
12 Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC
(4-1-1)
Week 7: v. ATL
8
Last Week:
4
Just as Pittsburgh attack looked to be rolling, it rolled snake eyes at Cashman Field. Expect a positive bounce-back this week from Dane Kelly, Kenardo Forbes and company.
13 Memphis 901 FC
(3-1-1)
Week 7: ---
2
Last Week:
15
It took two excellent finishes, but Memphis was good value for its win on the road against Colorado Springs. There should be more to come as the side continues to jell.
14 Orange County SC
(1-2-2)
Week 7: @ IND
1
Last Week:
13
Cubo Torres’ first goal for the club was nice, but that’s still only one win in five games to start the season for the defending title holders as the attack overall can’t quite find its finishing boots.
15 FC Tulsa
(3-4-0)
Week 7: v. COS
4
Last Week:
11
Tulsa returned to Al Lang Stadium and for a second time got run over by the Tampa Bay Rowdies’ attacking force. The 3-1 score line didn’t look bad, but the Rowdies’ 4.36xG was the highest in a single game by any side this season.
16 Birmingham Legion FC
(1-3-2)
Week 7: @ LDN
2
Last Week:
14
Birmingham’s performance in Detroit was one of a team on the verge of a breakthrough in attack. The sooner that arrives, of course, the better.
17 Indy Eleven
(2-2-2)
Week 7: v. OC
1
Last Week:
18
The Boys in Blue have consecutive wins for the first time since early in the 2020 season thanks to Aris Briggs’ winner against Atlanta, and things are starting to look up for Indy overall as well.
18 Oakland Roots SC
(1-3-3)
Week 7: @ ELP
2
Last Week:
20
The determination to pull out a draw at home despite being down to 10 men against San Diego Loyal SC on Wednesday was great, and Oakland could be on the move up after Saturday’s win.
19 Rio Grande Valley FC
(2-4-0)
Week 7: v. SAC
2
Last Week:
21
The Toros had more than enough chances to take victory against the Red Bulls II on Friday night, and they’ll be thankful Frank Lopez delivered on one of them to pick up a crucial win.
20 El Paso Locomotive FC
(1-5-0)
Week 7: v. OAK
3
Last Week:
17
Emmanuel Sonupe had the chance for El Paso to find an equalizer midway through the second half in San Antonio. It wasn’t to be, and Locomotive FC is back in the doldrums again.
21 LA Galaxy II
(2-3-1)
Week 7: @ LV
2
Last Week:
23
The Galaxy II were solid in their 3-1 victory against Monterey Bay F.C. and Duhaney Williams broke through with a goal and assist. More of that would be welcome from the Jamaican.
22 Loudoun United FC
(2-3-1)
Week 7: v. BHM
3
Last Week:
19
Loudoun’s early-season success is starting to fade in the rear-view mirror, and Sunday’s game against Birmingham Legion FC isn’t likely to offer much respite.
23 Atlanta United 2
(2-5-0)
Week 7: @ PIT
1
Last Week:
22
Atlanta couldn’t withstand Indy’s late barrage of chances to earn a point and dropped a second consecutive outing. Jackson Hopkins continues to be a bright spot for the side, though.
24 Hartford Athletic
(0-4-1)
Week 7: v. DET

Last Week:
24
The only team without a win in the Eastern Conference, Hartford has been competitive in most of its games but lacking enough cutting edge that can deliver in the attacking third so far.
25 Monterey Bay F.C.
(1-5-0)
Week 7: ---

Last Week:
25
Seku Conneh’s diving header was outstanding, but sadly it was the only real highlight for MBFC in its 3-1 loss to the LA Galaxy II. The home opener on May 7 can’t get here soon enough.
26 Charleston Battery
(1-4-0)
Week 7: v. LOU

Last Week:
26
The Battery had a bye this weekend to try and regroup before Saturday’s visit from Eastern Conference leader Louisville City FC, a massive test for the hosts.
27 New York Red Bulls II
(1-5-0)
Week 7: v. TBR

Last Week:
27
The Red Bulls II just didn’t have enough quality to test Rio Grande Valley FC’s defense seriously on Friday night, which isn’t something you expect from this club.

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