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USL Championship Power Rankings – Week 7

By NICHOLAS MURRAY -, 04/26/22, 2:00PM EDT


Phoenix is starting to roll back toward the top of the Western standings in its own inimitable fashion

Hello, and welcome to the latest edition of the Championship’s Power Rankings, where we’ve another new club at the top of the rankings after this past weekend of action.

When Phoenix Rising FC dominated San Antonio FC at the start of April, it felt like a pivot point for the two-time Western Conference title-winners and potentially the side it defeated. San Antonio’s fine-margin victories hadn’t quite proven convincing to that point, and Rising FC blew the hosts up at home with a big performance.

Since then, San Antonio has responded with three consecutive 1-0 victories to move level on points with Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC at the top of the Western Standings. SAFC’s most recent victory, this past Saturday on the road at New Mexico United looked like its most impressive win of the season, it’s still hard to shake that defeat to Rising FC.

That’s why, with a four-game winning streak in the league after Saturday’s 2-1 victory against Miami FC, Phoenix gets the move up to No. 2 in this week’s rankings ahead of SAFC and Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC, which took its own impressive win on the road against FC Tulsa this weekend as well.

There are arguments for all three to sit behind the still-undefeated Louisville City FC. Colorado Springs has arguably been the most consistent of the trio in building its best start to a season in its history. It’s organization and defense has improved substantially, and it’s still got Hadji Barry and Michee Ngalina to terrify defenses.

San Antonio is finding ways to win, even though it’s riding a hot hand in goalkeeper Jordan Farr and a bit of good fortune with opponents missing opportunities. SAFC’s Expected Goal Difference is still in the red at -0.73xGD, while its four goals conceded compared to 9.49xGA mark are both red flags. If it goes south, it could go south in a hurry here.

With Phoenix, we know this identity, and its ability to deliver from all types of circumstances. The hosts dominated Miami over the final half-hour of Saturday’s game in terms of chances created, looking like the side that over the years has banged down enough closed doors to turn results its way. That’s a characteristic that the club has sustained for a while now, one which should have the leaders looking over their shoulder.

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






1 Louisville City FC
Week 8: v. PIT

Last Week:
Louisville came so close to victory against Charleston on Saturday evening on Wilson Harris’ late shot off the post, but it’s still undefeated and in solid shape overall.
2 Phoenix Rising FC
Week 8: @ LA
Last Week:
Rising FC has won four games in a row – the longest winning streak in the league currently – as it puts its early-season blues to one side.
3 San Antonio FC
Week 8: v. MB
Last Week:
SAFC’s third consecutive 1-0 victory was arguably its most impressive of the set, but the club’s underlying numbers still don’t paint as pretty a picture as the standings do.
4 Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC
Week 8: @ OAK
Last Week:
Teams don’t often go into ONEOK Field and outplay this current iteration of FC Tulsa as impressively as Colorado Springs did on Saturday. Tremendous bounce-back performance.
5 Detroit City FC
Week 8: v. NY
Last Week:
Seven of Detroit City FC’s nine goals this season have come in the second half of contests. There aren’t many teams that are making better adjustments, especially when they’re trailing.
6 Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC
Week 8: @ LOU
Last Week:
The Hounds produced an outstanding performance for its club-record regular season crowd on Saturday night, and now Dane Kelly and Kenardo Forbes are tied for the league leads in goals and assists, respectively.
7 Sacramento Republic FC
Week 8: v. LV
Last Week:
A team as experienced as Republic FC should know you can’t turn off in moments like the one that cost it a point at Rio Grande Valley FC. Saturday’s game with Las Vegas is a big chance to respond.
8 The Miami FC
Week 8: @ MEM
Last Week:
Miami played a fine half against Rising FC until it conceded in the final minute before the break, and then it just couldn’t keep up the pace with the hosts in the second half.
9 Tampa Bay Rowdies
Week 8: @ MEM, v. SD

Last Week:
The Rowdies put on the pressure in a big way late on against the New York Red Bulls II, but it needed that aggression sooner and ran out of time to get a result.
10 New Mexico United
Week 8: ---
Last Week:
United will get a chance to regroup after a difficult run over the past eight days. There’s a good team in here, it just needs to find its shooting boots.
11 San Diego Loyal SC
Week 8: @ TBR
Last Week:
San Diego has had a busy start to the season and will be glad of the weekend off, even if it did slide to third place in the standings as a result. Saturday’s trip to Tampa Bay is going to be must-see.
12 Las Vegas Lights FC
Week 8: @ SAC
Last Week:
Lights FC played to its first draw of the season against the Galaxy II, keeping itself right in the middle of the playoff positions despite Danny Trejo not finding the net.
13 Memphis 901 FC
Week 8: v. TBR, v. MIA

Last Week:
Memphis can run its league undefeated streak to five games when it hosts the Tampa Bay Rowdies on Wednesday night, the first of two home games against the league’s Florida clubs this week.
14 Indy Eleven
Week 8: v. HFD
Last Week:
The Boys in Blue hadn’t scored three goals in a game since last year’s epic 3-3 draw at Louisville City FC before Sunday evening’s victory. Five games undefeated, three wins in a row, things are moving nicely now.
15 Birmingham Legion FC
Week 8: v. CHS
Last Week:
Birmingham is a team the analytics continue to love. If it can continue to put its chances away, Legion FC could make a strong move up the standings in short order.
16 Rio Grande Valley FC
Week 8: v. OC
Last Week:
The Toros were opportunistic in their victory against Sacramento on Saturday night, but if that’s what it takes, then that’s what it takes. The points all count the same.
17 Orange County SC
Week 8: v. RGV
Last Week:
Orange County has still only won once in five games to start its league title defense, and that defense is starting to look a little thin without Michael Orozco back there.
18 FC Tulsa
Week 8: ---
Last Week:
Three consecutive defeats for Tulsa, and there isn’t really a case that they were unlucky in any of them. The competition has been strong, but this side’s supposed to be contending with that tier.
19 Oakland Roots SC
Week 8: v. COS
Last Week:
Roots SC came away with a draw from its visit to El Paso as it rode its luck a little at Southwest University Park. That’s still five games undefeated, though, even if four of them were drawn.
20 El Paso Locomotive FC
Week 8: @ LDN

Last Week:
If it wasn’t for bad luck, Locomotive FC might not have any luck at all. Josue Aaron Gomez’s penalty miss against Oakland was the latest example.
21 LA Galaxy II
Week 8: v. PHX

Last Week:
Los Dos came away with a draw in Las Vegas after a spirited second-half display. They’ve only lost once in their last five, now
22 Loudoun United FC
Week 4: v. ELP

Last Week:
The dam eventually had to burst despite Luis Zamudio’s best efforts on Sunday afternoon against Birmingham Legion FC. That’s 10 goals conceded in four games after three consecutive shutouts to start the season.
23 Charleston Battery
Week 8: @ BHM
Last Week:
The Battery created chances and earned a draw against Louisville City FC. They’re still going to need to find a way to better establish control in games, though.
24 Monterey Bay F.C.
Week 8: @ SA
Last Week:
Frank Yallop was inducted into the San Jose Earthquakes Hall of Fame on Saturday, and the side rallied for a 4-3 win against Seattle Sounders FC. Maybe some of that good mojo can be transferred to MBFC for this weekend.
25 New York Red Bulls II
Week 8: @ DET
Last Week:
The Red Bulls II needed to hold on late against Tampa Bay but getting a point to break their losing streak is a step in the right direction for the side.
26 Hartford Athletic
Week 8: @ IND
Last Week:
Hartford threw everything into finding a winner against Detroit City FC, only to see its hopes dashed at the last. A breakthrough can’t be that far away.
27 Atlanta United 2
Week 8: ---
Last Week:
Atlanta paid the price for turning over possession in midfield against Riverhounds SC as Kenardo Forbes and Dane Kelly were both deadly for the hosts at Highmark Stadium.

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