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USL Championship Power Rankings – Week 12

By NICHOLAS MURRAY -, 05/30/22, 2:00PM EDT


El Paso, New Mexico putting rough spells behind them in ascent to Top 10 rankings

Hello, and welcome back to the USL Championship Power Rankings, where the rivals in the Derby del Camino Real are both moving into position as challengers after road victories this weekend.

There have been difficult patches for both El Paso Locomotive FC and New Mexico United this season under their respective new Head Coaches John Hutchinson and Zach Prince, but after the past weekend the characteristics both sides are showing appear to have righted their respective ships.

For Locomotive FC, it wasn’t hard to imagine Friday night’s outing at Las Vegas Lights FC going another direction when Luis Solignac was sent off late in the first half at Cashman Field. The hosts – who had inflicted a 5-4 defeat against El Paso when they had met on March 23 – had already been looking sharp with four good chances in the first half that required goalkeeper Evan Newton to be on his game.

When El Paso produced a fine team goal capped by Dylan Mares’ finish just past the hour-mark, however, the door was then firmly closed at the other end of the field. As Las Vegas became progressively more anxious to find an equalizer, Locomotive FC’s composure saw it through, further continuing its turnaround.

New Mexico, meanwhile, went winless in April as concerns over the side’s attack came to the fore. This month, United has gone undefeated after Saturday’s 2-1 win on the road against Indy Eleven and while there’s still work to be done, the picture is looking bright for Prince and his squad. While San Antonio FC continues to be the strong favorite for the title according to’s projections, guess who’s now the second-favorite to reach the Western Conference Final?

There’s a long way to go for both, but the rivals look to be on the right path as June arrives.

Now, here's how the rest of the picture looks across the league.

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 San Antonio FC
Week 13: @ SAC

Last Week:
Justin Dhillon and SAFC claimed the South Texas Derby in impressive fashion to move into sole possession of first in the West, and now get to test Sacramento’s undefeated home record this Saturday.
2 Memphis 901 FC
Week 13: v. ATL
Last Week:
Memphis saw Louisville jump back ahead of it in the standings on Saturday during its week off, but still have a couple of games in hand a chance at five consecutive victories this weekend at home to Atlanta United 2.
3 Louisville City FC
Week 13: @ TBR
Last Week:
Cameron Lancaster moving into third place in the Championship’s all-time regular season scoring lead was no surprise. Do we see him and leading scorer Wilson Harris in tandem soon?
4 Detroit City FC
Week 13: @ PIT

Last Week:
Le Rouge would have been very happy with the draw between Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC and Miami FC, keeping the side ahead of the Hounds before Saturday’s trip to Highmark Stadium.
5 Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC
Week 13: v. LV
Last Week:
The Switchbacks conceded four goals on four shots on target against Monterey Bay F.C., which is probably an outlier but not what the side was looking for after two postponements.
6 Tampa Bay Rowdies
Week 13: @ TUL, v. LOU
Last Week:
There’s a big week coming up for the Rowdies as they visit FC Tulsa before hosting Eastern leader Louisville City FC. Can Tampa Bay make its move after back-to-back wins?
7 El Paso Locomotive FC
Week 13: v. HFD
Last Week:
You only need to compare the performances by El Paso against Las Vegas Lights FC in March and this past Friday to see how far the side has come. Pulling out a win down to 10 men was strong.
8 New Mexico United
Week 13: @ OC
Last Week:
Chris Wehan’s recorded two goals and one assist in the past three games for United, clicking into form at a good moment. He’ll be hoping to keep that going in Saturday’s return to Orange County.
9 Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC
Week 13: v. DET
Last Week:
The Hounds probably could have come away with more than a point from their visit to Miami given the chances they had. That the opportunities keep coming is the important thing, though.
10 The Miami FC
Week 13: @ TUL

Last Week:
The Miami attack is probably looking forward to its chance to visit an FC Tulsa defense that hasn’t been good this season, and a win in Oklahoma would further solidify its current spot.
11 Phoenix Rising FC
Week 13: v. BHM
Last Week:
Toss Tuesday’s result out of the window, keeping the youngsters’ determination, but the resilience shown by Rising FC to earn a result on the road with Luis Seijas and Kevon Lambert running the show was a welcome return to form.
12 Sacramento Republic FC
Week 13: v. SA
Last Week:
Coming off the Open Cup high in midweek, Republic FC probably should have had Oakland put to bed before conceding a late equalizer from the spot. Sacramento has still to beat Roots SC as a result.
13 Monterey Bay F.C.
Week 13: v. OAK
Last Week:
OK, Monterey Bay, you have our attention. Two consecutive wins against two of the top teams in the league so far this season is terrific, as were Sam Gleadle and Chase Boone’s goals.
14 Orange County SC
Week 13: @ OAK, v. NM
Last Week:
On one hand, Orange County is undefeated in its last five games. On the other, it couldn’t get through a defense in Atlanta that had conceded 13 goals in its prior four games and is still sitting below the playoff line.
15 San Diego Loyal SC
Week 13: @ NY

Last Week:
Conceding twice in stoppage time to take a draw out of what should have been a victory is so disappointing, but it’s a trend. San Diego’s tied for the most dropped points (9) from winning positions in the league this season.
16 Rio Grande Valley FC
Week 13: @ ATL, v. LA
Last Week:
Once again, the Toros showed they’re good enough to compete with anyone in the Championship against San Antonio. We’ve still got the question of whether they can win enough to be a playoff team.
17 Birmingham Legion FC
Week 13: @ PHX
Last Week:
Legion FC earned a much-needed win and broke a 300-minute scoreless streak in the process. Now, can it continue against stronger opposition than the last-placed Red Bulls II?
18 Indy Eleven
Week 13: @ CHS
Last Week:
That own goal is going to absolutely haunt Mechack Jerome’s dreams. It’s happened to others as well, but for that to be the difference in a one-goal result in a real downer.
19 Oakland Roots SC
Week 13: v. OC, @ MB
Last Week:
Ottar Magnus Karlsson’s still tied for the league-lead with eight goals after his equalizer from the spot against Sacramento, but he needs more help in the attacking third, and Roots SC can’t keep ending all square.
20 Las Vegas Lights FC
Week 13: @ COS
Last Week:
There were more bright spots for Las Vegas on Friday night against El Paso – El Salvador call-up Roberto Molina among them – but that’s still six games without a win, which moved Lights FC below the playoff line.
21 LA Galaxy II
Week 13: @ RGV
Last Week:
Los Dos’ comeback was at least a little payback for its stoppage-time defeat in San Diego to start the season in March. You’ve got to admire the effort this side plays with at home.
22 Hartford Athletic
Week 13: @ ELP
Last Week:
Cumulatively, you can make the argument Hartford had better chances throughout than Phoenix did, but the inability to capitalize ended up costing the hosts at Trinity Health Stadium.
23 FC Tulsa
Week 13: v. TBR, v. MIA
Last Week:
After Saturday’s trip to Louisville, Tulsa sits with a league-most 28 goals conceded and is second in Expected Goals Against at 21.6xGA. That’s just not going to get it done, no matter how good your attack is.
24 Loudoun United FC
Week 13: ---

Last Week:
Loudoun’s goal against Charleston by Alexander Dexter was a thing of beauty, but when it rains it pours. Of course, Charleston grabbed a late equalizer thanks to its goalkeeper.
25 Atlanta United 2
Week 13: v. RGV, @ MEM
Last Week:
Atlanta’s shutout against Orange County was a solid display at the back, keeping the visitors to one official shot on target, giving Vicente Reyes a nice send-off before he heads to Chilean camp.
26 Charleston Battery
Week 13: v. IND

Last Week:
The Battery scored their first second-half goal of the season. That it came via their goalkeeper in the fifth minute of stoppage time to earn a draw at Loudoun United FC in some ways sums up how this season’s going.
27 New York Red Bulls II
Week 13: v. SD
Last Week:
The Red Bulls II have lost five games in a row after Friday night’s defeat to Birmingham Legion FC. They just can’t quite get over the line in the final third.

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