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USL Championship Power Rankings – Week 15

By NICHOLAS MURRAY -, 06/20/22, 4:00PM EDT


Colorado Springs faces show-me contest after another impressive victory

Welcome back to the USL Championship Power Rankings, where Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC sits as No. 1 ahead of one of its most important games of the season this Friday night.

With 11 wins out of 13 regular season games, by far the best start to a season in club history, the Switchbacks have taken the next step in the progression that began under new Head Coach Brendan Burke last season. Now, they’ll get to measure up against a side in San Antonio FC that has been their nemesis.

San Antonio took three wins out of four games a season ago in a group of contests that were both physical and fast, but mostly contentious. It proved the difference between the two sides in the standings, with the 10 points SAFC took from the meetings leaving it two points ahead of Colorado Springs for second place in the Mountain Division and the homefield advantage that provided for two games in the playoffs.

Colorado Springs will be aiming to show this time will be different. The side still has the attacking firepower it developed last year – after Saturday’s 4-3 win against Indy Eleven the side is tied for the league lead with 31 goals in 13 games, an average of 2.4 goals per game – but the Switchbacks have also shown a little more strength on the other side of the ball. Colorado Springs this season is winning 51.7 percent of its duels, up from 48.9 percent last season, and there’s been a similar improvement in aerial duel success.

After the postponement of what was supposed to be their first meeting last month, the anticipation for the top-two clash has only grown.

“It’s still early in the season, so you don’t want to over-emphasize it,” said Burke on Saturday. “But believe me there’s no love lost there."

It’s not make or break yet, but Friday night will set a marker for both sides, both of whom have title aspirations.

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 Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC
Week 16: vs.IND

Last Week:
We’re still trying to figure out how Michee Ngalina scored from that angle on Saturday night. Absolutely incredible stuff.
2 New Mexico United
Week 16: v. RGV, v. BHM
Last Week:
United has five wins in a row after ending Oakland’s undefeated streak on the road last Wednesday night but will get solid challenges this week from Rio Grande Valley and Birmingham Legion FC.
3 Sacramento Republic FC
Week 16: @ MB
Last Week:
Sacramento rode its fortune a little early against Los Dos with two shots off the woodwork, but the side has three consecutive wins and three consecutive shutouts going into Tuesday’s Open Cup clash with the LA Galaxy.
4 Tampa Bay Rowdies
Week 16: @ PIT
Last Week:
The Rowdies were pegged back by Charleston at home on Saturday night but are still in a very strong position and undefeated in six games overall.
5 San Antonio FC
Week 16: @ COS
Last Week:
SAFC threw close to everything it had at Oakland Roots SC goalkeeper Paul Blanchette but couldn’t find a winner. That’s dropped them two points behind Colorado Springs ahead of Friday’s showdown.
6 Louisville City FC
Week 16: @ HFD
Last Week:
LouCity had to wear down Orange County’s defensive resistance, but made it count in the end from the penalty spot to regain top spot in the standings.
7 Memphis 901 FC
Week 16: v. TUL, v. DET
Last Week:
On another night, Memphis claims victory in Hartford last Wednesday after a big second-half display. 901 FC might need to be cautious of Tulsa on Wednesday, though.
8 El Paso Locomotive FC
Week 16: v. NY

Last Week:
Credit to El Paso for earning a result in Detroit while not at its sharpest. Locomotive FC will expect better back at home this weekend.
9 Birmingham Legion FC
Week 16:@ NM

Last Week:
Legion FC will have liked the results from the past weekend with only Louisville out of the top nine earning a victory while Birmingham had the week off.
10 Detroit City FC
Week 16: @ MEM

Last Week:
Le Rouge showed up impressively against El Paso but couldn’t find a way past Evan Newton late to take what would have been a deserved three points. There’s reason for optimism, though.
11 Las Vegas Lights FC
Week 16: v. PHX
Last Week:
Danny Trejo and Cal Jennings continue to show why they’re such a dangerous pairing, leading Lights FC to victory in San Diego. If they’re in the lineup consistently the second half of the season, Las Vegas is a playoff threat.
12 Oakland Roots SC
Week 16: v. ATL

Last Week:
Oakland saw its undefeated run come to an end in midweek against New Mexico but did extremely well to earn a point in San Antonio on the back of that. Getting back in the win column at home to Atlanta is a must.
13 San Diego Loyal SC
Week 16: v. IND
Last Week:
SD Loyal probably had the better of the game overall against Las Vegas on Sunday, but the chances they gave up to Trejo and Jennings cost them dearly.
14 The Miami FC
Week 16: v. LA

Last Week:
After a week off, Miami will be looking to break a four-game winless run as Los Dos head to the east coast on Saturday night.
15 Rio Grande Valley FC
Week 16: @ NM
Last Week:
Ricky Ruiz’s goal against Pittsburgh was excellent and let the Toros hold on for victory despite a season-low five shots overall against the Hounds.
16 Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC
Week 16: v. TBR
Last Week:
All things being equal, the Hounds probably deserved a point against Rio Grande Valley FC. Things just aren’t going right in front of goal, though.
17 Indy Eleven
Week 16: @ SD
Last Week:
Credit to Indy for sticking to the task and showing some bright glimpses of what it can be capable of. The Switchbacks are just that good right now.
18 LA Galaxy II
Week 16: @ MIA
Last Week:
After Wednesday night’s win against Monterey Bay, Los Dos could have been off to a flyer in Sacramento if Remi Cabral hadn’t hit the woodwork twice. This is still a very dangerous team.
19 Loudoun United FC
Week 16: @ OC
Last Week:
Loudoun’s victory against Phoenix was a major eye-opener. Now, what can it do as an encore on the road against Orange County SC?
20 Charleston Battery
Week 16: @ TUL
Last Week:
The Battery claimed a result at Tampa Bay for the first time since 2020 thanks to Augustine Williams’ goal, which came on one of the nicest moves the side has delivered this season.
21 Phoenix Rising FC
Week 16: @ LV
Last Week:
It’s unthinkable after the past few seasons, but Phoenix’s playoff odds are now at 49% according to Something’s got to get fixed defensively, and fast.
22 Hartford Athletic
Week 16: v. LOU
Last Week:
Hartford couldn’t have delivered its most dominant attacking performance of the season at a better moment. It should be confident going into Saturday’s clash on ESPN with Louisville City FC.
23 FC Tulsa
Week 16: @ MEM, v. CHS
Last Week:
Michael Nsien’s departure as Head Coach is a sad day for Tulsa, but something had to give after another disappointing display on the road against the Red Bulls II.
24 Monterey Bay F.C.
Week 16: v. SAC
Last Week:
Three defeats in a row after last Wednesday’s loss to the Galaxy II, MBFC will be aiming for a turnaround against a Sacramento side with a big midweek Open Cup contest to focus on first.
25 Orange County SC
Week 16: v. LDN
Last Week:
The last time Orange County SC lost four games in a row was the 2014 Championship season. It missed the playoffs by nine points that campaign.
26 New York Red Bulls II
Week 16: @ ELP
Last Week:
The Red Bulls II had their chances to win, but the finishing wasn’t quite sharp enough. Story of their season, really.
27 Atlanta United 2
Week 16: @ OAK
Last Week:
Atlanta’s defense got hammered by Hartford’s attack on Saturday, allowing 22 shots and 3.85xGA, the most it’s allowed in a game all season.

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