skip navigation

USL Championship Power Rankings – Week 20

By NICHOLAS MURRAY -, 07/25/22, 4:00PM EDT


Miami looks a playoff lock, with Tulsa maybe the only chance of making things competitive

Welcome back to the USL Championship Power Rankings, where we’re wondering if anyone can bridge the gap to the current top seven in the Eastern Conference standings.

It might not have felt like it at the time, but Paco Craig’s stoppage-time goal for Miami FC on Saturday night in its lightning-delayed contest against Loudoun United FC will likely end up as one of the most significant moments of the season for the South Florida club.

Why? Well, given the results we saw elsewhere on Saturday night, it definitely feels like the seven teams that will be part of the USL Championship Playoffs from the Eastern Conference are almost written in Sharpie.

Miami’s six-point lead on eighth-placed FC Tulsa with 12 games to go is a significant one, and one that typically one doesn’t see slip away over a third of a season. As it stands, rates Miami an 87 percent chance to reach the playoffs, and projects it to finish 10 points ahead of Tulsa in the final standings.

If there’s a team that might enjoy taking on that challenge, though, it’s the boys in Black and Gold. This season hasn’t played out the way they’ve expected in the Oil Capital of the World – no-one would have expected Head Coach Michael Nsien’s departure at the start of this campaign – but Saturday’s game at Birmingham Legion FC showed the sort of resolve and quality the side still possesses.

It was, of course, the first away win this campaign for Tulsa. Those struggles on the road are the biggest reason why it’s in the current place it finds itself at a 16 percent chance to earn a third consecutive playoff berth. If Tulsa can find a way to repeat that performance when these teams come together in Miami on August 10, though, the narrative could quickly flip and give us a run-in worth watching.

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 Tampa Bay Rowdies
Week 21: @ IND

Last Week:
The Rowdies left goals on the field against Atlanta, something they’ll need to avoid in more difficult matchups, but with a 9-0-2 record over the last 11 games they continue to roll in the right direction.
2 San Antonio FC
Week 21: @ LV, v. LA

Last Week:
San Antonio has its first silverware with the Copa Tejas crown this season after a ninth away win of the campaign in El Paso.
3 Louisville City FC
Week 21: @ ELP

Last Week:
LouCity could have stolen all three points against Phoenix on Wednesday night in the Summer Showcase, but didn’t, and now the Rowdies are only a point back in the standings.
4 San Diego Loyal SC
Week 21: @ OC
Last Week:
Tumi Moshobane keeps flying under the radar despite being San Diego Loyal SC’s all-time leading scorer, and second on the club in assists. Underestimate him at your peril.
5 Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC
Week 21: v. TUL
Last Week:
The Hounds certainly would have preferred the winner in Hartford to come earlier than Shane Wiedt’s finish in the 95th minute. Still, better late than never.
6 Memphis 901 FC
Week 21: ---

Last Week:
There’s a good argument that Memphis did enough to win against Indy on Saturday night, if not for the woodwork. The side gets a week off before a pair of winnable games that can keep it in top-two contention.
7 New Mexico United
Week 21: @ NM

Last Week:
Neco Brett’s first goal since June 16 lifted New Mexico to a draw in Detroit and kept the side’s undefeated run going. Timely from the Jamaican standout.
8 Sacramento Republic FC
Week 21: @ CHS

Last Week:
Carlos Saldaña ensured Republic FC’s heavily rotated lineup got a point on the road in Phoenix as all eyes turn to Wednesday night’s Open Cup Semifinal.
9 Birmingham Legion FC
Week 21: v. LDN, @ HFD
Last Week:
Legion FC created a lot of what felt like half-chances against FC Tulsa and wasn’t able to capitalize. Not the homecoming the side was looking for after a great road stint.
10 Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC
Week 21: @ PHX
Last Week:
The Switchbacks are probably going to be fine once they get back to full health, and Jairo Henriquez looks like a game-changer at first glance. Still, those dropped points are going to haunt you.
11 Detroit City FC
Week 21: ---

Last Week:
Speaking of which, if Le Rouge are going to get a home playoff game at Keyworth, it’s going to have to put away results like the one it was destined for until Neco Brett’s equalizer on Saturday.
12 Las Vegas Lights FC
Week 21: v. SA, @ ATL
Last Week:
Las Vegas has seen some breaks go its way in winning two in a row, but you can’t argue with five wins in the last six games overall. Danny Trejo continues to be a game-changer.
13 The Miami FC
Week 21: v. ---
Last Week:
With the way results below the playoff line went on Saturday, Paco Craig’s late winner at Loudoun was a major boost to Miami’s playoff chances.
14 Oakland Roots SC
Week 21: v. PHX
Last Week:
Saturday night’s setback made Oakland’s contest on Wednesday night at home to Phoenix as important for the hosts as for Rising FC. It could produce a classic.
15 Monterey Bay F.C.
Week 21: @ LDN
Last Week:
Monterey Bay is undefeated in its last four games and has shutouts in its last three. It might not make the playoffs this season, but it’s certainly building a good foundation for the future.
16 FC Tulsa
Week 21: @ PIT
Last Week:
Earning victory on the road in Birmingham was big for Tulsa. Now it’s got to try and do the same at Pittsburgh before a crucial showdown with Miami to open August’s slate.
17 El Paso Locomotive FC
Week 21: v. LOU
Last Week:
Locomotive FC isn’t in trouble yet in terms of playoff position, but consecutive defeats while being held scoreless isn’t the form the side needs to be in right now.
18 LA Galaxy II
Week 21: @ SA
Last Week:
Preston Judd continues to be great for Los Dos, but the defense has shipped nine goals over the past two games, and no team is going to be able to overcome that and find success.
19 Charleston Battery
Week 21: v. SAC
Last Week:
AJ Paterson’s thunderbolt in stoppage time produced a great result for the Battery on the road. There are positive signs here, especially with Robbie Crawford’s return to midfield.
20 Rio Grande Valley FC
Week 21: v. HFD
Last Week:
The Toros are still one of the toughest sides to play in the league, but that doesn’t matter much if you can’t find the results to go with that tenacity.
21 Orange County SC
Week 21: v. SD
Last Week:
Milan Iloski keeps delivering for Orange County, notching the first two-goal, two-assist performance in club history on Saturday. It’s still a long way back, but the defending title holders are still alive.
22 Phoenix Rising FC
Week 21: @ OAK
v. COS
Last Week:
Phoenix had yet to record consecutive shutouts this season before the past week, so that’s a good step in the right direction, but the side has to start winning, starting on Wednesday in Oakland.
23 Loudoun United FC
Week 21: @ BHM
v. MB
Last Week:
Another late goal left Loudoun beyond the tipping point for playoff contention with a 16-point gap to make up in 15 games. Only real chance is to play spoiler from here.
24 Indy Eleven
Week 21: v. TBR
Last Week:
Indy ended its scoreless streak and earned a point at home to Memphis, but it’s still falling further behind the playoff places with time running out. Saturday’s visit from the Rowdies is a sink-or-swim moment.
25 Hartford Athletic
Week 21: @ RGV
v. BHM
Last Week:
Conor McGlynn’s remarkable finish gave Hartford a chance against Pittsburgh. When that’s your lone shot for the game, though, it’s a sign of how broadly you got outplayed.
26 Atlanta United 2
Week 21: v. LV
Last Week:
Darwin Matheus’ finish against Tampa Bay was really well worked and taken, but there just wasn’t a way the visitors were going to be able to withstand the attacking onslaught the Rowdies delivered.
27 New York Red Bulls II
Week 21: v. NM
Last Week:
Back to the drawing board and the loss column after a disappointingly underwhelming second-half performance against Monterey Bay’s 10 men.

Follow the USL Championship

Most Recent News

Most Read News

Latest Videos