skip navigation

USL Championship Power Rankings – Week 21

By NICHOLAS MURRAY -, 08/01/22, 4:00PM EDT


The Hounds are on the move, and Mertz’s addition looks a winning piece

Welcome back to the USL Championship Power Rankings, where Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC is on the move and might be the biggest threat to breaking the Eastern Conference Final monopoly.

Quick, name the team that gained the most points in the USL Championship this past month?

If you said Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC, congratulations, gold star for you.

The Hounds picked up 16 points in six games during July, capping the month with a 1-0 win against FC Tulsa on Saturday night at a sold-out Highmark Stadium that warmly welcomed back one of its hometown heroes.

Pittsburgh still doesn’t quite feel like a finished product in the way Louisville City FC and the Tampa Bay Rowdies do, but in re-acquiring Robbie Mertz recently via transfer from Atlanta United 2 was another sign of intent for the Hounds. Mertz not only picked up an assist in his return to the side against Hartford Athletic last weekend but put in a solid display in his first start against Tusa, completing 28 of 32 passes and notching three chances created.

“In some ways, it’s been seamless,” said Mertz. “There’s been a couple things, but I’m on the field and I don’t have to think about it too much. … It comes back to you quickly, and you recognize certain moments what Bob wants. It’s been nice to feel that coming back to me pretty quickly.”

There’s no getting around that LouCity and the Rowdies are the favorites to reach the Eastern Conference Final for a third consecutive season, but the Hounds seem eager to make life difficult for them when the postseason 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 Tampa Bay Rowdies
Week 22: v. DET

Last Week:
The Rowdies might still leave goals on the field occasionally, but with a league-leading 42.56 Expected Goals mark, there are plenty of chances to go around. A perfect July moved the side to 10-0-2 in its past 12.
2 Louisville City FC
Week 22: v. CHS
Last Week:
LouCity went in a battled through a difficult opponent and hostile environment in El Paso and came away with all three points, ensuring it stayed on top of the Eastern Conference.
3 San Antonio FC
Week 22: @ SD
Last Week:
San Antonio got a four-point week, but it escaped a little bit with its draw at home against the LA Galaxy II. Before stoppage time, it was hard to think of a scoring chance of any real note.
4 San Diego Loyal SC
Week 22: v. SA

Last Week:
SD Loyal’s Evan Conway has scored three game-winners in the 80th minute or later this season on the road. With the rest of SD Loyal’s arsenal, that’s going to make for an intriguing game with San Antonio on Saturday.
5 Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC
Week 22: @ IND

Last Week:
The Hounds were solid enough in winning at home to Tulsa, and now are into the top three of the East after picking up 16 points in July, the most of any team in the league.
6 Memphis 901 FC
Week 22: @ NY, v. HFD

Last Week:
Memphis can jump back past the Hounds on Wednesday night as Rece Buckmaster and Patrick Seagrist get to face their former organization.
7 New Mexico United
Week 22: v. SAC, v. MIA

Last Week:
Will Seymore’s first goal in the Championship after 107 games couldn’t have arrived in a timelier fashion for United. An undefeated month completed, the top three in the West is now in sight.
8 Sacramento Republic FC
Week 22: @ NM, v. RGV

Last Week:
Sacramento’s Open Cup heroics were outstanding on Wednesday night, but so was the club’s depth delivering the first four-goal performance since 2020 on the road in Charleston to follow it up.
9 Birmingham Legion FC
Week 22: v. ATL

Last Week:
A six-point week for Legion FC, one win coming in remarkably convincing fashion and the other, well, less so. That’s OK, though, because Birmingham looks a lock for the playoffs now.
10 Detroit City FC
Week 22: @ TBR
Last Week:
Le Rouge get a week off and move up one thanks to results elsewhere. Saturday’s game against the Tampa Bay Rowdies is going to be one to watch.
11 Monterey Bay F.C.
Week 22: v. ELP
Last Week:
It’s not all been smooth, but Monterey Bay being on a five-game undefeated streak and out of the basement in the Western Conference is a fine accomplishment and has shown the side’s growth.
12 The Miami FC
Week 22: @ NM
Last Week:
Not one team sitting below the playoff line won over the past weekend. That’s perfect for Miami as it got ready for Saturday’s trip to New Mexico.
13 Oakland Roots SC
Week 22: ---
Last Week:
Oakland could have grabbed a victory against Phoenix on Wednesday night but was stymied by Phoenix’s Ben Lundt. With 10 games to go, Roots SC needs a run of wins, soon.
14 Phoenix Rising FC
Week 22: v. LV
Last Week:
Ben Lundt’s shutout streak is at four games, and it was a throwback to see Rising FC’s players trying … stuff on Saturday night against Colorado Springs. The road to the playoffs starts here.
15 Las Vegas Lights FC
Week 22: @ PHX
Last Week:
Lights FC is still above the playoff line, but Saturday’s showdown with Phoenix is going to be a major test after one point from the past two outings.
16 Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC
Week 22: @ OC
Last Week:
The Switchbacks went only 2-4-1 in the past month, allowing San Diego to jump past them in the standings, and New Mexico to close in for third. Sixteen goals conceded in the past six games isn’t good.
17 LA Galaxy II
Week 22: @ LDN
Last Week:
Los Dos were a minute away from one of the more impressive upsets of the season but paid the price for letting a speculative ball bounce in the penalty area. That could really hurt in the final standings.
18 El Paso Locomotive FC
Week 22: @ MB
Last Week:
Locomotive FC has lost three in a row and has been shut out in all three games. The teams below it might have been pretty stagnant in terms of form as well recently, but El Paso needs to snap out of it, fast.
19 FC Tulsa
Week 22: ---
Last Week:
Tulsa couldn’t get the finishing it needed on the road against Pittsburgh, and so burned a game in its pursuit of a top-seven finish. Next week’s game against Miami FC could be a must-win now.
20 Rio Grande Valley FC
Week 22: @ SAC

Last Week:
The Toros once again hammered on the door of an opponent and were answered by an eight-save shutout. At least against Hartford they didn’t concede at the other end.
21 Charleston Battery
Week 22: @ LOU
Last Week:
The Battery had plenty of chances but couldn’t keep Sacramento out at the other end in Saturday’s defeat. Parts here are getting better, but not quickly enough.
22 Orange County SC
Week 22: v. COS
Last Week:
Milan Iloski is looking like he’ll be the first Golden Boot winner to miss the postseason after another defeat on Saturday. Sadly, the 23-year-old doesn’t seem like he can pull the side over the playoff line on his own.
23 Atlanta United 2
Week 22: @ BHM
Last Week:
Atlanta earned a creditable result against Las Vegas on Saturday, even if it will have been disappointed to let a win slip away late.
24 Indy Eleven
Week 22: v. PIT

Last Week:
Indy got the opening goal again, but just got overwhelmed by the Rowdies in the end. The hosts managed only one shot in the second half, a sign of how big the gulf between the two sides is currently.
25 Hartford Athletic
Week 22: @ MEM

Last Week:
Hartford’s Yannik Oettl recording 15 saves across two games, only to commit a game-changing turnover in stoppage time is about where Hartford’s season is.
26 Loudoun United FC
Week 22: v. LA
Last Week:
What was more painful? Loudoun absorbing a 6-1 defeat in midweek, or conceding in stoppage time for a 1-0 loss on the weekend? Don’t answer that.
27 New York Red Bulls II
Week 22: v. MEM

Last Week:
The Red Bulls II showed some real spark in the second half against New Mexico on Sunday evening. Unfortunately, they couldn’t find a way to hold on and earn a result, again.

Follow the USL Championship

Most Recent News

Most Read News

Latest Videos