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USL Championship Power Rankings – Week 22

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


LouCity, Rowdies square off on Saturday night, which side needs the win more?

Welcome back to the USL Championship Power Rankings, where we’ve got our second top-two showdown in as many weeks on Saturday night, and one of the biggest regular-season games of recent memory.

For hosts Louisville City FC, the mission is clear: win here, and the path to first place in the Eastern Conference is there for the taking. Not only would LouCity claim a four-point lead on Tampa Bay in the standings, but it would still have a game in hand on its rivals to stretch that lead further.

There’s a bigger reason why Louisville will want to pick up the three points, though. After falling three times in a row to the Rowdies – in both the 2020 and 2021 Eastern Conference Final and this year’s regular-season clash at Al Lang Stadium – finding a way to hit back in the series between the two sides would provide a major mental boost should the teams come back together in the playoffs for a fourth consecutive season.

That’s potentially going to be a tall order for LouCity, as well as it has played in its eight-game undefeated streak. The Rowdies’ 1-0 win at Al Lang Stadium when the teams last met on June 5 was one of 11 in the past 13 games for Tampa Bay that has sent it surging up the standings.

Tampa Bay’s seven-game winning streak is closing in on the nine-game run it produced last year to cement itself as the top team in the Eastern Conference with one of the all-time great regular season campaigns. If it can pull ahead of LouCity with a fourth consecutive win in the series between the sides, it not only sets up a potential race to the finish for first place, but also cements the narrative that the Rowdies currently hold the upper hand when it comes to the rivalry.


Just for those reasons, it should be a good reason to tune in, but the quality on the field with the top two scoring teams in the Eastern Conference should make for tremendous content as well. If you can either be there in person or tuned in on ESPN Plus, we’d suggest you do so.

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 23: @ LOU

Last Week:
The Rowdies were made to work for it, but they pulled out another victory against Detroit City FC on Saturday night. That’s now a possible 35 points from 39 in their last 13 games.
2 Louisville City FC
Week 23: v. TBR

Last Week:
Earning victory against Tampa Bay on Saturday night wouldn’t just give LouCity clear water between itself and its closest rival, but a mental boost after falling in the past three meetings between the sides.
3 San Diego Loyal SC
Week 23: v. MB, @ BHM
Last Week:
SD Loyal gained four percent in its odds to win the USL Championship on after Saturday’s victory, another sign of how impressive that win against San Antonio was.
4 Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC
Week 23: v. MEM
Last Week:
The Hounds keep moving along nicely after Russell Cicerone’s brace on Saturday night and could grab third place in the East in the weekend’s other big game against 901 FC.
5 San Antonio FC
Week 23: v. LDN, v. LV
Last Week:
That was a real eye-opener for San Antonio on Saturday night. A run of three home games starting on Wednesday night should offer the chance to bounce back.
6 Memphis 901 FC
Week 23: @ PIT

Last Week:
Memphis battled before falling against Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC in the season opener for both clubs back in March. This Saturday’s top-four clash should be a really good one.
7 Birmingham Legion FC
Week 23: v. SD
Last Week:
As Head Coach Tom Soehn said on Saturday, it’s taken Legion FC’s attack a little longer than they’d have liked to jell. When it’s on form, though, it looks very impressive.
8 Sacramento Republic FC
Week 23: @ MB

Last Week:
A four-point week kept Republic FC moving up the Western Conference, and now within range of a top-four finish and home game to open the playoffs. They’d certainly appreciate that.
9 Monterey Bay F.C.
Week 23: @ SD, v. SAC
Last Week:
Early in the season, if something could go wrong for Monterey Bay, it seemed to. Now the breaks are going MBFC’s way, and the playoffs aren’t out of the question, even if this week is a daunting one.
10 The Miami FC
Week 23: v.TUL, @ ATL
Last Week:
Miami holds a nine-point lead on FC Tulsa for seventh place in the Eastern Conference ahead of their meeting on Wednesday night. Take a fourth win in the last five games and the South Florida side should be cruising to the postseason.
11 Detroit City FC
Week 23: v. OAK
Last Week:
DCFC battled gamely on the road against Tampa Bay – Matt Lewis’ goal-line clearance was a brilliant moment. The question will be whether they can bridge the gap in play before the playoffs arrive?
12 New Mexico United
Week 23: @LA
Last Week:
That wasn’t a good week for United after defeats to both Sacramento and Miami. Kevaughn Frater’s back in the fold, which is good, but the club’s top-four position is now under pressure.
13 Oakland Roots SC
Week 23: @ DET

Last Week:
On a week off, Oakland will have been very happy with the weekend’s result around the Western Conference. It’s going to have to deliver a big display on the road in Detroit on Saturday, though.
14 Phoenix Rising FC
Week 23: @ OC

Last Week:
Rising FC and goalkeeper Ben Lundt haven’t conceded a goal in 455 minutes after Saturday’s stalemate with Las Vegas. The gap’s still four points, but it's chasable.
15 Las Vegas Lights FC
Week 23: @ SA

Last Week:
Earning a first point on the road in Phoenix is a solid result, and Las Vegas could have grabbed all three in the end. Lights FC is still above the playoff line, though, even if a win in San Antonio could be a big ask.
16 Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC
Week 23: v. ELP

Last Week:
The Switchbacks showed great resilience to come back and earn a point against Orange County on Saturday night. They’re still winless in four, but that could be the platform to better things.
17 Loudoun United FC
Week 23: @ SA
Last Week:
Loudoun United FC was one of only two teams below the playoff line in either conference to win this weekend. It’s probably an excessive rise, but that was a nice performance against Los Dos.
18 FC Tulsa
Week 23: @ MIA
Last Week:
There’s no question about it – FC Tulsa’s season is on the line when it visits Miami FC on Wednesday night. Anything but a win, and the gap is almost certainly insurmountable.
19 Rio Grande Valley FC
Week 23:---
Last Week:
The Toros let the opportunity for a big victory in Sacramento slip away at the last minute. That’s about the way it’s going for them right now.
20 Orange County SC
Week 23: v. PHX
Last Week:
The defending title holders almost delivered a great victory for the passionate crowd at Championship Soccer Stadium on Saturday night. Tough way to see the game end.
21 El Paso Locomotive FC
Week 23: @ COS
Last Week:
When it rains, it pours for El Paso. Luis Solignac’s missed penalty and a late goal conspired to send Locomotive FC to a fourth consecutive defeat, and some real pressure when it comes to a postseason berth.
22 LA Galaxy II
Week 23: v. NM
Last Week:
Los Dos have lost three out of their last four after Saturday’s trip to Loudoun. The chances have been there to move above the playoff line, but they just weren’t able to take them.
23 Charleston Battery
Week 23: @NY
Last Week:
Consecutive games with four goals conceded for the Battery after Saturday’s defeat in Louisville. Only Atlanta United 2 has conceded more goals than Charleston this season.
24 Atlanta United 2
Week 23: @ NY, v. MIA
Last Week:
You could almost see the enthusiasm drain out of Atlanta as Birmingham’s attacking pressure came in wave after wave. Bad night at the office.
25 Indy Eleven
Week 23: @ HFD
Last Week:
Ten games without a win, 12 points out of a playoff place with 12 games to go. It’s just not going Indy’s way this season.
26 Hartford Athletic
Week 23: v. IND
Last Week:
The Athletic grabbed a lead on the road against Memphis, but rapidly gave it up before halftime. There’s just no apparent path back this season.
27 New York Red Bulls II
Week 23: v. ATL, v. CHS

Last Week:
The Red Bulls II face one of the two team they’ve defeated so far this season on Tuesday night in Atlanta United 2. A season-sweep would be a nice thing to carry forward from this year.

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