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USL Championship Power Rankings – Week 23

By NICHOLAS MURRAY -, 08/15/22, 4:00PM EDT


Monterey Bay is making a move as others in the West tread water around playoff line

Welcome back to the USL Championship Power Rankings, where the league’s Western Conference newcomer is making a late bid for a postseason place.

From very early this campaign, Championship newcomer Detroit City FC has looked the part of a team that’s going to be part of the USL Championship Playoffs in October. Even with some more up-and-down results of late, Le Rouge are still well set for a top seven finish with 11 games to play.

After the way the season began for fellow league newcomer Monterey Bay F.C., it certainly didn’t seem that would be the case in the Western Conference. With exactly two months to go in the regular season, though, here comes Head Coach Frank Yallop’s team with a chance to take advantage of the stagnant middle of the West’s standings.

Saturday night’s 1-0 win against NorCal rival Sacramento Republic FC was a fourth in the last five games for Monterey Bay, with goalkeeper Antony Siaha recording another shutout to make Christian Volesky’s first-half goal stand up as the winner. There’s only one other team in the West that’s won four of its last five right now, and that’s second-placed San Diego Loyal SC, the side that handed MBFC its lone defeat in that stretch.

Elsewhere – especially around the playoff line – the form hasn’t been nearly as good. From sixth place down, the only other team to win at least twice in its last five games is Orange County SC, with the defending title holders also aiming to make a late charge of their own into the top seven. Three of those eight teams haven’t won once in that span, leaving eight points separating sixth and 13th place and the potential for a frantic final third of the season.

That’s given MBFC the chance to take advantage, which it has thanks to a stingy defense and just enough attacking prowess to see it through. If that continues, Monterey Bay’s postseason presence would be one of the best stories of the season.

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 Louisville City FC
Week 24: @ DET
Last Week:
LouCity has a firm grip on first place in the Eastern Conference after Saturday’s victory against the Rowdies. It’s now rated a 70 percent chance to top the standings at the end of the season.
2 San Antonio FC
Week 24: v. RGV
Last Week:
A six-point week was the ideal way for SAFC to respond to its setback in San Diego. That SD Loyal also fell on Saturday night made the path to a first-place finish that much clearer.
3 Memphis 901 FC
Week 24: @ NM, vs. BHM
Last Week:
Memphis is only the second team to go into Highmark Stadium and win this season, and not only that but 901 FC put in a performance that thoroughly deserved the result.
4 Birmingham Legion FC
Week 24: v. DET, @ MEM
Last Week:
Birmingham has won four games in a row after defeating SD Loyal on Saturday night and has shutouts in the past three. They’re pretty watertight at the back currently.
5 Tampa Bay Rowdies
Week 24: @ COS
Last Week:
You have to go back almost two years to find the last time the Rowdies were held without a shot on target in a game. Saturday’s game at Colorado Springs could be a great one.
6 San Diego Loyal SC
Week 24: @ ELP
Last Week:
SD Loyal found a way past a rising Monterey Bay but couldn’t find a way through Legion FC’s staunch back line. Still, no real damage done in terms of the pursuit of second place.
7 Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC
Week 24: v. NY
Last Week:
The Hounds outshot their visitors 15-5, but clear-cut looks were pretty hard to come by. The next four games are against the bottom four in the East currently, time to load up on points.
8 Monterey Bay F.C.
Week 24: @ NM
Last Week:
The shutout streak might have come to an end in San Diego, but Monterey Bay’s bounce-back victory against Sacramento and results elsewhere maintained a growing playoff bid.
9 Detroit City FC
Week 24: @ BHM, v. LOU
Last Week:
The resiliency of Le Rouge under Head Coach Trevor James is a thing of wonder. They’ve still not lost consecutive games this season after Francis Atuahene’s late equalizer against Oakland on Saturday.
10 Sacramento Republic FC
Week 24: v. COS, @ LV
Last Week:
Sacramento’s been almost unbeatable at home so far this season. If it’s going to get at least one home game in the playoffs, though, it’s going to have to start winning on the road more often.
11 FC Tulsa
Week 24: v. IND
Last Week:
Wednesday night’s victory in Miami kept Tulsa’s playoff chances realistic. The team’s going to have to start producing performances like that the rest of the way to chase down a place, though
12 The Miami FC
Week 24: @ HFD
Last Week:
Miami rebounded well from its midweek loss to Tulsa with victory in Atlanta, with Florian Valot leading the way. It still feels like there’s more consistency needed, though.
13 Oakland Roots SC
Week 24:---

Last Week:
The number of points Oakland have left on the table is going to be its downfall when it comes to the playoffs. That’s 18 dropped points this season from winning positions – only Hartford has dropped more.
14 New Mexico United
Week 24: v. MEM, v. MB
Last Week:
New Mexico had a chance to close the gap after a good first half against the Galaxy II but couldn’t close out the win. Really important week coming up at The Lab.
15 Orange County SC
Week 24: v. LV
Last Week:
Friday night’s win was great, but the schedule coming up is brutal for a team looking to make a last-ditch run. Trips to Tampa Bay, Pittsburgh, Sacramento and San Antonio are going to be no fun.
16 Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC
Week 24: @ SAC, v. TBR

Last Week:
The Switchbacks should have cruised after three goals in the opening nine minutes against El Paso. Instead, they needed a stoppage-time equalizer of their own to get a point.
17 Phoenix Rising FC
Week 24: ---
Last Week:
After the fireworks against Colorado Springs a couple of weekends ago, Phoenix has lost its momentum again. Thanks to everyone else’s stagnant form, it’s not been fatal, but Rising FC must get things figured out during its week off.
18 Loudoun United FC
Week 24: v. ATL
Last Week:
Loudoun United gave San Antonio a good run last Wednesday night, and almost had a stoppage time equalizer. The playoffs might be out of reach, but this side is going to ruin someone’s run-in if they keep playing like that.
19 Rio Grande Valley FC
Week 24: @ SA

Last Week:
The Toros have had a week off and are going to be highly motivated beyond its attempt to reach the playoffs as it heads to San Antonio on Saturday. This South Texas Derby should be a good one.
20 El Paso Locomotive FC
Week 24: v. SD
Last Week:
Locomotive FC grabbed victory from the jaws of defeat against Colorado Springs, and then dropped it on the floor in stoppage time, leaving both sides to pick up a point. Got to close out.
21 Las Vegas Lights FC
Week 24: @ OC, v. SAC
Last Week:
Lights FC’s boom or bust attacking has it hanging onto a playoff place by a thread. The 10 times the side has been held scoreless this campaign is third-most in the league.
22 Charleston Battery
Week 24: @ LA
Last Week:
Congratulations to Augustine Williams on his 50th regular season goal in the Championship in what was an excellent victory on the road against the Red Bulls II on Friday night.
23 LA Galaxy II
Week 24: v. CHS
Last Week:
Los Dos rallied for a point at home against New Mexico on Sunday but they’re now winless in five games when a move above the playoff line has been there for the taking.
24 Hartford Athletic
Week 24: v. MIA
Last Week:
Picking up victory at home will have been a good morale boost for the Athletic – when are teams going to learn you can’t give Danny Barrera that sort of time and space?
25 New York Red Bulls II
Week 24: @ PIT
Last Week:
The Red Bulls II might have fallen on Friday night, but their rally while down to 10 men to defeat Atlanta United 2 three days prior is certainly worth something.
26 Indy Eleven
Week 24: @ TUL
Last Week:
Eleven games to go, 14 points to make up? We’ve seen enough, there’s not going to be postseason action for Indy this year.
27 Atlanta United 2
Week 24: @ LDN
Last Week:
Atlanta managed to get swept by the team that’s at the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings. There’s very little to add to that.

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