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USL Championship Power Rankings – Week 27

By NICHOLAS MURRAY -, 09/12/22, 4:30PM EDT


Change has been regular in Miami, but now it may be in a place to deliver the challenge it desires

Welcome back to the USL Championship Power Rankings, where Miami FC is on its best run of the season at just the right moment for its playoff potential.

Since Miami FC joined the USL Championship prior to the 2020 season, it’s been looking for the right combination of players, tactical approach, and personalities that can carry it to success.

It certainly hasn’t been shy about going after talent to that end, either, with the list of incoming and outgoing decently long. Overall, 52 players have seen action for the side in two-plus seasons. The club’s USL Championship-era leading goalscorer? That’s Christiano Francois, now in El Paso, who had 11 a season ago.

That relentless turnover – since the start of 2020, only six players have seen more than 3,000 minutes of action – hasn’t delivered on the expectations the club has aimed for. And yet, it might just be in a place now where it’s starting to deliver what could be a long-term challenger in the Eastern Conference. Kyle Murphy has nine goals this season to lead the team – admittedly down from his haul in Memphis last year, but still solid – while Florian Valot’s eight assists are the most of any Miami player in the Championship era.

Add in a shrewd midseason acquisition of El Salvador international Joaquin Rivas – who got off the mark last Friday night against the New York Red Bulls II – and the side is on a run of four wins in its last five overall as it closes in on the postseason for a second consecutive season.

Is it going to be enough to challenge the top sides at the end of this season? That remains to be seen, but it certainly feels like the building blocks are in place for the success Miami desires, if it can be patient enough to let things progress under Head Coach Anthony Pulis.

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 San Antonio FC
Week 28: v. NM

Last Week:
San Antonio keeps winning and adding to its advantage in the race for the best record in the playoffs. It doesn’t matter how you get it done, if you get it done
2 Detroit City FC
Week 28: v. TBR
Last Week:
Le Rouge must be hoping they can bottle up the road form they’re currently displaying and deliver some of that at home, but what they’re doing right now continues to be mightily impressive.
3 Louisville City FC
Week 28: v. LDN
Last Week:
LouCity will be happy to end a busy run of games and prepare for four home games out of five to close the regular season. Getting Joshua Wynder back on the field certainly won’t hurt, either.
4 Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC
Week 28: @ RGV
Last Week:
The chances were there for Colorado Springs at home to Detroit, but a combination of good goalkeeping and bad luck saw the usually potent attack come up short. Still room for optimism, though.
5 Memphis 901 FC
Week 28: v. CHS
Last Week:
Phillip Goodrum scored five goals in two games this season against his former club Atlanta United 2 this season. I’ll bet you that felt pretty, pretty good.
6 Tampa Bay Rowdies
Week 28: @ DET
Last Week:
The Rowdies were uncharacteristically slack in key moments against Charleston. It’s going to have to tighten up for an intriguing visit to face Detroit City on Saturday.
7 Sacramento Republic FC
Week 28: v. OC
Last Week:
Republic FC’s response to its Open Cup Final defeat was emphatic. If the woodwork had cooperated, that 4-0 victory against Loudoun United FC could have been by an even wider margin.
8 Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC
Week 28: @ BHM
Last Week:
The Hounds have alternated 2-1 road victories and 0-0 home draws in their last four games. With a crucial road trip to Birmingham up next, they’d sure love that to continue.
9 Indy Eleven
Week 28: @ MB
Last Week:
Four games undefeated and you’re left to wonder what might have been for the Boys in Blue if this had happened a month ago? With Miami and Detroit also winning, the playoffs are still out of reach.
10 Birmingham Legion FC
Week 28: v. PIT
Last Week:
We didn’t want to be super-harsh on Legion FC given the fight it showed to come back, but… come on, you’ve got to pick up Neveal Hackshaw better than that second time around.
11 The Miami FC
Week 28: v. ATL

Last Week:
Miami is rolling after putting up a seven-spot on the Red Bulls II on Friday night. With three home games up next, there still might be a chance to rise up the standings.
12 Rio Grande Valley FC
Week 28: v. COS
Last Week:
A six-point week defeating two teams above the playoff line was exactly what the Toros needed. With other teams faltering, they’re finally living up to the potential they’ve shown at times this year.
13 Monterey Bay F.C.
Week 28: v. IND

Last Week:
Monterey Bay is going to be a little bit busier with seven games over the final five weeks after Saturday’s postponement, but that midweek win against Orange County was deserved, and kept the side in the hunt.
14 San Diego Loyal SC
Week 28: v. PHX
Last Week:
SD Loyal hasn’t lost three games in a row since May last year, and while the performance against San Antonio was enough to earn a result, we’re in the results business on this side of the site.
15 Oakland Roots SC
Week 28: v. NY
Last Week:
You couldn’t have asked for a better moment for Lindo Mfeka to bag his first two goals of the season. Oakland came, saw, and conquered in Phoenix and a crucial victory.
16 El Paso Locomotive FC
Week 28: @ LA
Last Week:
The problem for Locomotive FC right now is any setback is potentially fatal. The good news is most of the teams below them aren’t in great form either right now.
17 Hartford Athletic
Week 28: v. LV
Last Week:
Technically, that’s a six-point week for the Athletic after their win against the LA Galaxy II last Monday night. Certainly, Saturday was a great way for Tab Ramos’ era to start, even with the late wobble.
18 New Mexico United
Week 28: @ SA
Last Week:
Things were looking bright for New Mexico when it took the lead against Rio Grande Valley FC but went downhill quickly. United’s still on course for a playoff place, but that run-in is starting to look difficult.
19 Charleston Battery
Week 28: @ MEM
Last Week:
The Battery pulled off a deserved victory against the Tampa Bay Rowdies on Saturday night for their second win in a row. Maintaining this momentum through the end of the regular season would be great.
20 Orange County SC
Week 28: @ SAC
Last Week:
Milan Iloski became Orange County’s second 20-goal scorer in a single season to lead the team past the LA Galaxy II in what was a resounding victory at Championship Soccer Season.
21 FC Tulsa
Week 28: ---
Last Week:
One point from two games in the past week means Tulsa is closing in on mathematical elimination. After the positives August provided, the past 10 days haven’t been nearly as rosy.
22 Phoenix Rising FC
Week 28: @ SD
Last Week:
Rising FC leads the Championship with 459 shots. It also sits 26th in shot conversion rate at 11.2 percent, and has only a 40.8 percent accuracy rate, which is why it’s where it’s at.
23 LA Galaxy II
Week 28: v. ELP
Last Week:
Los Dos collapsed late against Hartford Athletic and then lost the game and its cool against Orange County SC. That’s not the way to claim a playoff place.
24 Las Vegas Lights FC
Week 28: @ HFD

Last Week:
Lights FC is still in seventh place, but the pressure is still on with five weeks to go. This weekend’s trip to a suddenly in-form Hartford Athletic is going to be a test.
25 Loudoun United FC
Week 28: @ LOU
Last Week:
Loudoun just couldn’t get going against a Sacramento Republic FC aiming to make a statement on Saturday night. That’s all she wrote for its playoff hopes.
26 Atlanta United 2
Week 28: @ MIA
Last Week:
Atlanta’s defeat to Memphis 901 FC last Wednesday night did see the hosts offer some attacking threat, but it will be happy to see the back of Phillip Goodrum after his big night.
27 New York Red Bulls II
Week 28: @ OAK

Last Week:
Don’t forget, the Red Bulls II took the lead against Miami before it all went horribly wrong on Friday night. Still, 16 goals against in the last four games isn’t pretty.

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