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USL Championship Power Rankings – Week 10

By NICHOLAS MURRAY -, 05/15/23, 4:30PM EDT


Locomotive FC keeps momentum with late result, shifts into top five

Even on weekends like the past one in the USL Championship in which we got some of the wildest results imaginable, it’s always useful to remember that sometimes the margin between winning and losing can be really small.

Just take El Paso Locomotive FC.

In the opening 88 minutes of its contest with Loudoun United FC, the hosts had all manner of chances at Southwest University Park. It had hit the woodwork twice, had doubled the number of shots produced by its visitors, but thanks to not putting an official shot on target once, it was staring down a scoreless draw.

And then, as if by magic, up popped El Paso native Christopher Garcia to capitalize on a great piece of work by Josue Aaron Gomez and send 8th Notch and the other fans into wild celebrations.

In some ways, it was vintage Locomotive FC. Just think about how many late goals that club has produced to change the course of games over the past four seasons. In 2021 – El Paso’s current peak for regular season performance – the side recorded 36 goals in the second halves of games, and 15 in the last 15 minutes.

Now, it’s getting back to business. With five consecutive league victories, the winning habit has returned.


“We’re getting used to winning here,” said Locomotive FC Head Coach and Technical Director Brian Clarhaut after Saturday’s win. “We still need to improve, but we’re doing something right and getting three points. I enjoy it and I’m going to celebrate it.”

It doesn’t always come via a blowout, but wins are like gold dust however you can get them.  

Here’s how the rest of this week’s rankings look.

Birmingham Legion FC Charleston Battery Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC Detroit City FC El Paso Locomotive FC Hartford Athletic Indy Eleven Las Vegas Lights FC
Loudoun United FC Louisville City FC Memphis 901 FC The Miami FC Monterey Bay F.C. New Mexico United 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 Sacramento Republic FC
Week 11: @ OC, v. OAK

Last Week:
Russell Cicerone seven goals have already equaled Sacramento’s leading regular season goalscorers from last season. Plenty of time to match Cameron Iwasa’s single-season club record of 17, too.
2 Louisville City FC
Week 11: --
Last Week:
We could watch the sequence leading up to Brian Ownby’s goal on Saturday on repeat for a while. Tremendous stuff, and a big win.
3 San Antonio FC
Week 11: @ DET
Last Week:
There are style points, and then there’s putting up seven goals on the leader of the opposing conference. Incredible stuff.
4 El Paso Locomotive FC
Week 11: @ BHM

Last Week:
Yes, Locomotive FC left it late, but that’s five consecutive wins and second place in the Western Conference. Way to get it done.
5 Tampa Bay Rowdies
Week 11: @ RGV
Last Week:
*Looks at calendar* Yes, you should probably circle that game with Sacramento Republic FC on June 3 at Al Lang Stadium now.
6 Memphis 901 FC
Week 11: @ TUL
Last Week:
It could have been easy for Memphis to suffer a letdown after its Open Cup elimination, but instead it figured out a way to win down a player with a great late finish.
7 Charleston Battery
Week 11: v. MB
Last Week:
The Battery conceded one goal fewer than they had in their first nine games of the season against San Antonio on Saturday and have a negative goal differential now as a result.
8 Oakland Roots SC
Week 11: @ SAC
Last Week:
Seven goals and two wins in the past two games, Roots SC shouldn’t be flying under anyone’s radar at this point.
9 Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC
Week 11: @ IND
Last Week:
Playing up a man for an hour, the Switchbacks just didn’t deliver enough in Memphis. Two disappointing losses in a row.
10 Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC
Week 11: v. LV
Last Week:
Albert Dikwa, man. You think he’ll need some help eventually, having scored nine of the club’s 12 goals this regular season, but that’s a man in top form.
11 San Diego Loyal SC
Week 11: @ MIA
Last Week:
SD Loyal went from winning four in a row at home to start the regular season to dropping two in a row at Torero Stadium. Three consecutive road games up next, too.
12 Phoenix Rising FC
Week 11: @ OC
Last Week:
Solid home win to get the boat back on course for Phoenix. Now, can they find consecutive league wins for the first time this season in Orange County?
13 New Mexico United
Week 11: @ LDN
Last Week:
First Cristian Nava, now Alex Waggoner. There’s nothing like the sound of New Mexico United’s fans celebrating a goal from one of their own.
14 Monterey Bay F.C.
Week 11: @ CHS
Last Week:
Now, that looked like a collective Open Cup letdown. Going to be important for Monterey Bay to regroup ahead of its trip east to face Charleston.
15 Birmingham Legion FC
Week 11: v. ELP
Last Week:
Legion FC showed just how good it can be in the Open Cup against Memphis, but that’s three consecutive league defeats with teams gaining momentum below them.
16 Loudoun United FC
Week 11: v. NM, @ HFD
Last Week:
Another late concession and loss. That’s the sort of habit last year’s United fell into too often, this group needs to regain its poise.
17 Miami FC
Week 11: v. SD
Last Week:
Miami went into Louisville looking to make a statement and got handed a comprehensive defeat. Still got plenty to prove before this group joins the East’s best.
18 Rio Grande Valley FC
Week 11: v. TBR
Last Week:
You could argue the Toros delivered the result of the weekend away in San Diego. Certainly, they had the lowest predicted chance of success at just 15% to win per
19 Las Vegas Lights FC
Week 11: @ PIT

Last Week:
Another positive display, and another lack of three points. Nobody said it was easy, no-one ever said it would be this hard.
20 FC Tulsa
Week 11: v. MEM

Last Week:
After its 1-1 draw in Las Vegas, Tulsa has dropped seven points from winning positions this season. That’s not ideal.
21 Indy Eleven
Week 11: v. COS
Last Week:
One shot on target, and 11 shots on target allowed in Sacramento. Without goalkeeper Yannik Oettl, Saturday’s trip west could have been much uglier.
22 Hartford Athletic
Week 11: v. LDN
Last Week:
Of all the ways to allow a game-winning goal to Phoenix, that was tough, but you just can’t afford mistakes like that at this level.
23 Orange County SC
Week 11: v. SAC, v. PHX

Last Week:
Five consecutive defeats in all competitions for OCSC, and 13 goals conceded. For a team that’s only scored multiple goals in a league game once this season, that’s not a winning formula
24 Detroit City FC
Week 11: v. SA

Last Week:
When you’re struggling, conceding after just 122 seconds is not what you’re looking for. At least Abdoulaye Diop gave us another highlight.

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