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USL Championship Power Rankings – Week 27

By NICHOLAS MURRAY -, 09/11/23, 4:30PM EDT


Battery’s turnaround has side within reach of historic marks in club history

It’s hard to overstate the turnaround the Charleston Battery have achieved this season.

Coming from a place in which the side recorded its fewest wins in a regular season in its 30-year history last year, to contending for top spot this year, the Battery are one of the best stories in North American soccer this year.

In clinching their return to the postseason on Saturday night with a dominant 2-0 victory against San Diego Loyal SC – holding a team that had scored three goals in consecutive games to only six shots overall, three shots on target, and only one effort from within the penalty area – the Battery have already achieved season-long marks they last achieved during its most recent peak.

Charleston’s 15 wins have matched its best total in the USL Championship era, when the side finished second in the Eastern Conference in 2017. Its 52 points – aside from being more than double last year’s total – are the club’s third-highest total in the USL Championship era with five games still to play, with the 56 points the side earned in 2018 the current high watermark.

If you dig deeper, though, there’s a chance for the Battery to do something it hasn’t achieved in more than two decades and eclipse the 60-point mark for the second time in its history. Charleston recorded 63 points in 28 games the 2002 USL A-League season, a club best.

That might just sit out of reach from here, but make no mistake, the Battery are here to contend for silverware again, and hopefully to inspire what’s to come in the next 30 years.

“The fans are why we do this,” said Head Coach Ben Pirmann on Saturday night. “Our crowds [over] the last six home games have been unbelievable. They urge the whole club’s performance. This is everybody. This is the executives and the owners and our supporters and coaches and staff and the players and everybody and anybody in between.

“Hopefully, there’s some ballboy here watching us who’s going to score 20 goals some year in his career.”

Here’s how 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 Orange County SC
Week 28: vs. COS

Last Week:
Orange County’s winning streak is over after a tight battle with El Paso, but a top-three finish is still within reach with a chance to catch San Antonio over the final stretch of the season.
2 x - Tampa Bay Rowdies
Week 28: @ SA

Last Week:
The Rowdies responded to an uncharacteristic late collapse in Memphis with a tremendous display to end LouCity’s undefeated run. This weekend’s visit to San Antonio is going to be must-see.
3 Charleston Battery
Week 28: @ LDN
Last Week:
The Battery outplayed one of the best teams in the Western Conference in San Diego Loyal SC, holding them to only one shot inside the penalty area. That’s a playoff-ready display.
4 x - Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC
Week 28: @ MIA

Last Week:
The Hounds took victory, but Head Coach Bob Lilley wasn’t happy afterward, a sign of where this team’s aspirations are when the postseason rolls around.
5 Indy Eleven
Week 28: @ NM
Last Week:
The Boys in Blue got an ideal weekend on their bye with both LouCity and Memphis suffering defeats. Maybe a home playoff game isn’t out of reach after all?
6 San Diego Loyal SC
Week 28: @ LOU
Last Week:
SD Loyal just couldn’t find enough attacking penetration in Charleston. They’ll need to change that in another tough road contest against Louisville City FC next weekend.
7 Phoenix Rising FC
Week 28: v. DET

Last Week:
Rising FC felt like the more likely side to win but couldn’t quite break through in Tulsa. The results elsewhere made a draw an adequate result, at least.
8 Sacramento Republic FC
Week 28: v. ELP
Last Week:
First place in the West is now Republic FC’s to lose. A one-point lead on San Antonio FC, a game in hand, and a soft schedule, Sacramento should close strongly.
9 Monterey Bay F.C.
Week 28: v. LV
Last Week:
Getting outshot 26-5 isn’t usually a recipe for success, but at this point of the season it doesn’t matter how you win, just that you do. Huge three points for Monterey Bay in Memphis.
10 San Antonio FC
Week 28: v. TBR

Last Week:
San Antonio is still one of the best teams at holding leads in the USL Championship, but it’s not where it was last year, and that’s likely to prove the difference between first place and where the side will finish this year.
11 Memphis 901 FC
Week 28: v. HFD
Last Week:
Memphis was able to knock the door down against Tampa Bay in midweek in a great win. When it came to Monterey Bay F.C., the entrance remained firmly locked.
12 Louisville City FC
Week 28: v. SD
Last Week:
LouCity did an awful lot right in Tampa Bay, but you can’t let your guard down like that with the form Cal Jennings is in. The rematch on the final day of the regular season should be a belter.
13 Detroit City FC
Week 28: @ PHX
Last Week:
Brett Levis picked a heck of a time to record DCFC’s first two-assist game of the season. It’s probably a two-team race for eighth now between Le Rouge and Tulsa, and Detroit is in the driver’s seat.
14 Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC
Week 28: @ OC

Last Week:
On one hand, the pressure’s still on the Switchbacks with a tough stretch of games ahead. On the other, getting a late equalizer from 17-year-old USL Academy signing Marcos Rios against San Antonio FC was a great boost.
15 Birmingham Legion FC
Week 28: @ RGV
Last Week:
That’s why Legion FC went out and got Tabort Etaka Preston. His game-changing moment to set up the winner against New Mexico steadied the ship and positioned Birmingham for another postseason appearance.
16 FC Tulsa
Week 28: @ OAK
Last Week:
If Tulsa’s going to pull off this playoff pursuit, it’s going to be an impressive feat. Four of the final five games on the road, and only one game against a team outside the playoff positions currently.
17 Oakland Roots SC
Week 28: v. TUL
Last Week:
Oakland’s still got a cushion to the teams below the playoff line, but three consecutive defeats capped by Saturday’s defeat in Las Vegas are not the mark of a team in form right now.
18 El Paso Locomotive FC
Week 28: @ LV, @ SAC
Last Week:
El Paso held firm defensively to get a point on the road in Orange County, but it’s going to have to show more attacking endeavor in Las Vegas on Wednesday after slipping below the playoff line.
19 New Mexico United
Week 28: v. IND
Last Week:
It’s not over for New Mexico after falling in Birmingham, but it can’t find the net consistently enough and that remaining schedule? Woof.
20 Miami FC
Week 28: v. PIT
Last Week:
Three consecutive defeats mean it’s a really steep climb back into the playoff picture for Miami, and a visit from Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC next weekend doesn’t provide a potential remedy.
21 Las Vegas Lights FC
Week 28: v. ELP, @ MB
Last Week:
The exuberance of Saturday night’s victory gave way to the morning after realization that Lights FC is officially eliminated from playoff contention. Heck of a party, though.
22 Rio Grande Valley FC
Week 28: v. BHM
Last Week:
The Toros will have to make another midweek trip back to Hartford after Saturday’s thunderstorms. Monterey Bay’s winning streak was the last thing they needed.
23 Loudoun United FC
Week 28: v. CHS
Last Week:
Kalil ElMedkhar gave Loudoun another highlight to enjoy in Pittsburgh. It was also the first time United had scored at Highmark Stadium in club history.
24 Hartford Athletic
Week 28: @ MEM
Last Week:
The lightning arrived and didn’t leave on Saturday night in Hartford. That will keep the Athletic busy with seven games to play in the final five weeks.

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