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USL Championship Power Rankings – Week 7

By NICHOLAS MURRAY -, 04/22/24, 4:30PM EDT


Classic Republic FC display leaves side undefeated but hungry for more at top of Western Conference

If you go off Sacramento Republic FC’s underlying numbers, Saturday night’s 2-0 victory against Orange County SC wasn’t the side’s most dominant display of the season.

Ironically, that was the side’s 1-1 draw against FC Tulsa seven days prior, where the side produced more than enough chances to win but couldn’t find a way through to claim all three points.

The numbers might not have been as impressive at Orange County’s Championship Soccer Stadium, but this felt like a classic Republic FC performance. Getting a club-record goal after just 15 seconds from forward Trevor Amann set Sacramento up for success, and from there on the visitors squeezed the life out of Orange County’s attack, allowing only one shot on target and five shots overall to end the night as the last undefeated side in the Western Conference.

“The performance tonight I think speaks volumes of the group and the hunger and the desire we have to continue to grow, and to continue to be better on a daily basis” said Sacramento Head Coach Mark Briggs. “Today, I asked them to keep a clean sheet and I told them I wanted to be in first place at the end of the 90 minutes.

“They delivered, we're in first place and we’ve had a fantastic performance. We’ve now got to keep our standards high and keep pushing one another on a daily basis to be the best we can be.”

Sacramento was one of the preseason favorites for both the Championship’s Players’ Shield and league title but has hit some early bumps in the road this campaign.

If this is the baseline for what’s to come, there’ll be a lot to look forward to at Heart Health Park moving forward.

Here’s how this week’s rankings look.

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Birmingham Legion FC Charleston Battery Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC Detroit City FC El Paso Locomotive FC Hartford Athletic Indy Eleven
Las Vegas Lights Loudoun United FC Louisville City FC Memphis 901 FC The Miami FC Monterey Bay F.C. New Mexico United
North Carolina FC Oakland Roots SC Orange County SC Phoenix Rising FC Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC Rio Grande Valley FC Sacramento Republic FC
San Antonio FC Tampa Bay Rowdies FC Tulsa

On The Move






1 Charleston Battery
Week 8: v. LV

Last Week:
The Battery continue to roll behind MD Myers and Nick Markanich up front, each of whom has goal contributions in the side’s current three-game winning streak.
2 Sacramento Republic FC
Week 8: v. LDN

Last Week:
Sacramento looked back to its best in dropping Orange County from the ranks of the undefeated. When Republic FC is on, it might be the most difficult team to break down in the league.
3 Detroit City FC
Week 8: @ PIT

Last Week:
Five games, five wins, and this might have been the most impressive display so far. Head Coach Danny Dichio has got Le Rouge clicking on all cylinders.
4 Louisville City FC
Week 8: v. HFD

Last Week:
LouCity wasn’t close to its best against Loudoun United FC – it didn’t record its first shot on target until six minutes to go – and it still found a way to win. That’s an ominous sign.
5 San Antonio FC
Week 8: @ MIA
Last Week:
San Antonio got a nice piece of good fortune with Hartford’s own goal to break the deadlock, but on balance it deserved all three points. Solid win to stay in touch with the frontrunners.
6 Tampa Bay Rowdies
Week 8: v. NM
Last Week:
The Rowdies didn’t win, but this might have been their best performance overall of the season so far. Next Saturday’s visit from New Mexico United on CBS Sports Network is going to be a must see.
7 New Mexico United
Week 8: @ TBR
Last Week:
On the road after cross-country travel after playing in midweek, you could have understood if United had settled for a point in North Carolina. It didn’t, and that showed plenty about what this side’s about.
8 Monterey Bay F.C.
Week 8: @ OC
Last Week:
Monterey Bay’s first comeback win of the season continued its great start to the campaign overall. Alex Lara deserved a goal too, considering how unlucky the opening-minute own goal was.
9 Orange County SC
Week 8: v. MB
Last Week:
Orange County’s undefeated start is over after falling at home to Sacramento Republic FC for the first time since 2018, which makes Saturday’s game with Monterey Bay all-the-more important
10 Birmingham Legion FC
Week 8: v. MEM
Last Week:
That was about as dominant a 1-0 win as you might see in Miami for Legion. They’ve quickly moved back into the top four in the Eastern Conference as a result.
11 Hartford Athletic
Week 8: @ LOU
Last Week:
Hartford keeps showing promising signs, but the defensive cracks are starting to show as well. Consecutive games at Louisville and Charleston are going to be a big test.
12 Loudoun United FC
Week 8: @ SAC
Last Week:
Sure, Loudoun United lost to Louisville City FC, but the performance gave us optimism this team is on the right track. We’ll see how the side fares on the road in Sacramento.
13 Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC
Week 8: v. DET
Last Week:
It all finally clicked into place for Pittsburgh this weekend earning victory on the road in Phoenix. Big morale boost ahead of a big home game against Detroit City FC.
14 Phoenix Rising FC
Week 8: @ RI
Last Week:
Rising had enough chances to take something from its clash with Pittsburgh but didn’t capitalize. The Hounds did, and that’s why they walked away with all three points.
15 FC Tulsa
Week 8: @ ELP
Last Week:
Tough lesson for Tulsa against the Battery. Being a little more patient before shooting might not hurt – only three of the side’s 12 shots came from inside the penalty area.
16 Rhode Island FC
Week 8: v. PHX
Last Week:
Getting a first win on the board – especially after midweek’s Open Cup disappointment – will be a big relief for RIFC. Getting some new names on the scoresheet was also a big plus.
17 Las Vegas Lights FC
Week 8: @ CHS
Last Week:
Las Vegas battled back well against Rhode Island in the second half but couldn’t find an equalizer. Valentin Noël continues to be impressive in midfield.
18 Indy Eleven
Week 8: v. NC
Last Week:
Playing up a player for half-an-hour against Colorado Springs and missing out on victory feels like a missed opportunity for Indy. That’s five games without a win in league play overall.
19 North Carolina FC
Week 8: @ IND
Last Week:
Letting New Mexico United equalize as quickly as it did – twice – will rankle Head Coach John Bradford, as will giving up a late winner. You can’t afford to let points slip away like that.
20 Oakland Roots SC
Week 8: v. COS
Last Week:
Justin Rasmussen’s second-half goal might have given Oakland some hope, but the gulf in level between Roots and Detroit was pretty evident overall.
21 Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC
Week 8: @ OAK
Last Week:
On the plus side, the Switchbacks earned their first point and got Ronaldo Damus on the board. On the negative side, this side can’t get out of its own way with poor decisions.
22 El Paso Locomotive FC
Week 7: v. TUL
Last Week:
Locomotive earned a point against Tampa Bay and got a stellar display from Jahmali Waite in the process. Still waiting for that first win of the season, though.
23 Memphis 901 FC
Week 8: @ BHM
Last Week:
Memphis got handed a gift within the opening minute and couldn’t capitalize. Five consecutive league games with a loss, this really isn’t going as planned.
24 Miami FC
Week 8: v. SA
Last Week:
Unlucky for Khadim Ndiaye to err as he did on Birmingham’s only goal, but Miami continues to be in a tough spot, winless in six games in the league.

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