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USL Power Rankings - Week 1

By NICHOLAS MURRAY - nicholas.murray@uslsoccer.com, 03/19/18, 3:00PM EDT

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Where does your team land on the first rankings of the 2018 season?

After plenty of player movement this offseason and preseason preparations, the 2018 USL regular season kicked off this past weekend with some results that were expected and some which caused surprise, as a record-opening weekend of attendance was treated to some thrilling action.

Those are reflected in the opening USLSoccer.com Power Rankings of the season, where the Tampa Bay Rowdies narrowly claimed the top spot over defending USL Cup champion Louisville City FC after their road victory against North Carolina FC on Saturday afternoon.

You’ll likely notice something new with the rankings this season, too, with the league’s expansion meaning we’re now looking to fill 16 slots on a weekly basis.

The four-person USLSoccer.com voting panel tabulates 16 points for first-place team votes, 15 points to the second-place team and so forth to one point for 16th place. The accrued points among the group determines the final ranking.

Rank

 

Team/Record

Summary

1 Tampa Bay Rowdies
59 pts | (1-0-0)
Week 1: W, 3-1 @NC
Week 2: BST
The Rowdies only claimed three road victories a season ago, making their win away in North Carolina a very strong start for the new year.
2 Louisville City FC
58 pts | (1-0-0)
Week 1: W, 2-0 NSH
Week 2: NC
The defending champions looked close to their best to start the season in front of a club record attendance of 7,993 for its home opener.
3 OKC Energy FC
43 pts | (1-0-0)
Week 1: W, 1-0 TUL
Week 2: @PHX
Energy FC’s victory against Tulsa Roughnecks FC not only got the season off to a good start for new Head Coach Steve Cooke but also moved the club closer to reclaiming the Black Gold Derby wrench.
4 Phoenix Rising FC
41 pts | (0-0-1)
Week 1: T, 1-1 @OC
Week 2: OKC
Rising FC will have been disappointed to concede late in Orange County when three points appeared to be within its grasp, but it now gets a marquee home opener with OKC Energy FC coming to town.
5 FC Cincinnati
40 pts | (1-0-0)
Week 1: W, 1-0 @CHS
Week 2: --
Cincinnati had to work hard for its first victory against the Charleston Battery, but that resilience was impressive in a good road win to kick off the new season.
6 Real Monarchs SLC
36 pts | (0-0-0)
Week 1: --
Week 2: @TUL
The defending USL Regular Season champions had a bye in the opening week and will now head to face Tulsa Roughnecks FC, aiming to get off to a strong start in 2018.
7 Sacramento Republic FC
33 pts | (1-0-0)
Week 1: W, 2-1 SA
Week 2: @OC
Sacramento got the Simon Elliott era off to a great start with victory against fellow Western Conference contender San Antonio, a fourth consecutive victory in the club’s home opener.
8 San Antonio FC
31 pts | (0-1-0)
Week 1: L, 1-2 @SAC
Week 2: STL
SAFC may have fallen against Sacramento, but there was still enough sign of the quality we’re expecting to see in the upcoming season in the matchup to keep the side in the top 10.
9 Charlotte Independence
28 pts | (1-0-0)
Week 1: W, 4-1 OTT
Week 2: TOR
The high-flying attack that arrived in Enzo Martinez’s stead sure looked impressive on Saturday and will have another chance to pick up three points against Toronto this Saturday.
T-10 Bethlehem Steel FC
25 pts | (1-0-0)
Week 1: W, 4-1 RIC
Week 2: @TBR
There was very little to be disappointed with for Steel FC as it put up four goals to start its new season, with newcomer Brandon Allen looking like he’ll fit in just fine on his new club.
T-10 Swope Park Rangers
25 pts | (1-0-0)
Week 1: W, 4-3 @RNO
Week 2: SEA
The Rangers could have let their heads drop after conceding a late own goal in Reno but instead came right back to grab a winner, a very positive sign for the defending Western champions.
12 Indy Eleven
23 pts | (0-0-0)
Week 1: --
Week 2: @RIC
Indy heads on the road to Richmond to begin its USL era this Saturday after wrapping up its preseason preparations this past weekend.
13 New York Red Bulls II
21 pts | (1-0-0)
Week 1: 2-1 TOR
Week 2: @ATL
The Red Bulls II still looked like there were questions to be answered defensively, but with that kind of attack, their games are going to be full of entertainment this year.
14 Reno 1868 FC
18 pts | (0-0-0)
Week 1: L, 3-4 SPR
Week 2: @LV
After almost stealing a point late, 1868 FC let it slip away in stoppage time against Swope Park and will now look for a big bounce-back performance against in-state rival Las Vegas Lights FC this Saturday.
15 Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC
16 pts | (1-0-0)
Week 1: W, 2-0 LA
Week 2: POR
The Switchbacks never seemed out of control in their season-opening victory against the Galaxy II and will be looking for more as Portland visits Weidner Field this Saturday.
16 Saint Louis FC
15 pts | (0-0-1)
Week 1: T, 1-1 @RGV
Week 2: @SA
A point on the road to open the club’s new era under Anthony Pulis wasn’t a bad return, especially after going behind in the final 15 minutes. A big test now awaits on the road against San Antonio.

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