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USL Power Rankings – Week 21

By Staff, 08/06/18, 5:30PM EDT


Positive performances set up showdown for Phoenix, Orange County

Sitting in second place in the Western Conference standings after picking up four points in the past week of action, Orange County SC is on a five-game undefeated streak after Saturday’s 2-1 victory against the Swope Park Rangers at Champions Soccer Stadium. The side has one of the leading contenders for the USL Golden Boot in Thomas Enevoldsen, and one of its best creators in Aodhan Quinn.

But as OCSC prepares to go up against Phoenix Rising FC this Saturday night in a top-three matchup in the conference and a top-seven contest in the latest Power Rankings, there remains a question as to whether Orange County is a USL Cup contender.

Going by the numbers, there’s a strong case the side should be among those considered in with a chance at a championship at the end of the season. Orange County is tied for the second-most goals scored in the league this season with 42, and has backed that up with 10 shutouts, also tied for second in the league. It retains possession well, second-most passes attempted in the league and a 79 percent accuracy rate and ranks seventh in the league in chances created from open play with 189.

But then there’s its record against its fellow contenders. Since the start of the season – when it played to a 1-1 draw with Phoenix Rising FC – Orange County is 0-4-1 against the other three teams that currently populate the top four positions in the West and has lost to all three of Real Monarchs SLC, Phoenix Rising FC and Sacramento Republic FC.

With a trip to Phoenix coming this Saturday, Orange County has a chance to make a major statement of intent. It will be fascinating to see how the side responds.

The four-person 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.






1 FC Cincinnati
64 pts | (13-3-6)
Week 21: T, 1-1 NSH
Week 22: PEN

Last Week: 1
Cincinnati extended its undefeated streak to 11 games after its 1-1 draw with Nashville but certainly got a taste of what might be to come as the biggest target in the league down the stretch.
2 Charleston Battery
58 pts | (10-3-9)
Week 21: T, 0-0 @NC
Week 22: @TBR, ATL

Last Week: 2
The Battery were happy enough with a point on the road against North Carolina FC that extended their undefeated streak to nine games ahead of a busy upcoming week.
3 Real Monarchs SLC
55 pts | (14-5-2)
Week 21: --
Week 22: RNO, @OKC

Last Week: 3
The Monarchs saw its rivals take victory over the weekend and will be looking to respond in kind on Wednesday night in a big game against fifth-place Reno 1868 FC.
4 Louisville City FC
48 pts | (10-4-6)
Week 21: T, 2-2 IND
Week 22: @NY

Last Week: 4
Louisville had a chance to close the gap slightly on Cincinnati on Sunday evening but instead was able to grab a draw against an Indy Eleven side that looks back on the upswing.
5 Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC
47 pts | (11-3-7)
Week 21: W, 3-0 RIC, W, 1-0 TOR
Week 22: @BST
Last Week: 7
The Hounds took back-to-back victories against sides it should have handled at home, but with Cincinnati’s draw it was a very positive seven days on the Mon.
6 Phoenix Rising FC
45 pts | (12-5-5)
Week 21: W, 4-1 @POR
Week 22: OC
Last Week: 5
Rising FC turned the tables on its recent road form to put up four goals in its first away win since May 30, which makes Saturday’s game with Orange County a chance to claim second place outright.
7 Orange County SC
42 pts | (12-6-5)
Week 21: T, 2-2 POR, W, 2-1 SPR
Week 22: @PHX
Last Week: T-8
Orange County got big performances by its big names to rally against Portland in midweek but getting two goals from newcomer Darwin Jones was a nice boost ahead of the club’s trip to Phoenix.
8 Sacramento Republic FC
37 pts | (11-5-7)
Week 21: W, 1-0 FRS
Week 22: RGV

Last Week: T-8
Republic FC’s Highway 99 Derby victory on Villyan Bijev’s winner was a major boost to the club’s top-four hopes and sent its undefeated streak to five games.
9 Reno 1868 FC
32 pts | (10-4-7)
Week 21: --
Week 22: @SLC
Last Week: 6
Reno took a little tumble on its bye week but would get everyone’s attention if it can be the first side to defeat Real Monarchs SLC on home turf this season this Wednesday night.
10 San Antonio FC
30 pts | (9-5-7)
Week 21: W, 2-1 LA
Week 22: @SEA
Last Week: 11
A fourth consecutive victory has San Antonio looking a lock for the postseason at this point and put the club within a win of matching its longest winning streak in club history.
11 New York Red Bulls II
25 pts | (9-6-8)
Week 21: W, 2-1 PEN
Week 22: LOU
Last Week: 10
New York continued to step up on home turf with its 2-1 victory against Penn FC on Friday night, a result that further solidified the club’s place in the postseason positions.
12 Indy Eleven
18 pts | (9-7-5)
Week 21: T, 2-2 @LOU
Week 22: --
Last Week: 13
Indy looks like it has steadied the ship with four points in the past two games and it’s arrived at just the right time with two important games with North Carolina FC and Ottawa Fury FC up next on the schedule.
T-13 North Carolina FC
9 pts | (7-8-6)
Week 21: T, 0-0 CHS
Week 22: @TBR

Last Week: NR
North Carolina FC got the seven points it was looking for from its three-game homestand after its draw with the Charleston Battery, but Ottawa and Bethlehem’s victories didn’t help NCFC’s playoff hopes.
T-13 Ottawa Fury FC
9 pts | (9-9-3)
Week 21: W, 2-0 TBR
Week 22: @ATL, @NSH

Last Week: NR
Ottawa has won three of its last four games after Friday night’s win against Tampa Bay and will be hoping it can make the most of the resumption of its clash with ATL UTD 2 on Tuesday to come away with three points there as well.
15 Nashville SC
7 pts | (8-6-7)
Week 21: T, 1-1 @CIN
Week 22: OTT
Last Week: T-14
A point on the road in Cincinnati was a good bounce-back display by Nashville on Saturday and now the side gets a crucial six-pointer against Ottawa on Friday night at First Tennessee Park.
T-16 Saint Louis FC
6 pts | (7-6-8)
Week 21: W, 2-0 SEA
Week 22: @LV

Last Week: NR
Two consecutive wins have put Saint Louis solidly in the mix for a playoff position ahead of Saturday’s showdown with Las Vegas Lights FC, where another win is a must to maintain momentum.
T-16 Fresno FC
6 pts | (7-8-9)
Week 21: L, 0-1 @SAC
Week 22: @LA
Last Week: 12
Fresno faces a race against time to push its playoff hopes back up the hill with only 10 games remaining in its regular season. Victory against the LA Galaxy II on Thursday is a must.

Dropped from rankings: Swope Park Rangers (T-14), Portland Timbers 2 (T-14)

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