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USL Power Rankings – Week 22

By Staff, 08/13/18, 5:15PM EDT


Undefeated streaks on line in No. 1 vs. No. 2 showdown this Saturday

Nippert Stadium has already played host to big games in the 2018 USL regular season, but this Saturday brings a matchup that will have a big say in how the stretch run in the USL’s Eastern Conference plays out as the No. 1 team in this week’s Power Rankings, FC Cincinnati, plays host to the No. 2-ranked Charleston Battery.

Both teams enter off victories this past weekend that continued double-digit undefeated streaks. FCC’s run of 12 games undefeated (8-0-4) has moved it five points clear at the top of the Eastern Conference, and with a one-point edge on Western Conference-leader Real Monarchs SLC in the race for the 2018 USL Regular Season Championship.

The Battery are on an 11-game run (6-0-5) that marks the club’s longest undefeated streak in the USL’s modern era. Tied with Cincinnati on three losses this season, the Battery are 10-1-10 over their past 21 outings, making them one of the toughest teams to beat in the USL this season.

Cincinnati is one of the sides to have defeated the Battery this season as Blake Smith’s goal proved the difference at MUSC Health Stadium on the opening weekend of the season. That was FCC’s first win all-time against Charleston, though, with the Battery holding a 3-1-2 edge in the all-time series that included a memorable victory at Nippert Stadium in the 2016 USL Cup Playoffs.

With the rest of the pack in the Eastern Conference rooting for the Battery – especially No. 3 Louisville City FC and No. 5 Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC, both of whom will get their crack at FCC next month – Saturday’s clash will be must-see viewing.

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 | (14-3-6)
Week 22: W, 1-0 PEN
Week 23: CHS

Last Week: 1
FCC had to battle again to come out on top against Penn FC on Sunday, but Emmanuel Ledesma remains an ace in the hole for Head Coach Alan Koch’s side.
2 Charleston Battery
59 pts | (11-3-10)
Week 22: T, 0-0 @TBR, W, 1-0 ATL
Week 23: @CIN

Last Week: 2
The Battery got to rest some key players and still take a 1-0 victory against ATL UTD 2, and the return of Ian Svantesson from injury could be a nice boost down the stretch.
3 Louisville City FC
54 pts | (11-4-6)
Week 22: W, 6-4 @NY
Week 23: NSH
Last Week: 4
It doesn’t come much wilder than Louisville’s 6-4 win against the New York Red Bulls II, and now the new era under Head Coach John Hackworth begins with a big opener against Nashville.
4 Orange County SC
52 pts | (13-6-5)
Week 22: W, 4-3 @PHX
Week 23: LV
Last Week: 7
OCSC made its statement, although it had to hold on late to withstand Phoenix’s comeback bid on Saturday night. Adding another win against Las Vegas on Wednesday will up the pressure on the Monarchs.
5 Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC
48 pts | (12-3-7)
Week 22: W, 2-1 @BST
Week 23: CLT

Last Week: 5
The Hounds hold steady after their third consecutive victory, but the return to form of Neco Brett is a massive boost for a side for which he’s scored almost half the goals this season.
6 Real Monarchs SLC
47 pts | (15-6-2)
Week 22: W, 2-1 RNO, L, 2-3 @OKC
Week 23: TUL
Last Week: 3
A big home win against Reno last Wednesday preceded a tough road defeat to OKC on Saturday, which meant Real remained on top of the conference standings but is no longer the front-runner for the 2018 USL Regular Season Championship.
7 Phoenix Rising FC
39 pts | (12-6-5)
Week 22: L, 3-4 OC
Week 23: @LV
Last Week: 6
Phoenix Head Coach Rick Schantz was very happy with the final 20 minutes of his side’s performance on Saturday, but the preceding 70 minutes saw the club’s defensive issues rear their head again for a deficit that couldn’t be overcome.
8 Sacramento Republic FC
37 pts | (12-5-7)
Week 22: W, 2-1 RGV
Week 23: @STL, LA

Last Week: 8
Republic FC continues to get things done, even if it was less than happy with its start against Rio Grande Valley FC. A 2-1 comeback win to move into third place certainly doesn’t hurt, though.
9 Reno 1868 FC
23 pts | (10-5-7)
Week 22: L, 1-2 @SLC
Week 23: @SPR

Last Week: 9
Reno’s undefeated road record came to an end against the Monarchs, and now 1868 FC will hit the road this Sunday to visit Swope Park as it tries to snap a two-game losing streak.
10 San Antonio FC
21 pts | (9-6-7)
Week 22: L, 2-3 @SEA
Week 23:

Last Week: 10
SAFC’s four-game winning streak came to a screeching half, even if Ever Guzman’s scoring streak continued against Seattle Sounders FC 2. As strongly as the club has surged, it can’t get complacent now.
11 Nashville SC
20 pts | (9-6-7)
Week 22: W, 2-0 OTT
Week 23: @LOU
Last Week: 15
Victory in a playoff six-pointer against Ottawa on Friday night showed NSC has clearly steadied the ship. The club’s players are talking top-four potential, we’ll see after Saturday’s trip to Louisville whether it’s there or not.
12 New York Red Bulls II
19 pts | (9-7-8)
Week 22: L, 4-6 LOU
Week 23: --
Last Week: 11
New York’s still in position for a playoff spot even after its remarkable clash with Louisville, but things might start to tighten as it takes the week off before a visit from North Carolina.
T-13 Indy Eleven
18 pts | (9-7-5)
Week 22: --
Week 23: NC, @OTT
Last Week: 12
Indy believes it’s a solid shot for the postseason, it will get to prove it this week as it hosts North Carolina FC on Wednesday night and visits Ottawa Fury FC on Saturday afternoon.
T-13 Saint Louis FC
18 pts | (8-6-8)
Week 22: W, 4-1 LV
Week 23: SAC, @FRS
Last Week: T-16
Three consecutive victory have Saint Louis currently on the inside track for a playoff place, but this week is going to be a tough one with a visit from Sacramento and a visit to Fresno.
15 North Carolina FC
15 pts | (8-8-6)
Week 22: W, 2-0 @TBR
Week 23: @IND
Last Week: T-13
North Carolina FC won the six-point battle with the Rowdies, gained revenge for its season-opening defeat, and put itself into strong position for a playoff spot. That’s a pretty good Saturday night.
16 Portland Timbers 2
5 pts | (11-10-3)
Week 22: W, 2-0 @SPR
Week 23: SA, SEA

Last Week: NR
Adding to Swope Park’s home woes was one thing, but T2 seriously bolstered its playoff credentials with Saturday’s win and add to that momentum as San Antonio visits on Wednesday night.

Dropped from rankings: Ottawa Fury FC (T-13), Fresno FC (T-16)

Also receiving votes: Bethlehem Steel FC 4, OKC Energy FC 1

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