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USL Power Rankings – Week 23

By Staff, 08/20/18, 5:30PM EDT


FCC’s undefeated streak continues, Orange County, Monarchs make upward moves

FC Cincinnati continued its undefeated streak with a good 3-0 victory against the Charleston Battery on Saturday night to remain the unanimous No. 1 in the Power Rankings this week, and with the side’s run now having reached 13 games with 10 games to go in the regular season there soon might be talk as to whether it can set a league record before the USL Cup Playoffs arrive.

Real Monarchs SLC, meanwhile, had to work a lot harder for its 3-2 victory against Tulsa Roughnecks FC, but that and some scoreless draws elsewhere was enough to push the Western Conference’s leader back into a tie for second in the poll alongside rival Orange County SC.

And as well as Cincinnati is progressing right now, it might be Orange County that is deserving of a little more time in the spotlight. Its undefeated streak of seven games isn’t as lengthy as FCC’s, certainly, but the way the side is going about things should be turning heads as the club boasts not just experience but a three-headed attacking monster of current USL Golden Boot leader Thomas Enevoldsen, Jamaican international Michael Seaton and perennial USL standout Aodhan Quinn which has turned on the style of late.

Orange County has never had the buzz of other teams, but it’s a club that soccer fans in the Los Angeles area could easily find a lot to like about away from the glamor of the LA Galaxy and LAFC. With its intimate venue at Champions Soccer Stadium in Irvine, the club is on course for the best season in its history and should be worth watching as it pursues a top-two finish and looks to overturn the Monarchs at the top of the standings.

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 | (15-3-6)
Week 23: W, 3-0 CHS
Week 24: @ATL, @TBR

Last Week: 1
Goals in back-to-back games for Emmanuel Ledesma kept his pursuit of individual glory at the end of the season on track in another big home victory for the Eastern Conference leaders.
T-2 Real Monarchs SLC
55 pts | (16-6-2)
Week 23: W, 3-2 TUL
Week 24: LA
Last Week: 6
The Monarchs needed a late winner to defeat Tulsa Roughnecks FC, but Justin Portillo’s goal made him the 14th different player to find the net for Real this season.
T-2 Orange County SC
55 pts | (14-6-5)
Week 23: W, 3-1 LV
Week 24: @POR, RGV
Last Week: 4
Three consecutive victories have Orange County on a strong upswing, as is the MVP candidacy for Thomas Enevoldsen with 14 goals and eight assists.
4 Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC
53 pts | (12-3-8)
Week 23: T, 0-0 CLT
Week 24: TBR
Last Week: 5
The Hounds did almost everything but score against the Charlotte Independence but fell further behind FCC in the standings after their scoreless draw.
5 Louisville City FC
52 pts | (11-4-7)
Week 23: T, 0-0 NSH
Week 24: @CLT, @RIC
Last Week: 3
Louisville was unable to produce the victory that would have made John Hackworth’s first game as Head Coach all-the-more memorable but should feel confident of success on the road this week.
6 Charleston Battery
43 pts | (11-4-10)
Week 23: L, 0-3 @CIN
Week 24: NY
Last Week: 2
The Battery can’t afford to linger on wondering what if Atualla Guerra’s shot had found the net for long with the New York Red Bulls II headed to MUSC Health Stadium on Saturday.
7 Phoenix Rising FC
42 pts | (13-6-5)
Week 23: W, 2-0 @LV
Week 24: SA, COS

Last Week: 7
Rising FC has alternated wins and losses for seven consecutive games after Saturday’s 2-0 win against Las Vegas Lights FC, a streak it hopes to end on Wednesday as San Antonio FC visits the desert.
T-8 Indy Eleven
28 pts | (10-7-6)
Week 23: W, 3-2 NC, T, 0-0 @OTT
Week 24: TOR, @ATL
Last Week: T-13
A good home victory and away draw against two fellow playoff contenders was a solid return for Head Coach Martin Rennie’s squad in the past seven days, but the schedule doesn’t slow down with another busy week ahead.
T-8 Portland Timbers 2
28 pts | (13-10-3)
Week 23: W, 2-1 SA, W, 4-1 SEA
Week 24: OC
Last Week: 16
Three consecutive victories, including a big midweek win against San Antonio FC, have T2 pointed squarely toward the postseason ahead of a big test against Orange County on Wednesday night.
10 Sacramento Republic FC
25 pts | (12-7-7)
Week 23: L, 1-2 @STL, L, 1-4 LA
Week 24: @RNO
Last Week: 8
Consecutive defeats, including a 4-1 thumping by the LA Galaxy II, was not what Sacramento had planned, and now a trip to Reno awaits as the side tries to defend its top-four position.
T-11 New York Red Bulls II
20 pts | (9-7-8)
Week 23: --
Week 24: NC, CHS
Last Week: 12
The Red Bulls II still sit in the playoff positions after the weekend off, and now face one of their biggest games of the season as North Carolina visits on Tuesday night.
T-11 Saint Louis FC
20 pts | (9-7-8)
Week 23: W, 2-1 SAC, L, 0-1 @FRS
Week 24: TUL
Last Week: T-13
STLFC couldn’t find another fast start against Fresno on Saturday night, but its midweek victory against Sacramento made it a satisfactory week overall in the pursuit of a playoff place.
13 Nashville SC
19 pts | (9-6-8)
Week 23: T, 0-0 @LOU
Week 24: BST
Last Week: 11
A road draw in Louisville is certainly nothing to sneeze at, and with seven of the club’s final 11 games this season on home turf the opportunity is there for a major move up the congested Eastern Conference.
14 Bethlehem Steel FC
12 pts | (10-10-6)
Week 23: W, 2-0 TOR
Week 24: OTT, @NSH

Last Week: NR
Four wins out of the past five games combined with draws elsewhere have Steel FC in good position again, but a big week awaits with a visit from Ottawa Fury FC and a trip to Nashville on tap.
15 OKC Energy FC
10 pts | (9-12-5)
Week 23: W, 4-2 RGV
Week 24: SEA

Last Week: NR
There’s a glimmer of hope for Energy FC’s playoff chances after three consecutive victories, but the side has to keep racking up wins in order for them to come to fruition.
16 Reno 1868 FC
8 pts | (10-5-8)
Week 23: T, 3-3 @SPR
Week 24: SAC
Last Week: 9
Reno had battled back to earn all three points and let it slip away in stoppage time against the Swope Park Rangers on Sunday but can still move into position for a top-four finish with a win against Sacramento this weekend.

Dropped from rankings: San Antonio FC (10), North Carolina FC (15)

Also receiving votes: North Carolina FC 5, Ottawa Fury FC 3, San Antonio FC 2

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