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USL Power Rankings – Week 24

By USLSoccer.com Staff, 08/27/18, 8:45PM EDT

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Big week sees Louisville shift into top three

Everyone is still chasing FC Cincinnati in both the race for the USL Regular Season Championship and the USLSoccer.com Power Rankings, but the past week saw Louisville make a move that showed serious intent in making a race of it in the Eastern Conference as injury returnees and new additions both played a role in a two-victory week that saw the side rack up a league-best nine goals in the busiest week of the regular season.

As expected, Cameron Lancaster continued to lead the way for the attack as he moved level with Orange County SC’s Thomas Enevoldsen on 16 goals with three tallies across the two games, including another tremendous free kick finish that opened the scoring against the Richmond Kickers on Saturday night. Add in three goals off the bench from Luke Spencer as he continues his comeback, showing the rust has dropped off and Louisville’s three-headed monster that also includes Ilija Ilic looks like it’s all the way back.

What wasn’t necessarily expected, though, was the immediate contributions from the club’s new youngsters as New York City FC loanee James Sands and recent signing Jose Carranza – formerly of ATL UTD 2 – both found their way onto the scoresheet in the past week. Add in the depth of George Davis IV, Niall McCabe and the rest of Louisville’s veterans and the defending champions are getting close to where they expect to be.

With both Louisville and Cincinnati facing top-four opposition this weekend as the Charleston Battery visit Slugger Field and Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC heads to Nippert Stadium, there’s a great warmup in store ahead of Sept. 8’s main event between the River Cities Cup rivals.

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

Change

Summary

1 FC Cincinnati
64 pts | (17-3-6)
Week 24: W, 5-1 @ATL, W, 2-1 @TBR
Week 25: PGH

Last Week: 1
Cincinnati’s attack carried it against ATL UTD 2, while its defense got the job done against the Tampa Bay Rowdies as the league-leaders continued to drive forward.
2 Real Monarchs SLC
58 pts | (17-6-2)
Week 24: W, 4-0 LA
Week 25: @COS

Last Week: T-2
The Monarchs put in a comprehensive first-half display with four goals against the LA Galaxy II, and Chandler Hoffman’s picked up a brace in each of the past two outings.
3 Louisville City FC
56 pts | (13-4-7)
Week 24: W, 3-0 @CLT, W, 6-0 @RIC
Week 25: TOR, CHS
2
Last Week: 5
Nine goals for, no goals against summed up a dominant week on the road for Louisville as Cameron Lancaster and Luke Spencer each struck three times.
4 Phoenix Rising FC
54 pts | (15-6-5)
Week 24: W, 4-0 SA, W, 4-0 COS
Week 25: --
3
Last Week: 5
A pair of 4-0 victories against San Antonio FC and Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC showed the variety of finishers Rising FC has at its disposal when it’s on song.
T-5 Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC
46 pts | (12-3-9)
Week 24: T, 1-1 TBR
Week 25: @IND, @CIN
1
Last Week: 4
The Hounds continued their undefeated streak with a draw against the Tampa Bay Rowdies but will get a good road test this week in visits to Indy Eleven and FC Cincinnati.
T-5 Orange County SC
46 pts | (15-7-5)
Week 24: W, 3-2 @POR, L, 0-2 RGV
Week 25: @SEA
3
Last Week: T-2
The high of Wednesday night’s win against Portland quickly dissipated in a surprise loss to Rio Grande Valley FC that saw OCSC lose ground on the Monarchs.
7 Charleston Battery
37 pts | (11-4-11)
Week 24: T, 4-4 NY
Week 25: @LOU
1
Last Week: 6
A second consecutive year with a 4-4 home draw for the Battery as the New York Red Bulls II making the most of their man-advantage to rally back for a point at MUSC Health Stadium.
8 Bethlehem Steel FC
29 pts | (12-10-6)
Week 24: W, 2-0 OTT, W, 2-1 @NSH
Week 25: PEN
6
Last Week: 14
A sixth win in the last seven games, and sixth road victory of the season, moved Steel FC firmly into playoff position but with only six games left the margin of error is still slim.
9 Sacramento Republic FC
28 pts | (13-7-7)
Week 24: W, 2-1 @RNO
Week 25: --
1
Last Week: 10
A road victory to spoil your rival’s club-record home attendance was certainly enjoyable for Republic FC, which snapped a two-game losing streak in the process.
10 Indy Eleven
27 pts | (11-7-7)
Week 24: W, 3-2 TOR, T, 1-1 @ATL
Week 25: PGH, RIC
2
Last Week: T-8
Indy had to work to take victory against Toronto FC II and then got stung late by ATL UTD 2, showing there’s still no easy victories at this point of the season.
T-11 Portland Timbers 2
21 pts | (13-11-3)
Week 24: L, 2-3 OC
Week 25: STL
3
Last Week: T-8
T2 couldn’t make its comeback stick against Orange County in midweek despite Foster Langsdorf’s best efforts, and another test arrives on Saturday from Saint Louis FC.
T-11 Saint Louis FC
21 pts | (10-7-8)
Week 24: W, 3-2 TUL
Week 25: @SEA, @POR

Last Week: T-11
A bounce-back victory required a solid rearguard action late against Tulsa Roughnecks FC, but STLFC got through it well enough ahead of this week’s trip to Cascadia.
T-13 OKC Energy FC
19 pts | (10-12-5)
Week 24: W, 3-0 SEA
Week 25: @SPR
2
Last Week: 15
Four wins on the spin has Energy FC feeling déjà vu to a season ago. Victory on Sunday away to Swope Park would be both big for its playoff hopes and cathartic after last postseason’s penalty shootout loss.
T-13 New York Red Bulls II
19 pts | (9-7-10)
Week 24: T, 2-2 NC, T, 4-4 @CHS
Week 25: OTT
2
Last Week: T-11
The Red Bulls II will likely feel they left points on the table against North Carolina but managed to grab one back in its visit to the Charleston Battery on Saturday night.
15 Nashville SC
9 pts | (9-7-8)
Week 24: L, 1-2 BST
Week 25: RIC, @CLT
2
Last Week: 13
NSC Head Coach Gary Smith was disappointed with his side’s start on Saturday night in its loss to Bethlehem Steel FC. Expect a response on Tuesday night as Richmond visits.
16 Reno 1868 FC
7 pts | (10-6-8)
Week 24: L, 1-2 SAC
Week 25: LV, @FRS

Last Week: 16
Reno couldn’t complete its comeback this time against Sacramento, narrowing its margin of error to claim a top-four position at the end of the season.

Also receiving votes: North Carolina FC 3

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