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USL Power Rankings – Week 28

By USLSoccer.com Staff, 09/24/18, 6:00PM EDT

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Cincinnati reaches historic point with silverware in sight

FC Cincinnati claimed another comeback victory on Saturday night against Penn FC to remain at the top of the USLSoccer.com Power Rankings this week, but more importantly the victory moved the club officially within reach of some major milestones in addition to the 2018 USL Regular Season Championship when it steps on the field this Wednesday night against the Richmond Kickers.

FCC hasn’t exactly done things the easy way since the start of September; its win against Penn was its third comeback victory in its last four outings, with victories against Pittsburgh Riverhounds on Sept. 1 and against Toronto FC II on Sept. 16 also seeing the side fall behind its opposition. But each time it has found a way to win, the record book has beckoned.

Should Cincinnati take victory on Wednesday in the USL Game of the Week on ESPN3 at City Stadium against the Kickers, it would not only claim its first silverware in club history, but also surpass the 2016 New York Red Bulls II for the most victories (21) and points (69) in a regular season. So greatly aligned are those two teams that FCC holds an identical record to the Red Bulls II side that finished the regular season 21-3-6 two years ago on its way to also hoisting the USL Cup.

Within reach as well for Cincinnati on Wednesday is equaling the record for consecutive victories, with the side within one win of Real Monarchs SLC’s mark of nine consecutive wins set a season ago. Claim victory on Wednesday, and FCC could set the record in its home finale this Saturday against Indy Eleven. And on top of everything, the record for consecutive games undefeated – held by the Richmond Kickers at 22 games undefeated – is still out there should FCC end the regular season without suffering a defeat.

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 | (21-3-6)
Week 28: W, 2-1 @PEN
Week 29: @RIC, IND

Last Week: 1
FCC rolls on toward the USL Regular Season Championship and its place in the USL record book as it claimed its eighth consecutive victory, and third comeback win this month.
2 Phoenix Rising FC
57 pts | (18-7-5)
Week 28: W, 2-1 @COS
Week 29: STL

Last Week: 2
Phoenix got a good road victory in Colorado Springs to remain a point back of Orange County. This Saturday it gets a potential playoff preview against Saint Louis FC.
T-3 Orange County SC
55 pts | (18-7-6)
Week 28: W, 5-2 SLC
Week 29: @LV

Last Week: T-3
Orange County put in a five-star performance against Real Monarchs SLC which should ensure a top-two finish, and a midweek victory in Las Vegas would keep the pressure on Phoenix to match its result this weekend.
T-3 Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC
55 pts | (14-4-11)
Week 28: W, 3-2 IND
Week 29: @PEN, @CLT
1
Last Week: 4
The playoffs are within sight on Wednesday night, and so it second place in the East for the Hounds as they visit Keystone Derby Cup rival Penn FC after another good win against Indy Eleven.
5 Louisville City FC
48 pts | (15-6-9)
Week 28: W, 3-0 @PEN, W, 4-0 OTT
Week 29: @ATL
1
Last Week: T-6
Seven goals, two shutouts and a solid return to form for Louisville as it booked a place in the playoffs for a fourth consecutive occasion. A trip to Atlanta awaits on Saturday night.
6 Sacramento Republic FC
42 pts | (15-7-8)
Week 28: W, 4-1 @TUL, T, 0-0 @OKC
Week 29: POR

Last Week: T-6
Four points out of six and a place in the postseason was a solid return from Republic FC’s trip to Oklahoma. Saturday’s game with the Portland Timbers 2 is one of this weekend’s must-see matchups.
7 Charleston Battery
41 pts | (12-4-14)
Week 28: T, 1-1 CLT, T, 1-1 @NSH
Week 29: NC, TOR
2
Last Week: 5
The Battery continue to be difficult to beat, but should be thankful for Pittsburgh’s victory against Indy Eleven to ensure their top-four spot isn’t under threat after a pair of 1-1 draws last week.
8 Portland Timbers 2
36 pts | (16-11-4)
Week 28: T, 2-2 @FRS
Week 29: @SAC
1
Last Week: 9
T2 will be disappointed to give up the lead late in Fresno, but the club still clinched its first postseason berth and can now take aim at a top-four finish in Saturday’s showdown in Sacramento.
9 Saint Louis FC
30 pts | (13-8-10)
Week 28: W, 2-0 SA
Week 29: @PHX
2
Last Week: 11
It would take a lot to go right for Saint Louis to get into the top four over its final three games, but with the side on a six-game winning streak at home it would certainly be a major boost if it could.
T-10 Swope Park Rangers
25 pts | (14-10-8)
Week 28: W, 2-0 SA, T, 1-1 @TUL
Week 29: --

Last Week: 10
Hadji Barry, scoring machine. Saturday’s tally made it eight consecutive games with a goal for the Swope Park standout as he propelled his side toward a third consecutive postseason berth.
T-10 Real Monarchs SLC
25 pts | (17-11-3)
Week 28: L, 2-5 @OC, L, 1-6 @LA
Week 29: COS
2
Last Week: 8
Two defeats and 11 goals conceded and suddenly a top-four finish certainly isn’t a certainty for the Monarchs as they return home for two must-win games to right the ship before the playoffs.
12 Indy Eleven
17 pts | (12-9-9)
Week 28: L, 2-3 @PGH
Week 29: TBR, @CIN

Last Week: 12
There’s never an ideal time for a two-game losing streak, and while the Eleven are still likely to make the playoffs their game on Wednesday night against the Tampa Bay Rowdies just took on much more importance.
13 Bethlehem Steel FC
15 pts | (13-12-6)
Week 28: W, 4-0 TOR
Week 29: @OTT
2
Last Week: 15
The only thing that could have gone better for Steel FC this weekend would have been another couple of draws for the sides chasing it, but as we’re seeing points in the pocket are much better than games in hand.
14 North Carolina FC
12 pts | (11-10-8)
Week 28: W, 6-1 @ATL
Week 29: @CHS, RIC

Last Week: NR
North Carolina’s emphatic victory + teams around them failing to gain maximum points was the ideal equation for the past week, but Wednesday’s trip to Charleston is going to be a difficult one to gain maximum points from.
15 Reno 1868 FC
9 pts | (12-7-10)
Week 28: T, 3-3 LV
Week 29: RGV, TUL
1
Last Week: 14
The final Silver State Cup meeting of the season was close to a thrill a minute, and while 1868 FC would have liked more than a point from it’s the pair of defeats for San Antonio took off a lot of pressure down the stretch.
16 Tampa Bay Rowdies
8 pts | (11-12-7)
Week 28: W, 2-1 @NSH, W, 3-0 RIC
Week 29: @IND

Last Week: NR
Three consecutive wins see the Rowdies make their return to the rankings as they head to Indy Eleven for a crucial Wednesday-night clash. Tampa Bay already beat the Eleven this season, a season sweep would be massive.

Dropped from rankings: New York Red Bulls II (13), San Antonio FC (16)

Also receiving votes: New York Red Bulls II 4, Rio Grande Valley FC 1

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