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USL Power Rankings - Week 8

By USLSoccer.com Staff, 05/07/18, 7:30PM EDT

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Gap at the top narrows as Cincinnati, Monarchs stake claim for No. 1

Well, that was quite the seven days, wasn’t it? It certainly gave the voting panel plenty to think about, and both FC Cincinnati’s three-game winning streak and Real Monarchs SLC’s four-point week got each side one first-place vote this week in the USLSoccer.com Power Rankings after Louisville City FC’s first loss of the season on Saturday.

But the defending USL Cup champion is still sitting No. 1 overall by a two-point margin over its River Cities Cup rival as its head-to-head victory when the sides first met and game in hand that could allow it to regain top spot in the Eastern Conference kept the other two first-place votes in Louisville’s column.

Cincinnati’s move up seven positions, the largest of any side this week, is an indicator of where this team now appears to sit among the contenders in the East, however. With the chance at a club-best four-game winning streak on offer this weekend against a Charlotte Independence side that has struggled over recent weeks, another impressive display could see a swap at the top next week.

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 Louisville City FC
60 pts | (5-1-1)
Week 8: L, 0-1 @IND
Week 9: @NSH

Last Week: 1
Louisville gets to hold onto top spot after suffering its first loss of the season thanks to a strong resume otherwise. History indicates to expect a bounce-back display, too, with LouCity going 5-0-1 after its six defeats a season ago.
2 FC Cincinnati
58 pts | (5-1-2)
Week 8: W, 3-2 @IND, W, 4-2 ATL
Week 9: @CLT
7
Last Week: 9
A six-point week that saw the side rack up seven goals in two games, Cincinnati is looking like the side we were expecting to be a major force in the Eastern Conference when the season began.
3 Real Monarchs SLC
56 pts | (5-1-1)
Week 8: T, 0-0 LV, W, 2-1 OC
Week 9: SPR, FRS

Last Week: 3
The Monarchs took four points from their first two games at Zions Bank Stadium thanks to Juan Mare’s dramatic winner on Friday night, and now get a marquee midweek game as the Swope Park Rangers visit.
4 Phoenix Rising FC
45 pts | (4-1-3)
Week 8: W, 4-3 LA
Week 9: @OKC, @TUL
1
Last Week: T-5
Another comeback for Rising FC, but this time it resulted in a victory for the hosts against the LA Galaxy II on Friday night ahead of a two-game trip to Oklahoma this week.
T-5 Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC
44 pts | (4-0-3)
Week 8: W, 2-1 @TOR
Week 9: IND
3
Last Week: 8
Riverhounds SC is the last team standing with an undefeated record, which bodes well for its playoff aspirations, but is still looking for a marquee victory. Indy Eleven’s visit on Friday provides that opportunity.
T-5 Swope Park Rangers
44 pts | (4-1-3)
Week 8: W, 1-0 @OKC
Week 9: @SLC

Last Week: T-5
The Rangers made OKC Energy FC pay for its inability to finish with Hadji Barry’s late penalty kick and snapped a run of three consecutive draws in the process while extending its undefeated run to five games.
7 Sacramento Republic FC
40 pts | (5-1-3)
Week 8: L, 0-2 @POR, W, 2-1 @SEA
Week 9: RNO
3
Last Week: 4
Republic FC slides a little bit thanks to its midweek defeat to the Portland Timbers 2, but by maintaining its mastery of Seattle Sounders FC 2 to end the trip Sacramento is still well-placed out west.
8 Orange County SC
33 pts | (5-3-1)
Week 8: L, 1-2 @SLC
Week 9: STL
6
Last Week: 2
Orange County’s second loss in three games sees it take a tumble down the rankings, but there was still a good amount to take away from Friday’s loss against the Monarchs to be happy about.
9 Charleston Battery
31 pts | (4-2-2)
Week 8: W, 2-0 CLT
Week 9: BST
4
Last Week: T-13
Three wins on the spin have the Battery back up to fourth place in the Eastern standings and the club’s defense is looking right as rain again with three consecutive shutouts.
T-10 Indy Eleven
30 pts | (4-2-1)
Week 8: L, 2-3 CIN, W, 1-0 LOU
Week 9: @PGH

Last Week: 10
One for each of the plus and minus column this week for the Eleven in a challenging week at home. Indy’s still in touch with the top, though, which is what matters most.
T-10 New York Red Bulls II
30 pts | (3-1-5)
Week 8: T, 0-0 @OTT, T, 1-1 NSH
Week 9: @BST
3
Last Week: 7
Missed chances in both Ottawa and at home to Nashville SC will be disappointing for the Red Bulls II, who could have taken victory from both contests and instead have drawn four in a row.
12 Saint Louis FC
24 pts | (3-1-4)
Week 8: T, 0-0 POR
Week 8: @LA, @OC

Last Week: 12
Saint Louis made it six games undefeated – a club-best – with its scoreless draw against the Portland Timbers 2 as it heads west for an important two-game trip to Southern California.
13 San Antonio FC
17 pts | (3-2-3)
Week 8: W, 2-1 FRS
Week 9: @RGV
3
Last Week: T-16
Two wins on the bounce for the first time this season have got San Antonio back into the playoff mix, and the side looks hungry for more as it heads to face South Texas rival RGVFC this week.
14 Tampa Bay Rowdies
12 pts | (4-4-0)
Week 8: L, 0-3 @PEN
Week 9: @RIC
3
Last Week: 11
The Rowdies were visited by the ghost of forwards past on Friday night to slump to a third consecutive road defeat at the hands of Tommy Heinemann. They’ll be hoping Brian Shriver doesn’t have similar plans on Saturday in Richmond.
15 North Carolina FC
8 pts | (2-3-2)
Week 8: --
Week 9: --
1
Last Week: T-16
A week off saw little movement around North Carolina in the middle of the Eastern Conference, and Head Coach Colin Clarke will be hoping for more of the same this week before his side gets back at it on May 19. .
16 Portland Timbers 2
7 pts | (4-3-2)
Week 8: W, 2-0 SAC, T, 0-0 @STL
Week 9: @SEA

Last Week: NR
Portland is starting to look legit after handing Sacramento its first loss of the season and holding Saint Louis to a draw. T2 has already claimed more wins this season than it did in 2017.

Also receiving votes: Nashville SC 3, Charlotte Independence 1, Reno 1868 FC 1

Dropped from Rankings: Fresno FCLas Vegas Lights FC

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