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USL Power Rankings - Week 12

By USLSoccer.com Staff, 06/04/18, 7:57PM EDT

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Positive runs by Reno, Charlotte, Nashville see clubs continue upward trajectory

With a week off, Louisville City FC remains securely on top of the USLSoccer.com Power Rankings in Week 12 with Real Monarchs SLC’s bounce-back victory against Sacramento Republic FC on Tuesday night slotting the Western Conference leaders into the No. 2 position. Further down the rankings, though, there are a trio of teams in the bottom half of the Top 16 currently making a solid case for a higher position than they currently hold.

The highest-ranked of the three is the Charlotte Independence, which checked up two places to No. 9 this week after ending Ottawa Fury FC’s shutout streak at 636 minutes in a 1-0 road victory at TD Place. With four wins in a row, Charlotte is the hottest team in the league right now, but with only one of those victories against a side currently in the playoff positions how the club fares in the remainder of its road trip that visits the New York Red Bulls II this Saturday is going to determine how high the Independence might fly.

Almost as hot as Charlotte is Nashville SC, which also gets a two-position bump into No. 11 after its two-win week over the past seven days. The expansion club is definitely one to keep an eye on as it sets up for a four-game homestand that culminates with the visit of FC Cincinnati to Nissan Stadium on July 7 after this weekend’s trip to Tampa Bay. If NSC’s attack continues to click, it’s going to quickly put itself into the conversation with the conference leaders.

Out west, Reno 1868 FC is on a club-record nine-game undefeated streak after its victory against OKC Energy FC, and more importantly has started turning draws into victories with three wins in its last four outings to move into the playoff positions. Getting back home with a chance at double-digits this Saturday, 1868 FC could be due a bump up from No. 12 if it can produce more wins like its recent road victory in Sacramento.

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
64 pts | (7-2-1)
Week 12: --
Week 13: @BST

Last Week: 1
Louisville saw itself overtaken in the standings by Cincinnati on Saturday afternoon, but with two games in hand on its rival in the race for first in the Eastern Conference.
2 Real Monarchs SLC
60 pts | (9-2-1)
Week 12: W, 1-0 SAC
Week 13: @RGV

Last Week: 2
A landmark night for Chandler Hoffman ensured the Monarchs kept their distance from the chasing pack in the Western Conference ahead of Monday night’s game with Rio Grande Valley FC.
3 FC Cincinnati
54 pts | (7-3-2)
Week 12: W, 2-1 @NY
Week 13: @NC
3
Last Week: T-6
Cincinnati produced a big comeback to keep the pressure on Louisville at the top of the East, and now can set its sights on another run in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup run this Wednesday night.
4 Sacramento Republic FC
52 pts | (7-3-3)
Week 12: L, 0-1 @SLC, W, 1-0 OC
Week 13: PHX

Last Week: 4
One down, one up for Sacramento, which maintained its top-three position with a good victory against fellow playoff contender Orange County SC ahead of a second showdown with Phoenix Rising FC.
5 Portland Timbers 2
44 pts | (7-4-2)
Week 12: L, 1-2 @SA
Week 13: @RGV
2
Last Week: 3
T2 will have been disappointed in letting its lead slip late against San Antonio and now needs to regroup for its second consecutive clash in Texas as it visits Rio Grande Valley FC on Saturday.
6 Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC
43 pts | (5-1-6)
Week 12: L, 0-1 NSH, W, 2-1 @RIC
Week 13: --
1
Last Week: 5
The Hounds produced a big response to their first loss of the season in a comeback victory this past Saturday in Richmond, with Neco Brett now only one goal off his single-season high set two seasons ago.
7 Charleston Battery
40 pts | (5-2-5)
Week 12: T, 3-3 @IND
Week 13: @RIC
1
Last Week: T-6
The Battery got the weekend off to recuperate ahead of an Open Cup clash with Atlanta United FC, and then a visit to historic rival the Richmond Kickers this Saturday night.
8 Phoenix Rising FC
39 pts | (7-3-3)
Week 12: W, 3-1 @STL
Week 13: @SAC
1
Last Week: 9
Phoenix managed to end its Midwest trip on a very positive note with its victory in Saint Louis, and now can take aim at revenge for its home defeat to Sacramento when it visits Papa Murphy’s Park on Saturday.
9 Charlotte Independence
30 pts | (6-3-2)
Week 12: W, 1-0 @OTT
Week 13: @NY
2
Last Week: T-11
Yann Ekra’s goal to lift Charlotte to victory against Ottawa Fury FC might have been slightly fortuitous, but the Independence’s run into the top four in the East has shown off the side’s best attributes.
10 Orange County SC
28 pts | (6-4-2)
Week 12: L, 0-1 @SAC
Week 13: @LA
2
Last Week: 8
The big stage was waiting for Orange County this Saturday, and the side didn’t quite rise to the occasion. Getting back on track against an improved LA Galaxy II this Sunday is going to be important.
11 Nashville SC
27 pts | (5-2-4)
Week 12: W, 1-0 @PGH, W, 3-1 PEN
Week 13: @TBR
2
Last Week: 13
Nashville is 3-0-0 at First Tennessee Park this season after its victory against Penn FC and is looking primed for a run in the next month with its new attacking options clicking into place quickly.
12 Reno 1868 FC
19 pts | (5-3-5)
Week 12: W, 2-1 @OKC
Week 13: FRS
2
Last Week: 14
Reno moved to 5-0-4 in its last nine games thanks to Lindo Mfeka’s winner against OKC Energy FC as it keeps shifting up the Western Conference standings.
13 New York Red Bulls II
13 pts | (4-3-5)
Week 12: L, 1-2 CIN
Week 13: CLT
2
Last Week: T-11
A big win was at hand for the Red Bulls II until Brian White’s missed penalty kick kept FC Cincinnati in the game, but with the streaking Charlotte Independence up next New York won’t have time to dwell on its defeat.
14 Swope Park Rangers
31 pts | (5-2-4)
Week 12: L, 0-2 @STL
Week 13: @COS
4
Last Week: 10
More ups and downs from the Rangers, whose 2-0 road defeat to Saint Louis FC pushed the side back into the middle of the playoff race in the Western Conference.
15 Bethlehem Steel FC
8 pts | (5-5-2)
Week 12: W, 2-1 @NC
Week 13: LOU
1
Last Week: 16
Comeback victories like Steel FC’s are the sort that can make a big difference at the end of the season. Bethlehem’s now won three of its last four as it hosts Louisville on Saturday.
16 San Antonio FC
6 pts | (4-3-5)
Week 12: W, 2-1 POR
Week 13: --

Last Week: NR
San Antonio desperately needed that comeback victory against Portland on Saturday, which it will hope kickstarts both its attack and its season overall.

Also receiving votes: Ottawa Fury FC 3, Tampa Bay Rowdies 3, Indy Eleven 2

Also receiving votes: Tampa Bay Rowdies (15)

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