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USL Power Rankings – Week 26

By USLSoccer.com Staff, 09/10/18, 5:30PM EDT

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FCC remains out front, top five sees shakeup after week’s results

While FC Cincinnati sits head-and-shoulders ahead of the pack at the top of the USLSoccer.com Power Rankings once again, a fascinating week of results has made for a serious reshuffle in the rest of the top five in the rankings with Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC shifting into second place and both Orange County and the Charleston Battery also making upward moves in this week’s edition.

It’s likely telling of how close the races for position in the top three positions in the Western Conference and for the No. 2 through No. 4 seeds have become that one win or one defeat can result in significant shifts at this time of the season. As each team vies for a high seed come playoff time the pressure is starting to mount on each outing, with some like Orange County this past weekend rising to the challenge.

With the way the Western Conference playoffs have played out in recent seasons, the regular-season victories this past week of San Antonio FC against both Real Monarchs SLC and Phoenix Rising FC gave a potential taste of what’s to come next month as SAFC moved into the No. 12 spot in the rankings this week after sitting without a point the week before. Hitting form at the right moment can be crucial down the stretch, and it’s only going to get tenser from here on in.

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 | (18-3-6)
Week 26: (PPD) @LOU
Week 27: @LOU, TOR

Last Week: 1
FCC held the edge over Louisville when the game was abandoned in the 38th minute on Saturday night thanks to Corben Bone and will look to finish the job on Tuesday at 7 p.m. ET.
2 Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC
55 pts | (13-4-10)
Week 26: W, 4-1 BST
Week 27: LOU
3
Last Week: 5
Pittsburgh got a resounding response to its road disappointment as it equaled its highest goal output of the season, including a pair of great strikes from Kenardo Forbes and Jordan Dover.
T-3 Charleston Battery
54 pts | (12-4-12)
Week 26: W, 1-0 TBR
Week 27: --
3
Last Week: 6
The Battery got back to the basics of their system in defeating the Tampa Bay Rowdies to earn Head Coach Mike Anhaeuser his 200th victory as the club’s boss.
T-3 Orange County SC
54 pts | (16-7-6)
Week 26: W, 3-2 OKC
Week 27: @FRS
4
Last Week: 7
Everything fell Orange County’s way on Saturday night as it headed to the top of the Western Conference thanks to one of the more dramatic endings in the USL’s modern era.
5 Phoenix Rising FC
50 pts | (16-7-5)
Week 26: W, 1-0 RGV, L, 2-3 @SA
Week 27: @SEA
3
Last Week: 2
Phoenix got a solid midweek win and then couldn’t rally late in San Antonio, but still has a game in hand on Orange County as it looks to jump into first in the conference standings.
6 Real Monarchs SLC
42 pts | (17-9-2)
Week 26: L, 1-2 SA, L, 1-2 @RGV
Week 27: STL
3
Last Week: 3
The Monarchs haven’t lost three consecutive games since midway through the 2016 season and could get a strong test on Wednesday night against a Saint Louis side that needs a win.
7 Sacramento Republic FC
37 pts | (14-7-7)
Week 26: W, 3-0 SEA
Week 27: --
1
Last Week: 8
A small drop in points but a move up in position for Republic FC after a comprehensive victory against Seattle Sounders FC 2 on Saturday night.
8 Louisville City FC
36 pts | (13-5-8)
Week 26: (PPD) CIN
Week 27: CIN, @PGH
4
Last Week: 4
Louisville needs first a fightback upon the resumption of its game against FC Cincinnati, and then faces a tough trip to a Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC side that won at Slugger Field earlier this season.
9 Swope Park Rangers
34 pts | (13-9-7)
Week 26: W, 1-0 FRS
Week 27: STL
1
Last Week: T-10
The Rangers’ fourth consecutive win was again powered by Hadji Barry, who has now tallied in five successive games and notched three consecutive game-winners ahead of another big game Saturday against Saint Louis.
10 Indy Eleven
27 pts | (12-7-9)
Week 26: W, 3-0 NY
Week 27: @PEN

Last Week: T-10
Indy had to withstand a lot of pressure against the New York Red Bulls II last Wednesday but came through with a shutout victory that Head Coach Martin Rennie thought was their best display of the season.
11 Portland Timbers 2
25 pts | (15-11-3)
Week 26: W, 4-0 TUL
Week 27: @LV
2
Last Week: 9
Portland held a 9-0 advantage in shots on goal in its victory against Tulsa Roughnecks FC on Sunday and has now won five of its last six outings overall.
12 San Antonio FC
24 pts | (12-9-7)
Week 26: W, 2-1 @SLC, W, 3-2 PHX
Week 27: @TUL

Last Week: NR
Victories against both Real Monarchs SLC and Phoenix Rising FC in the same week certainly turned some heads, and Lance Laing shows no sign of slowing down right now.
13 New York Red Bulls II
18 pts | (10-8-10)
Week 26: L, 0-3 @IND
Week 27: TOR
1
Last Week: 12
The Red Bulls II’s 3-0 loss to Indy might have looked slightly lopsided, but New York did everything but score against the Eleven and should take some heart from its road display.
14 Bethlehem Steel FC
10 pts | (12-12-6)
Week 26: L, 1-4 @PGH
Week 27: --
1
Last Week: 13
Two consecutive defeats while conceding seven goals was not the way this was supposed to go. Steel FC at least got good results elsewhere with Nashville and North Carolina drawing at Penn falling to Atlanta.
T-15 Saint Louis FC
5 pts | (11-8-9)
Week 26: W, 1-0 RNO
Week 27: @SLC, @SPR
1
Last Week: T-16
Saint Louis has won five consecutive home games after Saturday’s big 1-0 win against fellow playoff contender Reno 1868 FC. Now it needs to translate that on the road with visits to Real Monarchs SLC and the Swope Park Rangers this week.
T-15 Nashville SC
5 pts | (10-8-9)
Week 26: T, 3-3 @NC
Week 27: --
1
Last Week: T-16
Nashville kept itself in the top eight at the end of the week thanks to its strong comeback against North Carolina FC, and now gets five of its last seven games on home turf.

Dropped from rankings: Reno 1868 FC (14), OKC Energy FC (15)

Also receiving votes: OKC Energy FC 2, Charlotte Independence 2

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