USL power ratings: May 7, 2018

A busy week saw one Eastern Conference team lose its first game all year – and still drop out of the top spot – and a bit of craziness in the West. I’ve tried to stretch the graphs vertically a bit to make it easier to follow the lines throughout the weeks. Without further ado, the ratings/rankings:

Screen Shot 2018-05-07 at 8.23.32 AM

USL East Power Rankings:

  1. FC Cincinnati 3.63 (+1)
  2. Louisville City FC 3.46 (-1)
  3. Indy Eleven 3.17
  4. Charleston Battery 2.40 (+2)
  5. Pittsburgh Riverhounds 2.14 (+2)
  6. Nashville SC 2.12 (-2)
  7. Bethlehem Steel 1.77 (+3)
  8. Tampa Bay Rowdies 1.76 (-3)
  9. New York Red Bulls II 1.49 (-1)
  10. Atlanta United 2 1.49 (-1)
  11. Penn FC 1.47 (+3)
  12. Richmond Kickers 1.28 (-1)
  13. Charlotte Independence 1.17 (-1)
  14. North Carolina FC 1.03 (-1)
  15. Ottawa Fury 0.49 (+1)
  16. Toronto FC II 0.40 (-1)

Louisville’s loss to Indy moves Cincinnati past the Boys in Purple, and establishes that we have a true top three, rather than a top team with two chasers. Until you get to the very bottom (where the Canadian sides remain in an ignominious class of their own), there’s still plenty of noice in the middle.

This week, there’s a bit of a second tier consisting of Charleston, Pittsburgh, and Nashville, whereas last week Tampa Bay (whose blasting at the hands of a poor-but-improving Penn team took them out of the tier) and maaaaaybe NYRBII (who was alone by itself between two otherwise-distinct tiers) could have been considered in that grouping. There’s still a muddled middle to deal with here.

Screen Shot 2018-05-07 at 8.23.58 AM.png

USL West Power Rankings

  1. Real Monarchs 4.13
  2. Sacramento Republic 2.53
  3. Swope Park Rangers 2.43 (+2)
  4. Phoenix Rising 2.36
  5. Las Vegas Lights 2.32 (-2)
  6. San Antonio FC 2.25 (+1)
  7. Orange County SC 2.24 (-1)
  8. Portland Timbers 2 1.91 (+5)
  9. St. Louis FC 1.88 (-1)
  10. Colorado Spring Switchbacks 1.43 (+1)
  11. Reno 1868 1.39 (+1)
  12. Seattle Sounders 2 1.38 (-3)
  13. Fresno FC 1.36 (-3)
  14. Rio Grande Valley 1.21
  15. Tulsa Roughnecks 0.86
  16. OKC Energy 0.49
  17. LA Galaxy II 0.41

Real Monarchs remain the class of the conference, and don’t show many signs of falling back to the pack yet (though by virtue of simply playing LAGII and OKC Energy eventually, they’ll slide back on the strength of schedule a touch, even if they do the expected and win), while Sacramento Republic and Las Vegas Lights have fallen back into a larger pack that includes Swope Park and Phoenix Rising… and now adds San Antonio and Orange County within a relatively tight spread.

That makes for a pretty solid top seven before a large gap, where Portland Timbers 2 and St. Louis FC look to battle for the eighth and final playoff spot (of course, there’s plenty of season left, so don’t take that current status for gospel, just a guide as to where things stand today). Beyond that, there’s a relatively stratified group before you get down to OKC Energy and LA Galaxy II, who fill the “Ottawa and Toronto” slots of the West, well behind any other teams.

Methodology note: No home/away or goals for/against numbers are included in the rankings. It’s strictly points per game multiplied by a strength of schedule component (opponents’ points per game, excluding games against the team of interest).

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