Welcome to the USL power ratings! Herein, I’ll give weekly updates on the Eastern and Western Conference with a projected final table. When there’s enough data, I’ll expand the variety of rankings available.
This rating method counts only opposition played and points attained in a given game – it is best used as a proxy for how the table is likely to play out at the end of the year. At this stage of the year, it’s broken: there aren’t quite enough games played for the data to make sense. One more week and it should start to be an accurate representation.
USL East power rankings:
- Saint Louis – 118.86 points
- Nashville (+4) – 94.29 points
- North Carolina (-1) – 78.37 points
- NYRB2 (+1) – 76.19 points
- Tampa Bay (-1) – 72.90 points
- Ottawa (-3) – 57.14 points
- Indy (+1) – 48.98 points
- Charleston (-1) – 44.90 points
- Memphis – 44.08 points
- Pittsburgh (+4) – 43.73 points
- Bethlehem (+1) – 36.74 points
- Birmingham (-1) – 26.94 points
- Loudoun – 26.72 points
- Louisville City (-4) – 21.55 points
- Atlanta 2 (+2) – 21.23 points
- Swope Park (-1) – 10.88 points
- Charlotte (-1) – 10.71 points
- Hartford – 0.00 points
Saint Louis is still breaking the table just a bit (and I’m… no longer confident that Hartford is on the low end, with their zero-point projection), and playing Birmingham this weekend – win or lose – should probably get them into the realm of the realistic.
Nashville makes a big climb after thrashing (though scoreline isn’t taken into account in this rating method, just result) a previously-unbeaten Ottawa on the road, combined with continued strong play from past opponents – NSC has the toughest SOS in the league so far, and by a wide margin. Their victory in the nation’s capital (not that nation’s capital) also knocks Ottawa down. The Fury is a little more variable at this point because they have so few games played, they should level off a bit now.
Pittsburgh Riverhounds make a big climb and Louisville City’s current table position continues to be extremely troubling after Bob Lilley’s squad won at Slugger Field on a late penalty. While both teams are probably better than being “the last playoff team” and “not even close to the playoffs” when then end of the season arrives, for now their current form isn’t exactly inspiring. LCFC has the easiest schedule to-date in the East (meaning it only gets tougher) and still boasts a losing record.
USL West power rankings
- LA Galaxy II (+8) – 76.25 points
- Sacramento Republic (-1) – 74.91 points
- Portland Timbers 2 (+2) – 72.62 points
- Real Monarchs (+6) – 62.07 points
- Tulsa Roughnecks (+3) 59.31 points
- New Mexico (-3) – 53.41 points
- OKC Energy (-5) – 52.44 points
- Colorado Springs (-2) – 46.82 points
- Fresno FC (-5) – 45.27 points
- Tacoma Defiance (+5) – 44.36 points
- Reno 1868 (-4) – 40.67 points
- Phoenix Rising – 36.54 points
- Orange County (+3) – 36.31 points
- El Paso (-1) – 33.76 points
- Austin Bold (-1) – 27.01 points
- Las Vegas Lights (-5) – 24.61 points
- San Antonio – 21.46 points
- Rio Grande Valley – 13.22 points
Tacoma makes huge stride with a massive (and Sounders-aided, given the number of first-teamers sent down) win over Sacramento Republic, which also takes the Republic down a notch (their win over a poor Austin team wasn’t enough to bounce back after the Monday setback).
A win over a Tulsa team that was previously solid on the table (though lower here, because they’d been doing it against the dregs) helps move LA Galaxy II, proud owners of “every game is 7-4 in one direction or the other” style, up to the top of the table. That’s impressive given how many of the 7-4s went against them last year. I also don’t think it’ll last all that long.
Real Monarchs are finally in the sort of spot we expect to see them early in a season, and Vegas in a spot we expect to see them at any given point in a season (zing!). Pending a recovery from early-season draw-a-palooza out of Phoenix Rising, the set of ratings is starting to conform to preseason expectations, aside from those who have justified an alteration to said expectations.
Here, we’re probably one more game week away from these ratings being pretty sound as a representation of the play to date as it projects to the rest of the season (likely a week ahead of the East, just like the West was when it came to getting rid of table-breaking teams).