The Football Forge Power Rankings: Week 16

The proper order has been established

OK. we’re already 5 games into Week 17, so this is a tad late I guess, but hey, we have a day job and are still getting over jet lag. Besides, it was worth the wait. Here are the Forge’s rankings for Week 16:

Rank Team Previous Change Record Forge Factor Notes
1 Birmingham Legion 4 +3 7-4-4 7.232 The excellent performance resulting in a comprehensive road win over New Mexico United adds to the Legion’s improving fortunes and success against strong teams. Next up is a major test in Louisville.
2 Las Vegas Lights 5 +3 7-6-4 6.375 When Cal Jennings gets a goal and an assist, the Lights will usually win, as they did over Phoenix 3-2. The win streak extends to 3 and the Nevadans are riding for now. They host Detroit next.
3 Sacramento Republic 2 -1 8-3-4 6.204 The Republic edged Monterey 2-1 to continue their win streak, even with the Legion on 4 games. And like the Legion they have a tough test to extend it: they head to Colorado this week.
4 El Paso Locomotive 9 +5 8-6-4 5.403 A 5-0 home win over New York comes under the heading of non-surprises. The Locomotive is high in the rankings right now, but they still seem inconsistent. A fairly easy double-game week, and then they face the Switchbacks in a big game.
5 San Diego Loyal 16 +11 8-4-4 5.312 Kyle Vassell skied a PK, but the Loyal still cruised to a 5-0 win over Indy. This team is among the USL elite. Double-game week coming up and a chance to really solidify their place high in the Western standings.
6 Tampa Bay Rowdies 6 0 8-3-6 5.152 Pittsburgh scored first and last. Not that it mattered; the Rowdies subjected the Hounds to a thorough 5-2 beatdown. The showdown with Memphis this weekend should be a biggie.
7 San Antonio 13 +6 11-3-1 5.131 The battle for best in the West went to San Antonio, who weathered a storm of 15 shots and got a little lucky…
8 Colorado Springs Switchbacks 3 -5 11-3-0 4.715 The Switchbacks were the better team generally but couldn’t penetrate the staunch San Antonio defense. A  fluke deflection off the back of defender Matthew Mahoney’s head doomed them to a tough 0-2 loss.
9 Memphis 901 15 +6 11-3-2 4.671 The midweek win over Tulsa could have been been way more than 2-0 if not for Tulsa keeper Austin Wormell. Then they pounded Detroit City with 20 shots for a another 2-0 win. A huge game in Tampa coming up Saturday.
10 Louisville City 7 -3 10-3-3 4.577 It took Lou City 63 minutes to finally find a breakthrough against a resilient Hartford defense, but went on to win 2-0. The men in purple haven’t been as dominant lately as their roster ought to be and they will see a tough opponent in the Legion this week.
11 New Mexico United 1 -10 7-3-4 4.123 The Black and Yellow were thoroughly outplayed by Birmingham and rightfully give up their top spot to the Three Sparks. And that 7-0 win over Phoenix is ancient history now.
12 Hartford Athletic 10 -2 3-9-3 3.917 Harry Watling’s last game in charge resulted in a predictable 0-2 loss to Louisville, but the hosts hung in there for most of the game before finally conceding. Will the change in leadership change the team’s fortunes?
13 LA Galaxy II 20 +7 7-8-3 3.765 Los Dos crossed the country to Miami, went up 2 goals in 8 minutes and never looked back. a 7-save performance by Richard Sanchez rather helped too. They remain barely outside the playoffs and are the best MLS 2 side by far.
14 Charleston Battery 8 -6 2-10-3 3.632 The Battery lost 1-2 in Tulsa despite dominating on the stats sheet. The win over Pittsburgh and the draw with Tampa are looking like outliers but are keeping Charleston fairly high in the rankings for now.
15 Oakland Roots 12 -3 5-5-9 3.364 29 shots is a huge number but the Roots only put away 3 of them while giving up 1 against Atlanta. And one of those goals was a PK for a foul clearly outside the box. Overall, Oakland are an average team.
16 Rio Grande Valley Toros 14 -2 7-8-1 2.736 Rio Grande Valley Toros were on a bye this week.
17 FC Tulsa 17 0 5-9-3 1.769 Tulsa barely avoided utter humiliation in Memphis before beating Charleston 2-1 at home despite allowing the visitors 19 shots. They are starting to slip out of playoff contention.
18 Detroit City 18 0 7-4-5 1.660 City were dominated by Area Code FC in a 0-2 loss, which included goalkeeper Nate Steinwascher taking a nasty knock on his woodwork. Detroit’s only win in the last 5 was over Atlanta; things are looking a little less bright in the Motor City.
19 Orange County 24 +5 4-7-5 1.574 In a fairly even game statistically Orange County came out on top 3-1 against Loudoun United despite going down a man. Still, this is their only win in the last 7 games and the chances of making the playoffs, let alone defending their title look dim at best.
20 Indy Eleven 11 -9 6-6-3 1.465 Indy were completely inept in the 0-5 loss in San Diego and are clinging to a playoff spot by their fingertips. This week is a key game against Miami, with whom they are currently tied.
21 Monterey Bay Union 25 +4 4-11-0 1.093 The Union went toe to toe with SacRep but gave up 2 second half goals to lose 1-2. They are on a 4-game losing streak but rise in the rankings due to poor results elsewhere.
22 The Miami FC 19 -3 5-6-6 0.911 Miami racked up 19 shots and 8 on target as they lost 1-3 to LA, and the one goal they got was off a lucky deflection. 3 points from the last 15 and if they don’t correct course the South Floridians will find themselves way out of playoff contention.
23 Atlanta United 2 23 0 3-12-1 0.545 You have to feel for Twonited. Decimated by a staggering injury crisis at their parent club, they try to hag on in every game. 8 of 29 Oakland shots were on goal; Justin Garces managed to stop 5 of them.
24 Loudoun United 21 -3 4-10-2 0.292 Loudoun traded goals with Orange County in the first 4 minutes, choked on a PK, got a man advantage and gave up a late stoppage time goal as they lost 1-3. This squad remains erratic at best.
25 Phoenix Rising 26 +1 7-9-0 0.268 The Rising may have been denied an early goal in the tight 2-3 loss in Las Vegas, but the losing streak is now 4 games, their worst since 2016. And their July schedule is rough.
26 New York Red Bulls II 22 -4 1-12-3 -0.752 About the best that can be said of the Baby Bulls is that they are making the Battery look good. Thumped 0-5 by El Paso this week, they next give Pittsburgh a chance to right their own sinking ship.
27 Pittsburgh Riverhounds 27 0 7-6-3 -1.166 Pittsburgh’s early lead lasted all of 2 minutes 22 seconds. It was all downhill from there in the 2-5 home loss to Tampa. 3 straight bad losses and the Riverhounds look to be in complete freefall.

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