The Football Forge Power Rankings: Week 22

A less chaotic week in the Forge Rankings

Things are back in their proper order, and the upcoming obvious Game of the Week couldn’t be better prepped.

Rank Team Previous Change Record Forge Factor Notes
1 Birmingham Legion 9 8 12-6-5 7.05 Another big win for the Three Sparks. 9 points and an aggregate score of 13-1 over the past 3 games will get you rising high in the Forge rankings no matter who your opponents have been lately. Next up though…
2 San Diego Loyal 1 -1 14-5-4 6.68 The Loyal made a statement this week, beating the top team in the league 3-0 and looking fairly clinical doing so, at least after Kyle Vassell entered the game in the second half.
3 Tampa Bay Rowdies 2 -1 14-3-6 5.52 The Rowdies peppered Detroit with 29 shots on the way to a 1-0 win and a 13-game unbeaten streak.1 point point off the Eastern Conference lead and seriously contending for that top spot.
4 Pittsburgh Riverhounds 6 2 13-6-4 5.42 Pittsburgh lost Marc Ybarra to a second yellow but were already 2-0 up over Indy and held that scoreline. Overall, it was a rather listless game with 5 shots on target but the Hounds remain 2 points ahead of the Legion for the last home playoff spot.
5 The Miami FC 14 9 9-7-7 5.35 Miami were dominant in Albuquerque, winning 3-0 over a team that seems to have forgotten how to attack and made some appalling defensive errors. They are in 7th place in the East and well clear of Tulsa in 8th.
6 Sacramento Republic 17 11 10-5-7 4.84 The Republic had a strange week, winning 2-1 in New Mexico fairly handily and then needing a 90th minute equalizer at home against RGV in a game that had just 5 shots on goal combined. Still, they are closing in on the home playoff spots with games in hand.
7 Monterey Bay Union 8 1 8-11-2 4.78 Monterey left it until the 88th minute to get a shot on goal. But that’s all they needed to beat the Locomotive 1-0. In 12th place but amazingly within sight of the playoff spots: they are 7 points short but have games in hand on almost everybody.
8 Phoenix Rising 5 -3 8-10-5 4.73 The Rising have scored 4 times in the last 5 games. All of them were last week against Colorado. Luckily, their opponents have scored 0 goals in those 5 games. That includes Las Vegas this week, with both teams woefully short on shooting accuracy.
9 Louisville City 3 -6 15-3-4 4.70 Lou City didn’t really need the Battery to go down a man, but it didn’t hurt. The 4-1 win was only surprising in that the visitors actually scored first. City hold on the the Eastern Conference lead by a point, but they have a game in hand over the Rowdies. Still, it’s tight.
10 Orange County 7 -3 5-10-8 4.32 It’s emblematic of the season  that Orange County were 3-1 up over the Switchbacks with less than 11 minutes to play and ended with a 3-3 draw. They are now 3 points adrift at the bottom of the West.
11 Memphis 901 13 2 14-5-3 3.63 Midweek Area Code FC outshot the Baby Bulls 23-7 but didn’t really have it all their own way, winning 2-1. At the weekend they had to come from behind to beat Hartford 3-1, but capped it off with an incredible bicycle kick goal by newly signed 17-year-old Nighte Pickering.
12 FC Tulsa 11 -1 7-12-4 3.63 FC Tulsa were on a bye this week.
13 Oakland Roots 15 2 6-7-11 3.35 Oakland Roots were on a bye this week.
14 San Antonio 4 -10 16-4-2 3.09 San Antonio remains atop the Western Conference, but they got their noses bloodied in San Diego 0-3. They still have a 4-point lead and a game in hand, so there’s no need for panic. They face Loudoun United at home this week, who could be in for another beatdown.
15 Detroit City 10 -5 9-5-8 2.43 Nate Steinwascher continues to make a case for Goalkeeper of the Year with a 7-save performance in the 0-1 loss in Tampa. The one he couldn’t stop was off a rebound from a save. HIs 0.95 GAA probably won’t get him that honor though.
16 Indy Eleven 22 6 6-12-4 1.83 Another week, another poor performance by the Eleven. The 0-2 home loss to Pittsburgh extends the misery streak: they have not won since June 4th, going 0-8-2 in the last 10 games.
17 Hartford Athletic 19 2 4-14-5 1.55 The Athletic looked fairly good early against Memphis but couldn’t maintain the lead, eventually going down 1-3 to a clearly superior side.
18 El Paso Locomotive 24 6 9-10-6 1.54 When you have just 2 shots on goal and a PK wasn’t one of them, you know its going to be a bad night. The 0-1 loss in Monterey extends the losing streak to a league-worst 4 games.
19 Las Vegas Lights 16 -3 9-8-6 1.37 The draw with the Rising was the only scoreless game this week. 7 shots on target combined wasn’t the lowest number, but the two teams seemed bent on avoiding the net anyway. The LA loss keeps the Lights above the playoff line.
20 Charleston Battery 18 -2 3-16-4 1.35 The Battery were perfect in converting shots on goal. That didn’t prevent a 1-4 loss though, and they lost Enoch Kwakwa to a red card into the bargain. Just 3 wins in a totally abject season thus far.
21 New Mexico United 12 -9 10-5-8 1.17 2 home losses in one week, 1-2 to Sacramento and 0-3 to Miami will get you sinking in the rankings pretty quickly. Right now they are clinging to the last home playoff spot by their fingernails.
22 Rio Grande Valley Toros 21 -1 7-11-5 1.10 The Toros took the lead in a game that was almost entirely lacking in attack but couldn’t prevent a last gasp equalizer by SacRep. Hard-earned points, but they still slip in the rankings.
23 Loudoun United 26 3 5-14-3 1.09 Yet another low-offense game this week. Loudoun’s Kristian Fletcher had 2 shots on goal. He finished both. The rest of the team had 0. But that was enough to beat LA who were equally ineffective n front of goal.
24 New York Red Bulls II 20 -4 2-17-3 0.58 Losing 1-2 to Memphis isn’t anything to be ashamed of, especially when you keep it close. They have a chance to tighten the wooden spoon race to 1 point when they host Charleston this week (and they have a game in hand).
25 LA Galaxy II 23 -2 9-11-4 0.08 After the disturbing news that broke late last week, it was entirely fitting that Los Dos should travel the entire country and lose to a team that would be dead last in the Western Conference.
26 Atlanta United 2 25 -1 4-16-4 0.01 Twonited ran into the buzzsaw that is the Legion press and counter-attack executed in lethal fashion. They now have the worst goal difference in the league at -36, or -1.5 per game.
27 Colorado Springs Switchbacks 27 0 13-8-2 -0.12 The 3-3 draw in Orange County was notable for both teams giving up a handball PK. Colorado’s PK was in second half stoppage time to eke out the draw. Their current form also includes a draw with Charleston and a loss to Phoenix. The promise to get better is ringing a little hollow.

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