The Football Forge Power Rankings: Week 23

A less chaotic week in the Forge Rankings

Some big games this week, most went as expected. One, though, made all the difference.

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Rank Team Previous Change Record Forge Factor Notes
1 Birmingham Legion 1 0 13-6-5 6.68 The Legion took down another California team and ended a 5-game win streak with a massive team effort to retain the top spot in the Power Rankings. They also have the longest win streak now at 4, with Detroit and Memphis up this week.
2 Louisville City 9 7 16-3-4 6.44 The record crowd of 14,673 had to wait 62 minutes for their team to score on a terrible Rowdies defensive error but that’s all it took and the East leaders open up some space.
3 Memphis 901 11 8 15-5-3 5.87 Area Code FC had just 5 shots in the game and 2 on target, but that and 2 great saves by Trey Muse was all they needed in a key 2-0 win over Pittsburgh to stay in spitting distance of Louisville. Two tough opponents this week though in New Mexico and Birmingham.
4 FC Tulsa 12 8 8-12-4 5.46 Tulsa beat Miami in Florida 2-1 and were the better side overall in the game which saw pretty much all the action in the first half. 2 wins over playoff teams in the last 3, but they are still 8 points adrift and have played 1 more game than Detroit.
5 San Diego Loyal 2 -3 15-6-4 5.17 The Loyal edged a resilient Monterey team in midweek before coming up against the Three Sparks and getting completely shut down. The loss slips them 7 points  and 1 game behind San Antonio for the West lead.
6 Tampa Bay Rowdies 3 -3 14-4-6 4.98 No shots on a goal and a huge howler at the back ended the 13-game unbeaten streak in a titanic tussle in Louisville. Worse, the Rowdies dropped behind Memphis in the standings.
7 The Miami FC 5 -2 10-8-7 4.63 Miami led Tulsa for all of 155 seconds before giving up 2 first half goals to lose 1-2 and then beat 10-man Atlanta 2-0 in relatively unconvincing fashion. Barely holding on to 6th in the East by 1 point but Detroit has 2 games in hand.
8 Monterey Bay Union 7 -1 9-12-2 4.34 The Union fell 0-1to Sand Diego thanks to an unlucky handball PK Wednesday and then rode its defensive style Saturday to beat SacRep 1-0. 4 wins in the last 5 games and they are edging closer to the playoffs.
9 Pittsburgh Riverhounds 4 -5 13-7-4 4.07 The Hounds heavily outpossessed and outshot Memphis but went down 0-2 at home in a key game that saw them end a 3-game win streak and drop out of the home playoff slots.
10 Phoenix Rising 8 -2 8-11-5 3.77 JJ Williams scored again, but that didn’t stop the Rising from falling to Orange County 1-2. If they drop points this week against El Paso, expect a big fall in the rankings.
11 San Antonio 14 3 18-4-2 3.22 In a 2-game home stand, San Antonio edged Loudoun 2-1 and then dominated Las Vegas 2-0, including a golazo by Nicky Hernandez. That and San Diego’s mixed week puts the Texans back 7 points clear at the top of the West with a game in hand.
12 Orange County 10 -2 6-10-8 3.20 Two words: Milan Iloski. He adds a brace to his season total, taking it to 18. The OC are showing some life and could make things with a win this week against Las Vegas, but the playoff chances are still weak (5% at fivethirtyeight.com).
13 Sacramento Republic 6 -7 10-6-7 2.92 Sacramento had one good chance on goal which was stopped by a great Antony Siaha save, which doomed them to a 0-1 loss in Monterey. 2 poor results the last 2 weeks and they drop in the rankings.
14 Loudoun United 23 9 5-15-3 2.67 Loudoun were generally outmatched in San Antonio, losing 1-2 but were denied a last gasp equalizer to an offside call. A 9-place jump in the rankings though? Math is weird.
15 Detroit City 15 0 9-5-9 2.44 Two great saves were not unusual for Nate Steinwascher, but the bungled pass was and it led to Oakland’s only goal that stood up until a late equalizer by Francis Atuahene. Next up a difficult trip to Birmingham before hosting Louisville.
16 Hartford Athletic 17 1 5-14-5 2.32 After two tough losses against playoff teams, Athletic took down Indy Eleven 2-1 and it could have been a little more lopsided too. Hartford are not a bad team, but their playoff chances are looking dim.
17 Rio Grande Valley Toros 22 5 7-11-5 2.03 Rio Grande Valley Toros were on a bye this week. Nevertheless, with poor results elsewhere, they get a boost in the rankings.
18 El Paso Locomotive 18 0 9-10-7 1.95 In easily the craziest game of the week, El Paso went down 3 goals to Colorado Springs in the first 9 minutes, then scored 4 unanswered in the second half, only to see the lead snatched away at the last moment in a highly contentious manner for a 4-4 draw.
19 Charleston Battery 20 1 4-16-4 1.85 The Battery got a rare win over the Baby Bulls 3-1. Augustine Williams scored for the 4th consecutive game (his 13th goal overall), a beacon of light in Charleston’s miserable season.
20 LA Galaxy II 25 5 9-11-5 1.80 Los Dos tied New Mexico 2-2 despite going down 0-2. They dominated for much of the game and can credit an own goal for not getting the win.
21 Oakland Roots 13 -8 6-7-12 1.47 The Roots capitalized on a defensive error but couldn’t hold on to the lead, drawing 1-1 in Detroit. 2 points from the last 9 and they plummet in the rankings.
22 Las Vegas Lights 19 -3 9-9-6 1.31 The Lights looked rather inept and tired against San Antonio. Not a good state of affairs against the conference leader, and they lost 0-2. Clinging to the last playoff spot in a very crowded Western Conference.
23 New York Red Bulls II 24 1 3-18-3 0.95 The Baby Bulls went down a man and a goal against Atlanta last Tuesday before coming back to win 2-1, then went down a man again against Charleston on Friday already down 2 goals, eventually losing 1-3 despite a second time playing better with the disadvantage.
24 New Mexico United 21 -3 10-5-9 0.61 Former Legion keeper Ford Parker allowed 2 goals but made a key late double save to preserve the 2-2 scoreline in LA. Only 5 points from the last 15 but they still hold a home playoff spot. Barely.
25 Colorado Springs Switchbacks 27 2 13-8-3 0.60 Should the ref have stopped play before Aaron Wheeler’s last minute equalizer? Yes, but El Paso should have kept playing rather than objecting. Amazingly, without a win in their last 5 games, both teams remain in playoff position.
26 Indy Eleven 16 -10 6-13-4 0.18 June 4th is fading into the distant past. That’s the last time Indy won a game. This week it was Hartford beating them 2-1 and the Indy goal was a softish PK.
27 Atlanta United 2 26 -1 4-18-4 -1.91 Twonited blew a man advantage in New York, losing 1-2 and then played a man down themselves in Miami, losing 0-2. Getting outscored 10-1 over their last 3 games dooms them to the cellar.

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