The Football Forge Power Rankings: Week 27

The Championship's busiest week yet

San Antonio’s lead got bigger, but everything got even more confusing than it already was. he last few weeks of the 2022 season are going to be critical for almost everybody as the playoff chase and positioning battles get serious.

Rank Team Previous Change Record Forge Factor Notes
1 The Miami FC 3 +2 13-8-8 6.506 Miami didn’t need a PK, an own goal and a red card to beat New York 7-1 but they didn’t hurt. 4-0-1 over the past 5 games is the best recent form in the USL Championship and gets them a well-earned top ranking.
2 Indy Eleven 2 0 9-14-5 5.652 3 wins and a draw against playoff teams see the Eleven soaring in the rankings. Still, the form is coming way too late: Indy is just 4 points from elimination.
3 Detroit City 9 +6 12-6-10 5.285 Detroit endured the altitude, rain and a barrage of shots from Colorado Springs to emerge victorious 2-1. That first year playoff spot is close to locked down: just 4 points from 6 games will do it.
4 Charleston Battery 14 +10 6-17-6 5.145 The Battery won 2-1 over Tampa, but it wasn’t that close. They had a ton of good chances and completely outperformed the visitors, playing the spoiler role to perfection.
5 Rio Grande Valley Toros 6 +1 10-12-6 4.657 RGV were easily the better team in the midweek 20 win over El Paso and then gave up an early goal to New Mexico before roaring back to win 3-1. 6 huge points in the playoff chase and they are just 1 point below the line.
6 Tampa Bay Rowdies 5 -1 16-6-6 4.631 Tampa scored in under 3 minutes and then were bad for the remaining 87, losing 1-2 in Charleston. The loss sees the Rowdies slip a point behind Memphis in an Eastern Conference race that will go down to the wire.
7 Sacramento Republic 18 +11 13-8-7 4.493 SacRep took out their Open Cup disappointment on Loudoun, winning 4-0 in a rout. They outshot the visitors 23-5 overall and 8-0 on target.
8 San Antonio 12 +4 20-5-3 4.457 San Antonio played their typical bend-but-don’t-break style to beat second-place San Diego 1-0 at home. They needed a Jordan Farr PK stop to do it, though. The West lead stretches to 11 points.
9 Louisville City 16 +7 18-5-6 4.225 Louisville played 2 very even games statistically speaking this week and the 2-2 result in Tulsa and the 0-0 result in Pittsburgh were entirely fair. City have 5 points from the last 15 and are looking very vulnerable at the worst point in the season.
10 Hartford Athletic 7 -3 8-15-6 4.010 The Tab Ramos era in Hartford couldn’t have started any better: 3 goals in the first 24 minutes against Tulsa. They gave up 2 goals after the 89th minute, though, so all is not perfect yet, but 2023 could be a whole lot different.
11 El Paso Locomotive 8 -3 11-12-7 3.945 El Paso’s 2-game win streak came to an unceremonious end against Rio Grande Valley, with a weak 0-2 loss. Their hold on a playoff spot just became rather more tenuous with every team in the West having 1 or more games in hand over them.
12 Colorado Springs Switchbacks 1 -11 16-10-3 3.814 The Switchbacks pummeled Detroit with 19 shots but couldn’t find the net until second half stoppage time when they were already 2 goals down. The 3-game win streak is broken.
13 Monterey Bay Union 20 +7 11-14-2 3.701 The Union had all the good chances against Orange County but only needed 1 goal for the win. If the game in Las Vegas had not been postponed they could have found themselves in playoff position. Don’t count them out.
14 Pittsburgh Riverhounds 11 -3 15-7-7 3.401 The Riverhounds’ 0-0 draw with Louisville saw both teams waste chances and exhibit some poor defending. Pittsburgh now has a long string of poorish results and has to travel to face a Birmingham team and  fan base that hasn’t forgotten about 2021.
5 Oakland Roots 10 -5 8-9-12 2.952 Oakland got the 2-0 win in Phoenix but it was a lot closer than the scoreline suggests. The Roots remain in the playoff chase which sees 5 teams within 2 points.
16 Orange County 17 +1 7-12-10 2.892 Orange County were on opposite ends of 2 1-0 games this week, losing poorly to Monterey and then winning what had to be the most contentious game of the year over LA thanks to another Milan Iloski goal, strong goalkeeping by Patrick Rakovsky and 2 LA red cards.
17 Memphis 901 25 +8 17-7-4 2.764 Area Code FC got a Philip Goodrum hat-trick on the way to a 4-0 waxing of Atlanta United 2. They are now 5 points behind Louisville with a game in hand and everything in the East tightened up yet again.
18 Birmingham Legion 4 -14 15-8-6 2.385 The Legion recovered from a disastrous first 30 minutes to draw level at 3-3 but couldn’t hold on, finally falling 3-4 in a game they really could not afford to lose. The Wednesday evening game against Pittsburgh takes on even more importance now.
19 Loudoun United 13 -6 7-18-3 2.355 Loudoun had just 5 shots and none on goal in the 0-4 loss to Sacramento. That win over Memphis was clearly an aberration.
20 Phoenix Rising 21 +1 9-14-5 1.924 Phoenix keeps finding ways to lose, this time 0-2 to Oakland. In this one they wasted chances, including hitting the woodwork twice. Just 3 points from the last 5 games and they are looking like the weakest team in the playoff chase.
21 LA Galaxy II 19 -2 10-13-6 1.813 Los Dos are not acting like bullies of the field but on it as well, earning 2 nasty red cards in 82 seconds that should both earn multi-game suspensions. They lost in Orange County 0-1 in front of a sell-out crowd and in shameful fashion.
22 Atlanta United 2 23 +1 5-21-4 1.621 Twonited played their typical attack-at-all-costs game but couldn’t get by Trey Muse and ended up with another big loss, 0-4.
23 FC Tulsa 24 +1 10-15-5 0.343 Tulsa got a hard-earned point against Lou City 2-2 but blew it in Hartford, losing 2-3, including a keeper own goal by Austin Wormell. 5 points gone that they really needed. 1 more point for Miami and 2 more for Detroit see them out of the postseason.
24 New Mexico United 15 -9 11-9-9 0.332 The 1-3 loss to RGV was the third straight and 4th in the last 5 games. New Mexico is still comfortably above the playoff line, but they need to get back into winning ways or that might change quickly.
25 San Diego Loyal 22 -3 16-9-4 0.101 Scoring in San Antonio is hard. Whiffing a PK doesn’t help matters. 3 straight losses now and 4 in the last 5 and the Loyal sink to a very low point in the rankings.
26 Las Vegas Lights 26 0 10-11-7 -0.202 Las Vegas’ game against Monterey was postpone due to a waterlogged pitch. In the desert. Go figure.
27 New York Red Bulls II 27 0 3-21-5 -1.713 The Baby Bulls got pasted 1-7 by Miami this week. 5 more games to go and it probably can’t end soon enough for them.

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