The Football Forge Power Rankings: Week 32

We had every intention of doing a thorough set of game reviews this week, but time got away from us once again. Here’s another brief rankings post, and we promise the season’s final rankings will be more comprehensive.

Rank Team Previous Change Record Forge Factor Notes
1 Tampa Bay Rowdies 2 +1 20-7-7 6.696 Leo Fernandes blew a hat-trick chance by missing a PK, but the Rowdies easily handled El Paso 3-1 Wednesday. Fernandes then got the only goal in the even easier win over New York Red Bulls II.
2 Louisville City 5 +3 22-6-6 5.843 A slightly underpowered Lou City needed a stoppage time PK to beat beat Hartford Athletic 2-1. 3 straight wins, but they weren’t overly impressive. Now they get a week off to prepare for the title chase.
3 Rio Grande Valley Toros 9 +6 14-13-7 5.337 The Toros needed a result to hold on to a playoff spot and got it in style, winning 4-1 over Monterey. They enter the postseason on a a positive streak of form.
4 San Antonio 1 -3 24-5-5 5.333 San Antonio wanted 3 points for the season record, but had to come from behind twice to get just 1 point as drew 2-2 with Orange County. Just a slight blemish on an otherwise incredible season.
5 New Mexico United 11 +6 13-9-12 5.052 New Mexico’s campaign to get back into the payoffs started badly with a horrific own goal by keeper Alex Tambakis, but they ended up winners over LA 3-2 on the back of Player of the Week Harry Swartz’s brace. They topped that off with a rather dull 2-0 win over Colorado and jumped up to 5th.
6 The Miami FC 15 +9 15-9-10 4.676 In a game all about playoff position, Miami got the better of Detroit 1-0 in a less than entertaining game. 2 big wins in the last 3 games, though, and Miami are not to be overlooked in the playoffs.
7 Memphis 901 20 +13 21-8-5 4.539 Area Code FC needed to win in Tulsa to keep hold on 2nd place. They did so easily, winning 3-0 and even resting Phillip Goodrum (who had already scored) after just 42 minutes.
8 Oakland Roots 4 -4 11-10-13 4.353 The Roots took the early lead on a golazo by Juan Azocar but then were completely outplayed by Pittsburgh, losing 1-3. Always erratic, they still sneak into the playoffs for the second year but have a potentially tough task in San Diego.
9 FC Tulsa 13 +4 12-16-6 4.137 Tulsa beat Monterey 2-0 thanks to a brace from Marcus Epps and some excellent goalkeeping by Austin Wormell. They then ran into a buzzsaw and lost 0-3 to Memphis. The big question now: which conference will they be in next year?
10 Pittsburgh Riverhounds 19 +9 16-9-9 3.964 Pittsburgh’s 3-1 win over the Roots should have been much wider, as they utterly dominated the game. They enter the playoffs on a a slight upward trend in form.
11 Sacramento Republic 25 +14 15-11-8 3.686 SacRep took advantage of a resting San Diego side to get way more than the point they needed to hold on to 4th place, winning 4-0. Now they face a resurgent New Mexico team in what should be a good matchup.
12 Las Vegas Lights 3 -9 12-13-9 3.680 The Lights did everything they could to get the needed win for the playoffs, but couldn’t manage it, drawing 1-1 in LA. Danny Trejo will be ruing a big miss late in the second half all offseason.
13 Phoenix Rising 7 -6 12-16-6 3.667 Phoenix scored 3 before allowing a late consolation goal in the comprehensive win over Atlanta. 3 wins in the last 4 games are their own consolation for what has been a difficult season.
14 Detroit City 8 -6 14-8-12 3.657 Detroit lost at home to Miami 0-1 without generating much attack. With just 1 win in the last 5 games, they are not looking a great matchup with Memphis in the first round.
15 Colorado Springs Switchbacks 6 -9 17-13-4 3.632 Colorado Springs didn’t rest too many players in a meaningless game, and dominated possession and shooting, but were 0-2 losers in New Mexico anyway. They go to the playoffs with just 4 points from the last 5 games.
16 Birmingham Legion 18 +2 17-10-7 2.775 The Legion came out with all guns blazing. Up 2 goals and a man at half time, they then cruised to the crucial 3-1 victory and a home playoff spot.
17 Orange County 17 0 7-14-13 2.680 Orange County led twice in San Antonio but eventually finished with a surprise 2-2 draw. Goalkeeper Patrick Rakovsky deserves most of the credit though. The first to worst season is done.
18 Hartford Athletic 23 +5 10-18-6 2.461 Hartford played Louisville really close, but gave up a silly penalty in stoppage time to lose 1-2. Even so, they end the season with much to look forward to in 2023, not least of which is a full season with Tab Ramos in charge.
19 Atlanta United 2 12 -7 6-23-4 1.873 Twonited took their damn the torpedoes approach all the way to the end, but finished their USL tenure with a 1-3 loss in Phoenix.
20 Indy Eleven 14 -6 12-17-5 1.627 Indy were totally outmatched by the Legion this time. Neveal Hackshaw atoned for his 2 goals in the previous game by getting himself thrown out just before half time. Indy now enters the offseason with many questions to answer.
21 El Paso Locomotive 16 -5 13-14-7 1.549 The Locomotive would have made the playoffs with just 1 point from the game in Tampa, but couldn’t get even that. Outclassed, they were eliminated from the playoffs later that evening.
22 San Diego Loyal 10 -12 18-10-6 0.925 The Loyal may have been taking it too easy the last 3 weeks. With nothing to gain, they rested Kyle Vassell and Collin Martin, among others, and lost 0-4 to Sacramento. With just 2 points from the last 3 games, they could be vulnerable in the playoffs.
23 New York Red Bulls II 24 +1 3-25-6 0.382 The Baby Bulls were outshot 21-2 (with none on goal) by Tampa and got a red card in the last miserable outing in what was a thoroughly miserable final season in the USL.
24 LA Galaxy II 21 -3 11-16-7 0.039 Gifted the early lead by New Mexico, Los Dos failed to play spoiler with the eventual toothless 2-3 loss. Then they did play spoiler, drawing 1-1 with Las Vegas, with goalkeeper Eric Lopez deserving most of the credit.
25 Monterey Bay Union 22 -3 12-18-4 -0.049 The Union’s slim chances at the playoffs evaporated in midweek with the 0-2 loss to Tulsa, although it was closer than the scoreline suggests. Then they got blown out by RGV 1-4 on Saturday. 5 weeks ago they looked a lock for the playoffs.
26 Charleston Battery 26 0 6-21-7 -1.265 66% possession, 20 shots, 4 on goal. The Battery – without a permanent head coach – still needed an 86th minute goal to equalize 1-1 with Loudoun. The worst season in club history is now over and changes must be coming.
27 Loudoun United 27 0 8-22-4 -1.948 Loudoun took an early lead but gave it up late in Charleston to finish 1-1. The future is entirely unclear for United: will they try to unwind their relationship with DC United and stay in the USL long term?

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