The Football Forge Power Rankings: Week 0
Who starts out on top?
We’ve already given our season long predictions this week, so now it’s time to get into the nitty gritty. As last year, we will be using our patented Forge Factor to assist in ranking teams. It will be tweaked a bit this season to level out the big jumps we saw for some teams based on results against overall form. But since we have no form to base the first few games on, especially not this week, we will be relying on our personal deep technical knowledge of the USL Championship and analytical talents to generate the rankings. Here goes:
|1||San Antonio||N/A||N/A||0-0-0||San Antonio starts out at home against a weakened Oakland Roots team and should breeze through.|
|2||Louisville City||N/A||N/A||0-0-0||The men in purple have to cross the continent to face a much-improved Orange County but should still come out winners.|
|3||Tampa Bay Rowdies||N/A||N/A||0-0-0||The Rowdies welcome a tough Indy Eleven team but are even tougher themselves.|
|4||Sacramento Republic||N/A||N/A||0-0-0||SacRep visit El Paso but are the stronger side coming out of preseason.|
|5||San Diego Loyal||N/A||N/A||0-0-0||San Diego has Detroit City coming to town and should have an easy time of it.|
Phoenix are the only Western team heading east this week and will need to be in top form to beat a very different Charleston Battery squad.
|7||Birmingham Legion||N/A||N/A||0-0-0||The Three Sparks will have revenge in mind this week as the Riverhounds come to play and are the better team.|
|8||The Miami FC||N/A||N/A||0-0-0||Miami hosts FC Tulsa; not an easy task and this should be a fairly even game but the home team should prevail.|
Memphis’s Phillip Goodrum is not in a good state of mind, but that probably won’t matter as they are at home against Loudoun United.
|10||Orange County||N/A||N/A||0-0-0||Having Lou City come to play is not the best way to start the recovery from a disastrous 2022 campaign.|
|11||Indy Eleven||N/A||N/A||0-0-0||The trip south to Tampa will likely result in the team coming home empty-handed.|
|12||Hartford Athletic||N/A||N/A||0-0-0||Hartford travels to Monterey Bay in an intriguing contest between two vastly improved teams.|
|13||Monterey Bay Union||N/A||N/A||0-0-0||
Can the Union defend home turf against Hartford? I’m guessing it will be close, but likely not.
|14||New Mexico United||N/A||N/A||0-0-0||New Mexico United start the season with a bye. Weird.|
|15||Charleston Battery||N/A||N/A||0-0-0||Ben Pirmann’s Battery are better – much better – than last year, but probably not good enough to beat Phoenix at home.|
|16||Colorado Springs Switchbacks||N/A||N/A||0-0-0||The Switchbacks are also on a bye, although they play Wednesday night (at El Paso).|
|17||Rio Grande Valley Toros||N/A||N/A||0-0-0||
Rio Grande Valley Toros drew with Memphis 901 2-2 and beat Phoenix Rising 2-1 this week.
|18||Pittsburgh Riverhounds||N/A||N/A||0-0-0||The Riverhounds lost Russell Cicerone to Sacramento and did nothing to replace him. It won’t be a good year.|
|19||FC Tulsa||N/A||N/A||0-0-0||Tulsa did some good things over the offseason, but so did almost everyone else in the East. They will struggle, including this week in Miami.|
Another team that will probably face a long difficult year and it won’t start well in San Diego.
|21||El Paso Locomotive||N/A||N/A||0-0-0||The Locomotive may be the biggest question mark in the league this season. They get a rough start too, with the league’s first short turnaround: Sacramento, then Colorado Springs.|
|22||Oakland Roots||N/A||N/A||0-0-0||The Roots lost major production in Ottar Manus Karlsson and Charlie Dennis and will struggle mightily this year.|
|23||Las Vegas Lights||N/A||N/A||0-0-0||The Lights are now free of LAFC, but also of their two best players, Cal Jennings and Danny Trejo. Not good.|
|24||Loudoun United||N/A||N/A||0-0-0||Loudoun are also independent now, but are basically in a build from scratch position.|