The Football Forge Power Rankings: Week 1

Draws don't help the rankings very much


Of the 11 games played this past week, 5 were draws. And all of them were 1-1. And in MLS last weekend there were another 4 draws, again all 1-1. If this were England and you know what the “pools” are, this would be a bookie’s nightmare. Of course, it also doesn’t do much analysts either as everyone is playing to a standstill. Still, we can but try. Here’s what we think after the first week of play:

Rank Team Previous Change Record Notes
1 Louisville City 2 +1 0-0-0 Of last week’s top two teams, Lou City probably had the easier 3-1 win, but only just. They scored in under 4 minutes and kept going from there. They stay in Southern California with a trip to Monterey.
2 San Antonio 1 -1 3-0-0 A 3-1 win against Oakland was to be expected, but it was a much harder job than the scoreline suggests. A heroic performance by keeper Jordan Farr was needed to preserve the victory. The highlight: Lamar Batista’s goal from inside his own half.
3 San Diego Loyal 5 +2 1-0-0 The Loyal were fairly clinical in the 1-0 win over Detroit and more or less cruised to victory. This week’s match against Phoenix could be interesting.
4 Tampa Bay Rowdies 3 -1 0-0-1 The Rowdies tied Indy Eleven 1-1 in a generally even game highlighted by two suspect penalties, one to each team, although only Indy converted. Forrest Lasso will likely be content with the point rather than a red card, which would have been the correct outcome of the play.
5 Sacramento Republic 4 -1 1-0-0 SacRep’s 1-0 win in El Paso was easily the least entertaining game of the week, with neither team trying very hard to score. Former Riverhound Russell Cicerone opened his account for the win.
6 The Miami FC 8 +2 0-0-1 The South Floridians showed some flash with Florian Valot’s banger, but couldn’t make it hold up for more than 2 minutes and just couldn’t get a second despite pummeling the Tulsa goal. Next up: untested New Mexico.
7 Phoenix Rising 6 -1 0-0-1 The Rising were possibly lucky to leave Charleston with a 1-1 draw, thanks to a goal by Danny Trejo and a 6-save performance by former Twonited keeper Rocco Rios Novo. They’ll have to work even harder to get points in San Diego.
8 Birmingham Legion 7 -1 0-0-1 Injuries played a big part in this game for the Three Sparks, who were unable to generate much in the way of transitional play without Enzo Martinez. Will he be back for Tulsa?
9 Monterey Bay Union 13 +4 1-0-0 Monterey scored in the first 90 seconds, and the goals came thick and fast after that in the 5-3 win over Hartford. Defense appears a bit suspect, but the Union are going to be fun this year. Lou City this week will be…something.
10 Indy Eleven 11 +1 0-0-1 Indy tied things up almost 6 minutes into second half stoppage time on a very iffy PK call. Still, they deserved the point having played a strong team more or less to a deadlock all night. A bye this week.
11 Charleston Battery 15 +4 0-0-1 The Battery took the lead but couldn’t hold on to or retake it as they fought Phoenix to a 1-1 draw. Still, they looked good doing it (15 shots in the game) and are not to be ignored this season. They head to Sacramento for another tough test.
12 Colorado Springs Switchbacks 16 +4 0-0-0 The Switchbacks were on a bye, but made up for that with serious drama Wednesday night at El Paso (more on that next week).
13 Rio Grande Valley Toros 17 +4 1-0-0 The Toros scored twice against Las Vegas, but one was in their own net. They several more good chances and failed to capitalize. The teams split the points, and also the two red cards. Oakland up next next.
14 Loudoun United 24 +10 1-0-0 The new-look Loudoun stunned Memphis in Tennessee, finding the net 3 times in the first 11 minutes, although one was called offside. They completely outclassed the hosts but have a much tougher job this week against San Antonio.
15 FC Tulsa 19 +4 0-0-1 Tulsa responded quickly to Miami’s go-ahead goal, but the rest of the game was pretty much desperate defending and they probably should have lost but for some excellent goalkeeping by Michael Nelson.
16 Pittsburgh Riverhounds 18 +2 0-0-1 The Riverhounds capitalized on an error by Birmingham’s Collin Smith, and were denied a win by a huge double-save by Matt van Oekel. On the road again this week to play a confusing Memphis side.
17 New Mexico United 14 -3 0-0-0 New Mexico United were on a bye. They head way east and south to Miami to start the season.
18 Memphis 901 9 -9 0-0-0 The good news: Bruno Lapa got his first assist. The bad? Pretty much everything else, including a red card to goalscorer Laurent Kissiedou. a 1-3 loss to Loudoun is a rough way to start a season; Pittsburgh up next.
19 Oakland Roots 22 +3 0-1-0 The Roots put up a goods performance in the 1-3 loss in San Antonio and were perhaps deserving of a point. They may well be much better than their poor offseason indicates. Another road trip to Texas this week against RGV.
20 Orange County 10 -10 0-0-0 Orange County frankly didn’t put up much of a fight against Louisville in the 1-3 loss. Will this be another disappointing season? Who knows at this point but another unwelcome visitor is coming from Tampa.
21 Detroit City 20 -1 0-1-0 Detroit put up 16 shots but never really threatened Loyal keeper Koke Vegas as they lost 0-1 out west in a predictable result. They visit El Paso Saturday in a matchup of struggling squads.
22 Hartford Athletic 12 -10 0-1-0 Harford can score (including in their own net), but apparently can’t defend. A 3-5 loss to open the season is remarkable. They head to Colorado Springs this week and need to shake it off fast.
23 Las Vegas Lights 23 0 0-0-1 The Lights were lucky to get away from Rio Grande Valley with a 1-1 draw, as they were entirely lacking in any kind of attack. They also picked up a late red card. Bye this week.
24 El Paso Locomotive 21 -3 0-1-0 The Locomotive were listless losing at home 0-1 to Sacramento, and followed up with a midweek loss. They can right the ship with Detroit coming to town this weekend though.


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