The Football Forge Power Rankings: Week 6

A few contenders begin to emerge in a mostly even league

If anyone was worried the departure of the final few MLS 2 teams would weaken the USL Championship, the first 6 weeks of this season have shown that to be an unnecessary concern. The 24 teams of the league are now far more even in terms of talent with the result that the league is now much less predictable on a week to week basis and drawn games have abounded. Not so much this week, but there were a few scores that may raise an eyebrow or two.

Rank Team Previous Change Record Forge Factor Note
1 Sacramento Republic 1 0 4-0-2 25.833 We already knew Sacramento were good, but 4-0 over the Switchbacks good? Russell Cicerone started off a big night with his 50th career goal and they never looked back. Detroit next.
2 Charleston Battery 4 2 4-0-2 20.482 The week didn’t start too well for Trey Muse and the Battery with an embarrassing GK own goal. Muse more than made up for it with two impressive outings in 2 2-1 road wins over Tampa and Tulsa. Big game against Louisville coming up.
3 San Antonio 2 -1 3-1-2 15.733 San Antonio had 11 shots but just 2 on goal and fell 0-1 to Louisville. 2 tough opponents the past 2 weeks and only 1 point. Back home this week with Phoenix visiting.
4 El Paso Locomotive 5 1 2-3-1 15.607 El Paso Locomotive were on a bye this week.
5 Phoenix Rising 9 4 1-1-3 13.583 The Rising had the bulk of the attack but needed stoppage time heroics by keeper Rocco Rios Novo to preserve a 1-1 draw with Monterey Bay. A tough test in San Antonio on the horizon.
6 Oakland Roots 3 -3 2-2-1 13.317 The Roots’ 2-game win streak ended with the 1-2 loss to Hartford. They were generally outplayed and never looked challenging. Off to Loudoun next.
7 Colorado Springs Switchbacks 7 0 3-2-1 12.600 Colorado Springs got waxed 0-4 in Sacramento and also lost Macauley King to a red card. Another challenge this week as New Mexico visits.
8 San Diego Loyal 8 0 3-1-2 11.940 The Loyal tied 1-1 in Albuquerque, although they were probably the weaker side. After a strong start they have looked a little vulnerable the past few weeks.
9 Hartford Athletic 16 7 1-3-2 11.600 The Athletic went cross-country to Oakland for their first win of the season with a deserved 2-1. They were a bit lucky: a yellow card was wrongly shown to Jeciel Cedeno rather than Tristan Hodge, who was already on a yellow.
10 Pittsburgh Riverhounds 13 3 2-1-3 10.315 The Riverhounds had the Toros’ number, comfortably winning 2-0 at home and giving up few good chances. Pittsburgh remains erratic, though, and heads to El Paso for another Texas clash.
11 Monterey Bay Union 11 0 2-2-2 10.258 The Union took the lead on an Alex Dixon PK, but couldn’t make it stand up against a dominant Phoenix for the 1-1 draw. A good chance for points this week as Indy comes calling.
12 Rio Grande Valley Toros 10 -2 1-1-3 9.467 RGV never really threatened at Highmark Stadium, going down 0-2 to the Hounds. Back home this week with Memphis coming in.
13 FC Tulsa 12 -1 1-3-3 9.067 Tulsa played Charleston fairly evenly but couldn’t benefit from home field advantage, ultimately losing 1-2. Still a contender in the East. A bye this week but SacRep is next.
14 Louisville City 20 6 4-2-0 9.000 2 goals from Wilson Harris were all Lou City needed to gain 2 straight wins after 2 disastrous weeks. Beating San Antonio was big. The men in purple are looking close to their old selves.
15 Birmingham Legion 6 -9 3-2-1 8.281 Flat would be a generous description of the Legion’s performance in Virginia. The 0-3 loss to Loudoun could even have been if not for a few good saves by Trevor Spangenberg,
16 Loudoun United 18 2 2-2-1 8.065 Loudoun had Birmingham completely figured out and were easily the better team on the day for their first win since Week 1. Next up: the equally surprising Oakland Roots.
17 Tampa Bay Rowdies 17 0 1-3-2 7.667 The Rowdies’ 1-2 home loss to the Charleston Battery 1-2 was a pretty close-run affair despite the home team failing to score themselves. 3 losses in the past 4 games and Tampa is struggling.
18 Orange County 22 4 1-2-3 7.192 A Milan Iloski PK was all OC needed for its first win of 2023 over Indy, who had few good scoring chances. County had a few wasted opportunities in a generally strong outing. An angry Legion next, however.
19 Las Vegas Lights 15 -4 0-0-4 5.733 The Lights took an early lead on a bizarre midfield goal by Lucas Stauffer and stopped a PK on the way to a 2-2 draw in Memphis. Both teams are bottom of the table.
20 New Mexico United 19 -1 1-2-1 5.517 New Mexico played at home for the first time this year and took an early lead only to give it up just before half time. They were the more threatening side but ended tied 1-1 with San Diego.
21 Detroit City 21 0 1-4-1 3.325 Detroit and Miami played to a yawner 0-0 draw in Florida with neither team doing anything much. City have not scored in 4 games since Week 1. A trip to Sacramento likely won’t help.
22 Memphis 901 24 2 0-2-2 3.300 A 2-2 draw with Las Vegas was actually a good result for the still winless Area Code FC. They go to Edinburg, TX next to play RGV.
23 Indy Eleven 14 -9 1-2-2 3.142 Indy have just 2 goals on the season and none in the past 3 games. The 0-1 loss in Orange County was the latest exercise in futility. They host Monterey this week.
24 The Miami FC 23 -1 0-2-4 0.875 An uninteresting 0-0 draw with Detroit City and Miami are now winless in 6 games. Likely another tedious game with Las Vegas this week.


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