The Football Forge Power Rankings: Week 32

Who looks good going into the playoffs?

And so the 2023 regular season ends. There was relatively little change to the playoff picture, with only one team changing (Detroit City in lieu of The™ Miami FC) and San Antonio dropping below Orange County and San Diego Loyal in the Western seeding. Now the important stuff begins.

Rank Team Previous Change Record Forge Factor Note
1 New Mexico United 5 4 13-14-7 22.831 New Mexico were all over Memphis 901, winning 4-1 to set a 3-game win streak and ice a playoff spot. They get Sacramento next but look very dangerous.
2 Pittsburgh Riverhounds 1 -1 19-5-10 20.539 The Riverhounds were probably taking it easy. Still, they got the only shot on goal in the dreary 0-0 draw with Detroit at rainy Keyworth.
3 Colorado Springs Switchbacks 3 0 16-13-5 20.297 The Switchbacks finished 5th in the West but a re a serious dark horse candidate. The comprehensive 2-0 win over Phoenix took them to 13 points in the last 5 games.
4 Orange County 7 3 17-11-6 19.571 Orange County survived early scares in the 1-0 win over Monterey to rise to 2nd in the West. But Kevin Partida getting two yellows after the 87th minute was incredibly dumb.
5 San Diego Loyal 6 1 16-9-9 18.522 The Loyal eased past Las Vegas Lights 2-0 and move up to 3rd in the West. An impressive 14 points in the last 6 games; how much longer will they exist?
6 The Miami FC 2 -4 11-15-8 18.076 Getting just 1 point was always going to be a tough task in Sacramento, but just 1 shot on goal was not getting it done. They lose 0-1 and miss the playoffs on tiebreakers with Detroit.
7 Indy Eleven 8 1 13-11-10 17.625 Indy can point to Solomon Asante’s dumb second yellow card for their failure to beat San Antonio and get 5th place. The 3-3 draw was generally lacking in defense though.
8 Sacramento Republic 11 3 18-6-10 16.456 SacRep had nothing to prove but still dominated Miami in the 1-0 win. On to the playoffs.
9 Tampa Bay Rowdies 12 3 19-9-6 14.255 JJ Williams scored in 27 seconds and added 2 assists as Tampa cruised over Louisville 3-2. It wasn’t that close; JJ missed a PK and Freddy Kleeman scored an own goal.
10 Birmingham Legion 10 0 14-16-4 13.706 The Legion had 1 official shot on goal, but made plenty of chances despite losing 0-12 in Charleston. Indy drew, so the result in this game ended up irrelevant for both sides.
11 FC Tulsa 17 6 10-15-9 11.194 Tulsa scored 3 times in just over 16 minutes and never looked back in the 5-2 win in Hartford. They looked unnecessarily happy to celebrate though.
12 San Antonio 9 -3 14-6-14 11.015 San Antonio drew with Indy 3-3 but needed a late score against 10 men to do it. 1 win in the last 10 games is no way to prepare for the playoffs however. They drop from 2nd to 4th.
13 Memphis 901 4 -9 14-10-10 10.762 Memphis did not look like a team protecting a home playoff spot in the hapless 1-4 loss in Albuquerque. They kept that spot though thanks to Louisville also losing.
14 Detroit City 18 4 11-15-8 9.993 Detroit can thank Nate Steinwascher’s one save and Miami’s loss for sneaking back into the playoffs. They didn’t exactly earn it with no shots on goal in the 0-0 draw with the Hounds.
15 El Paso Locomotive 15 0 13-13-8 9.684 El Paso’s first goal was probably offside and Benny Diaz saved a PK in the 2-1 win over Oakland to ice a playoff spot in a very lucky manner. Underwhelming like all season.
16 Rio Grande Valley Toros 13 -3 10-11-13 9.635 The Toros’ playoffs hopes were already dashed by New Mexico before kickoff. They fell behind early and barely ended up beating a 10-man Loudoun 2-1.
17 Charleston Battery 16 -1 17-9-8 7.750 The Battery’s goal in the 1-0 win over the Legion was a little lucky but they had nothing to play for. Otherwise the game was pretty even.
18 Phoenix Rising 14 -4 12-10-12 4.272 Phoenix were locked into 6th place but were not impressive losing 0-2 to Colorado Springs. 0-2-3 in the last 5 is not a way to enter the playoffs.
19 Louisville City 19 0 14-12-8 3.225 Lou City were kept in the game by an own goal and a skied PK, but couldn’t get it done.  Their only shot on goal was in second half stoppage time as they lost 2-3 to Tampa.
20 Las Vegas Lights 20 0 3-21-10 2.578 The Lights’ season ended as it went all year, with a 0-2 loss to San Diego. Hartford kept them from the wooden spoon by a point.
21 Hartford Athletic 22 1 4-24-6 2.000 Hartford put up 24 shots and 10 on goal, yet still managed to get waxed 2-5 by Tulsa. A miserable end to a miserable season.
22 Oakland Roots 21 -1 11-14-9 1.005 The Roots’ 1-2 loss could easily have been a win but they failed to make the plays they needed to and so doomed themselves to seeing the season end.
23 Loudoun United 23 0 7-23-4 -0.233 Loudoun scored in under 2 minutes, went down to 10 men and still made it tough on RGV in the 1-2 loss. On to 2024.
24 Monterey Bay Union 24 0 11-15-8 -0.949 The Union were already out of the playoffs but made life hard for Orange County. Still, they lost 0-1. 3 straight losses to end what could could have been a great season.

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