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USL Western Conference Power Rankings: Week 5

Updated and upgraded, the Week 5 Power Rankings are here!

Steve Aibel/LittleOrcaSports.com

Another week in the books, another set of power rankings.  These rankings are up to date through the Tuesday night match between Seattle Sounders 2 and Real Monarchs.  As always, a team rated 1100 is considered average, and the first tiebreak is number of games played.

For a full explanation of the Elo rating system, check out this article.

Rankings

1 (Last Week - 1) - Vancouver Whitecaps 2 (1115)

Last Week: Drew @ Los Angeles Galaxy II (2-2)

This Week: @Swope Park Rangers (Wednesday), @Saint Louis (Saturday)

A late-game comeback not only kept Vancouver as the top team out West for the second straight week, but also put them back at an Elo rating of 1115, the highest any team has been in the West this season.

2 (6) - Colorado Springs Switchbacks (1111)

Last Week: Won vs San Antonio (1-0)

This Week: vs Real Monarchs (Saturday)

Colorado Springs rebounded well after a rough road loss to Seattle (who continues to be stuck at the bottom of the table), grabbing a second shutout victory at home.  They look to take one more home victory before starting on a two-game, five-day road trip.

3 (2) - Swope Park Rangers (1111)

Last Week: Lost @ Oklahoma City Energy (0-1)

This Week: vs Vancouver Whitecaps 2 (Wednesday)

At Oklahoma CIty, Swope gave up a lone goal for the fourth consecutive game to start the season, but for the first time, they were unable to obtain a result.

4 (7) - Rio Grande Valley Toros (1111)

Last Week: Won @ Real Monarchs (1-0)

This Week: vs Los Angeles Galaxy II (Saturday)

Rio Grande Valley is now in a tie for second place after beating the Monarchs on the road.  They get Los Dos this weekend, in the first match of the year against an opponent who is in the top ten.  This will be a test of how strong this squad is.

5 (3) - Los Angeles Galaxy II (1108)

Last Week: Drew vs Vancouver Whitecaps 2 (2-2)

This Week: @Rio Grande Valley Toros (Saturday)

Los Angeles blew a lead late at home which would have allowed them to overtake the top spot in the West, but six games into the season they are one of only two undefeated teams left in the West, and the only undefeated team in the league that has played six games.

6 (10) - Saint Louis FC (1106)

Last Week: Won @ Sacramento Republic (1-0)

This Week: @Vancouver Whitecaps 2 (Saturday)

Coming off a win in Sacramento, the up and down season for the 2-2-2 Saint Louis continues.  They return home this week to host the first of two straight games against MLS2 sides, who they have yet to defeat or even score a goal against this season.

7 (8) - Arizona United (1103)

Last Week: Did Not Play

This Week: vs Portland Timbers 2 (Saturday)

Arizona was off for the week, and still finds itself in the middle of the pack.  A visit from Portland, who just picked up their first road win on the year, can help Arizona gain ground on top teams.

8 (5) - San Antonio FC (1103)

Last Week: Lost @ Colorado Springs Switchbacks (0-1)

This Week: vs Tulsa Roughnecks (Saturday)

After blowing out Seattle 3-0 in the first week of the year, San Antonio has failed to win a game, and has allowed a goal in four straight games.  A visit from struggling Tulsa Roughnecks may be just what San Antonio needs to get back on track.

9 (4) - Sacramento Republic (1100)

Last Week: Lost vs Saint Louis (0-1)

This Week: vs Orange County Blues (Saturday)

The scoring woes continue for the best defensive team in the league.  They will look to continue their defensive dominance against Orange County which has yet to have a multi-goal game through their first five as well.

10 (12) - Oklahoma City Energy (1097)

Last Week: Won vs Swope Park Rangers (1-0)

This Week: @Seattle Sounders 2 (Sunday)

A late winner against previously unbeaten Swope Park has Oklahoma City back near the average Elo ranking after dropping points at home in their first two games.  They visit Seattle this week and hope to build on that result.

11 (9) - Real Monarchs (1094)

Last Week: Lost vs Rio Grande Valley Toros (0-1), Drew vs Seattle Sounders 2 (0-0)

This Week: @Colorado Springs Switchbacks (Saturday)

Another group having trouble getting its offense in gear, the Monarchs were shut out in all three games during their last home stand, losing two of them to go crashing out of the top ten rankings.  A short road trip to a defensive-minded Colorado Springs may not alleviate this scoring crunch.

12 (13) - Orange County Blues (1093)

Last Week: Won vs Portland Timbers 2 (1-0)

This Week: @Sacramento Republic (Saturday)

Winners of back to back home games for their first two victories of the season, the Blues go on the road to Sacramento in what likely will be a low-scoring affair, as both sides average less than one goal per game.

13 (14) - Portland Timbers 2 (1089)

Last Week: Lost @ Orange County Blues (0-1), Won @ Tulsa Roughnecks (2-0)

This Week: @Arizona United (Saturday)

It was a tale of two games for Portland, dropping to Orange County before being able to easily take down a struggling Tulsa side.  Portland has a chance to fight their way back up the table in the coming weeks against two more mid-table opponents.

14 (11) - Tulsa Roughnecks (1085)

Last Week: Lost vs Portland Timbers 2 (0-2)

This Week: @San Antonio (Saturday)

After beating Rio Grande Valley in their season opener, Tulsa has picked up only one goal from their next four games, giving up five goals and only netting one in that run.  As they embark on a four-game road trip, both offense and defense will need improvement to prevent a 2015-like early-season slump.

15 (15) - Seattle Sounders 2 (1078)

Last Week: Drew @ Real Monarchs (0-0)

This Week: vs Oklahoma City Energy (Sunday)

The hemorrhaging has stopped, but Seattle still is not functioning on all cylinders.  Undefeated in their last three, a home stand that begins with an unpredictable Oklahoma City squad may set the tone moving forward.

Notables

While Vancouver continues to hold their lead at the top of the table, a large pack of teams is still within striking distance of the leaders, should the Whitecaps happen to lose this week in one of their two upcoming matches.

Matches in the coming week between #1 Vancouver and #3 Swope Park on Wednesday, and then #4 Rio Grande Valley and #5 Los Angeles on Saturday leave us poised to once again have major shakeups in the power rakings.

When a home loss still can potentially take the 2nd place team to the bottom of the top 10, anything can happen as the dust settles and we start establishing more certainty as to where teams should be ranked.

What are your predictions about what happens the coming week?  Let us know in the comments below.