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USL Western Conference Power Rankings: Week 17

There's a new number one out West.

The Whitecaps surrendered the first place Elo rating out West for the first time in a month, and then proceeded to give up more places as they fell from first to fourth.  The rest of the top of the standings stayed the same; a new top seven has started to form.

Remember, as always a rating of 1100 is considered an average team in terms of Elo rating.

Ratings

1 (Last Week - 2) Los Angeles Galaxy II (1136)

Last Week: Defaeted Portland Timbers 2 (4-1)

This Week: @San Antonio FC (Saturday)

Los Dos continue a season of steadily climbing up the table, now only having lost two of eighteen matches to start the season.  Despite only being tied for third in total wins this season in the West, they are proving to be a tough team to beat.  A trip to a hot San Antonio side is up next.

2 (3) Oklahoma City Energy (1131)

Last Week: Defeated Orange County Blues (2-1)

This Week: @Tulsa Roughnecks (Saturday)

Another week, another strong result.  The Energy have made a habit of being able to hold their own against any team, but have yet to beat any top five Elo team in the West this season after three tries.  A trip to Tulsa who has started to show signs of life is next for Oklahoma.

3 (4) Colorado Springs Switchbacks (1126)

Last Week: Defeated Sacramento Republic (1-0)

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

A late goal got the Switchbacks a win over Sacramento and helped cement them as one of the best defensive teams in the league.  Two games in a week to two teams who look to be on the bubble are up next.

4 (1) Vancouver Whitecaps 2 (1122)

Last Week: Lost to Rio Grande Valley Toros (0-4), Lost to San Antonio FC (0-2)

This Week: vs Sacramento Republic (Sunday)

A complete disaster of a week saw Vancouver get outscored 0-6 after a +9 goal differential going into the week.  A visit from another top team who is struggling at the moment is up next, as Sacramento comes to town.

5 (7) Rio Grande Valley Toros (1113)

Last Week: Defeated Vancouver Whitecaps 2 (4-0)

This Week: Bye Week

As stated last week, the Toros need to put all their strength into offense if they want to have a chance to move up in the West.  They did exactly that by handing Vancouver their biggest loss of the season and placing themselves squarely back in the playoff conversation.

6 (5) Sacramento Republic (1113)

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

This Week: @Vancouver Whitecaps 2 (Sunday)

Sacramento again failed to hold onto points late, giving up a goal in the 70th minute or later in four straight games.  A trip to Vancouver who has had equal woes on both sides of the ball is up next, as both teams fight to get back on the right track.

7 (6) San Antonio FC (1112)

Last Week: Defeated Vancouver Whitecaps 2 (2-0)

This Week: vs Los Angeles Galaxy II (Saturday)

San Antonio has scored over 40% of their goals and has gained over 50% of their total points in just their last five games . This week they play host to a very tough LA Galaxy side in what may be the match of the week out West.

8 (8) Saint Louis FC (1095)

Last Week: Lost to Tulsa Roughnecks (0-2)

This Week: vs Colorado Springs Switchbacks (Saturday)

After outscoring Tulsa 12-3 in their previous two meetings, the wheels fell off as Tulsa took home a surprise 2-0 victory.  Saint Louis was shut out for the 7th time this season, gaining only one point from those games.  A game against the Switchbacks who have kept eight clean sheets is up next.

9 (10) Swope Park Rangers (1089)

Last Week: Bye Week

This Week: @Colorado Springs Switchbacks (Wednesday), vs Orange County Blues (Saturday)

A week off has given the Rangers time to plan a way to the right side of the playoff bubble.  They will need to turn in at least one win this week if they want to seriously challenge at an inaugural season playoff berth.

10 (12) Real Monarchs (1086)

Last Week: Bye Week

This Week: vs Arizona United (Friday)

Despite not playing a game the Monarchs moved up in the ranks due to missteps from others.  This week they host Arizona who is coming off a disappointing loss, as both teams look to make late season pushes.

11 (9) Arizona United (1084)

Last Week: Lost to Seattle Sounders 2 (2-3)

This Week: @Real Monarchs (Friday)

A disappointing loss for Arizona needs to be quickly put behind them as they match up this week against the Monarchs, another team who is in the hunt for the final playoff spots.  Arizona has now scored in ten consecutive USL matches though, which is the longest active streak in the league.

12 (11) Orange County Blues (1083)

Last Week: Lost to Oklahoma City Energy (1-2)

This Week: @Swope Park Rangers (Saturday)

The Blues dropped a game to a solid Energy team, but did manage to get a goal against one of the stoutest defensive teams in the league.  Now at nine goals for in their last five, they just need to shore up their defense a bit and they will have a great chance claim to the final playoff spots.

13 (13) Portland Timbers 2 (1071)

Last Week: Lost to Los Angeles Galaxy II (1-4)

This Week: @Seattle Sounders 2 (Sunday)

Portland continues to fade fast.  They still shows glimpses of being a talented team, but results such as the 1-4 loss to Los Dos show the ugly side of Portland, who can drop to 14th this weekend if they falter in Seattle.

14 (14) Seattle Sounders 2 (1070)

Last Week: Defeated Arizona United (3-2)

This Week: vs Portland Timbers 2 (Sunday)

A surprise win left Seattle at 4-3-1 since the start of June, and with a win against Portland this weekend, they will get out of the bottom two places in the Elo rankings for the first time this season.

15 (15) Tulsa Roughnecks (1058)

Last Week: Defeated Saint Louis FC (2-0)

This Week: @Oklahoma City Energy (Saturday)

Results like the 2-0 win over Saint Louis show that despite being at the bottom of the table and the rankings, the talent still is there.  Tulsa just needs to figure out how to use it, and a trip to a very tough Energy team could be the perfect chance to try the unexpected.

Notable:

Biggest Rise: Rio Grande Valley Toros, Real Monarchs (+2)

Biggest Fall: Vancouver Whitecaps 2 (-3)

The bottom falling out for Vancouver tightened the race for the top playoff spots out West, with the Toros and San Antonio making large gains in Elo.  At the same time the gap between the 7th and 8th Elo ranked teams quickly grew.  This gap has created a week with lots of good matches.

Two games between teams at the top see two hot teams meet as Los Dos play against San Antonio, and two teams headed in the wrong direction as Sacramento visits Vancouver.  These matches can send either team near the top or the bottom of those playoff groups very quickly.

Chase teams also match up multiple times this week as Orange County plays Swope Park, and Arizona matches up against the Real Monarchs as all four teams try to make claim to the final playoff spots.

Who will come out on top?