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Western Conference Power Rankings: Week 21

Indomitable City Soccer/Alex Leguizamo

With the exception of the 6-0 drubbing by Rio Grande Valley over Seattle, last week was one in which every game was either a draw or decided by a single goal. We saw some noticeable movement for the first time in a few weeks in the Power Rankings with Vancouver and Seattle losing ground and Arizona capitalizing on favorable results to move up.

Important to note about our rankings, 1100 is considered an average rating with tiebreakers going to the club that has played more matches..

Rankings:

1 (Last Week - 1) Oklahoma City Energy (1130)

Last Week: Drew Los Angeles Galaxy II (0-0)

This Week: @Tulsa Roughnecks (Saturday)

Thanks to some spectacular play from LA Galaxy II goalkeeper Clement Diop, Oklahoma City was unable to break through and get their first win against a top tier opponent.  After yet another missed penalty kick, the Energy are still searching for some answers in the offensive department to complement their strong defense.

2 (2) Los Angeles Galaxy II (1127)

Last Week: Drew Oklahoma City Energy (0-0)

This Week: @Orange County Blues (Saturday)

Galaxy II goalkeeper Clement Diop was far and away the Man of the Match in this weekends game against the Energy, earning Los Dos a point on the road against Oklahoma City. This weekend Los Dos face an Orange County Blues team that is looking to continue being a thorn in their side.

3 (4) Colorado Springs Switchbacks (1122)

Last Week: Drew Real Monarchs (0-0), vs Defeated Tulsa Roughnecks (1-0)

This Week: vs Rio Grande Valley Toros (Sunday)

The Switchbacks continue to have offensive output problems, but they have been able to make up for it with a lock-down defense that shut out both the Monarchs and Roughnecks last week. A trip to face an RGVFC team that also has a thriving defense might make for a very intriguing Sunday night matchup.

4 (5) Sacramento Republic (1120)

Last Week: Defeated Saint Louis FC (4-3)

This Week: vs Portland Timbers 2 (Saturday)

A wild, 7-goal game in Saint Louis tied the Republic record for most total goals scored in a single game and gave fans in Sacramento some hope on offensive but questions on defense.  A visit from a Portland team who has at times struggled to put the ball in the net is up next.

5 (6) Rio Grande Valley Toros (1120)

Last Week: Defeated Seattle Sounders 2 (6-0)

This Week: @Tulsa Roughnecks (Thursday), @Colorado Springs Switchbacks (Sunday)

Now riding a six game shutout streak, the Toros need to just spread around their scoring, which has tended to come in periodic offensive explosions.  They have scored ten goal in their shutout run, but have only scored in two games.  A more consistent offense can keep them as a threat to move up in the table if another team stumbles.  A trip to basement-dwellers Tulsa Roughnecks and another defensive giant in the Switchbacks is up this week.

6 (3) Vancouver Whitecaps 2 (1121)

Last Week: Lost to Orange County Blues (0-1)

This Week: vs Arizona United (Sunday)

Vancouver has continued their Power Rankings slide with only two wins in their past ten games. Whitecaps 2 will need to quickly return to early-season form if they want to be able to host a first round playoff match.  A game against a hot Arizona United team is next.

7 (9) Arizona United (1106)

Last Week: Defeated San Antonio FC (1-0)

This Week: @San Antonio FC (Wednesday), @Vancouver Whitecaps 2 (Sunday)

A win against San Antonio FC has extended Arizona United's scoring streak to 15 straight games with at least one goal scored.  A quick rematch against San Antonio and a visit to a slumping Whitecaps 2 side is up next for Arizona, who looks to stake a solid claim for a final playoff spot.

8 (7) San Antonio FC (1100)

Last Week: Lost to Arizona United (0-1)

This Week: vs Arizona United (Wednesday), vs Seattle Sounders 2 (Saturday)

While San Antonio may have some officiating complaints, they will need to quickly respond this week.  A rematch at home against AZU is on the docket for the middle of the week and a visit to a Sounders 2 team who just got blown out by RGVFC will provide a chance for San Antonio to make a push to playoffs before it is too late.

9 (8) Swope Park Rangers (1097)

Last Week: Lost to Real Monarchs (0-1)

This Week: vs Saint Louis FC (Sunday)

Swope Park Rangers stumbled in Salt Lake this past weekend, and their playoff hopes are much more up in the air as a result. Next they host Saint Louis FC, who they have split the season series with this season in a battle of two teams with playoff hopes.

10 (10) Saint Louis FC (1094)

Last Week: Lost to Sacramento Republic (3-4)

This Week: @Swope Park Rangers (Sunday)

Saint Louis was unable to recover from an ugly first 25 minutes, even with a late game run which made the final scoreline look far closer than the first 60 minutes showed.  A chance to bounce back and take the season series against fellow playoff hopeful Swope Park is up this week, in what is approaching a must win situation for Saint Louis.

11 (12) Orange County Blues (1083)

Last Week: Defeated Vancouver Whitecaps 2 (1-0), Lost to Portland Timbers 2 (1-2)

This Week: vs Los Angeles Galaxy II (Saturday)

A win against a struggling top team was balanced out with a loss to a lower-level team that has been showing signs of life.  Another game against local rival LA Galaxy II is up for the Blues this weekend, one that they will need to take points from in order to get back into playoff pace.

12 (13) Portland Timbers 2 (1078)

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

This Week: @Real Monarchs (Wednesday), @Sacramento Republic (Saturday)

Portland has now won back-to-back games for the second time this season, despite having allowed a goal in eleven straight games.  They will take a road trip to Utah to face a Real Monarchs team desperately clinging to a playoff chance and then to a Sacramento Republic team who suddenly have a volatile offense and defense.

13 (11) Seattle Sounders 2 (1075)

Last Week: Lost to Rio Grande Valley Toros (0-6)

This Week: @San Antonio FC (Saturday)

The meteoric rise of the Sounders 2 up the Power Rankings table came to a crashing halt after getting obliterated by the Toros.  They will look to quickly regroup in San Antonio or come up short of making the USL playoffs for the first time in team history.

14 (14) Real Monarchs (1073)

Last Week: Drew Colorado Springs Switchbacks (0-0), Defeated Swope Park Rangers (1-0)

This Week: vs Portland Timbers 2 (Wednesday)

The Monarchs are still not done yet.  A draw against an offensively challenged Switchbacks team and a tough win against Swope Park still leaves the Monarchs within striking distance, but they will need more points against the Timbers to have any chance at it.

15 (15) Tulsa Roughnecks (1049)

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

This Week: vs Rio Grande Valley Toros (Thursday), vs Oklahoma City Energy (Saturday)

The losses continue to pile up for the Roughnecks, even though they are usually in the game late -- as was the case against the Switchbacks.  To make the playoffs, the Roughnecks will require a minor miracle. However, they can still damage the chances of the Toros and OKC Energy, both teams that are likely to be playing come October.

Notable:

Biggest Rise: Arizona United (+2)
Biggest Fall: Vancouver Whitecaps 2 (-3)

This week features a rematch of the closely contested Arizona United and San Antonio FC game from last week. Both teams are trying to make a final run at the playoffs in a contest where at least a dozen teams still have a clear path to the postseason. The Saint Louis and Swope Park match up is also one between potential playoff teams.  Both of these matches will have major repercussions on the final playoff picture and should be closely watched.

Near the top of the table, the Switchbacks and Toros match up in a fight of two teams that should be in the playoffs barring something going horribly wrong in the final month of the season.

The match between Vancouver and Arizona will also be a key match down the stretch, as Vancouver is in a slump while Arizona has been hot as of late. A positive result by Arizona could continue to move them up the table, as Vancouver, who once looked like the top of the table favorite, continue to see their hopes of hosting a first round playoff game disappear.

What games are you looking forward to this weekend?