Welcome back to the Indomitable City Soccer Elo Rankings for the Eastern Conference! Now that we’re through the first five weeks of the season, it’s time to relaunch the rankings.
If teams are level on ratings, the tiebreaker goes to whichever club has played more matches, as that is seen as a more accurate telling of a club’s rating, as the sample size of matches played increases. To account for home field advantage, 50 points will be added to the score of the host club. As last year, a rating of 1100 will be considered an average score. A full breakdown of the methodology can be found here.
Below are the rankings as of April 29, 2017.
1 - Charleston Battery (1122)
With the East’s best goal differential, buoyed by excellent wins over Tampa and Rochester, Charleston top our opening Elo rankings. The Eastern Conference leaders host Bethlehem this weekend.
2 - Louisville City (1118)
As of one of two remaining unbeaten clubs in the USL, Louisville City is off to their typical good start. A pair of 0-0 results keep them a few points off the pace of the Battery. Next, the Kentucky club has a bye week before a pivotal match at the Tampa Bay Rowdies next week.
3 - Tampa Bay Rowdies (1111)
The former NASL club have started their first USL campaign off right. The Rowdies have posted four shutout wins in seven matches. This weekend, Tampa Bay travels to Ottawa to take on their fellow former NASL team.
4 - Rochester Rhinos (1105)
While weighed down from a 5-0 defeat at the hands of the Charleston Battery two weeks ago, Rochester rallied this past weekend with a four goal win over the Charlotte Independence. A fixture against Saint Louis FC - and former Rhinos striker Christian Volesky - is on tap this Saturday.
T5 - Saint Louis FC (1102)
Saint Louis FC’s performance in their return to the Eastern Conference so far has been middling. Two 3-2 wins over Ottawa and New York Red Bulls II have boosted Saint Louis this year, but losses against FC Cincinnati and Charlotte has limited any progression away from the average Elo rating.
T5 - New York Red Bulls II (1102)
After opening the year with a high scoring draw against Pittsburgh, NYRB II has settled in the middle of the pack. After losing a close fixture against Harrisburg at the start of April, NYRB II will get another crack at the City Islanders this weekend.
7 - Harrisburg City Islanders (1101)
A three match unbeaten streak in the middle of April has Harrisburg sitting as the last club above the average in the Eastern Conference. Another match against NYRB II, the team they notched their first win the year against, is on the schedule for this weekend.
T8 - FC Cincinnati (1098)
FC Cincinnati has been one of the more inconsistent clubs of the East this year. They have suffered defeat at the hands of Bethlehem Steelal twice already, but have also had a four goal over Saint Louis. With Djiby Fall out because of a disciplinary suspension, FC Cincinnati will look to find the back of the net this weekend versus Richmond.
T8 - Ottawa Fury FC (1098)
With only one win on the season so far, it is safe to say that Ottawa are not enjoying their first USL season as much as their fellow former NASL club, Tampa Bay. Fury will be looking for three points when they return to Ontario to play their second home match of the season this week.
10 - Orlando City B (1095)
Having played the most matches in the East so far, the Baby Lions have already finished a quarter of their season. Through the first month, Orlando City B has yet to see their rating go above 1100. A bye week allows Orlando time to regroup before traveling to Cincinnati in two weeks.
11 - Pittsburgh Riverhounds (1094)
Pittsburgh earned a draw against the defending champs on opening day, but soon fell off the pace and went winless in their next five matches. A shutout victory over Keystone Derby rivals, Harrisburg, has the Riverhounds building momentum to face the Ontario clubs over the next two weeks.
12 - Toronto FC II (1093)
After beating Phoenix Rising FC in week one, Toronto FC II have struggled to earn three points. Having gone winless through April, Toronto FC II ended the month with three consecutive scoreless draws. Facing two of the three Pennsylvania clubs over the next two weeks will provide the chance for TFC II to halt their five match winless skid.
13 - Bethlehem Steel FC (1091)
With two shutout wins over FC Cincinnati, Bethlehem have stayed close to the average through five matches. Steel have only failed to score in one match so far: April 23’s 2-0 loss against Orlando City B, where OCB keeper Earl Edwards Jr. put in a performance that earned him a place in the Team of the Week. Bethlehem make the trip down to South Carolina this Saturday to face the East’s top club, Charleston Battery.
14 - Charlotte Independence (1089)
Having faced three 2016 playoff clubs, Charlotte has had a tough start to the season, with one win through five matches. The Independence have a week off to rest before they travel to face the defending champions, NYRB II.
15 - Richmond Kickers (1088)
If any club has regressed the most from last season, it is the Richmond Kickers. Key departures from the likes of Brian Ownby, Jason Yeisley, and Matthew Delicate has left the Virginia club at the bottom of our first power rankings. Starting the season with four 1-0 losses, Richmond have struggled to find goals, with only three through six matches. The Kickers will look to reverse their fortunes as they host FC Cincinnati this weekend.
Week Seven East Matches
Wednesday, May 3rd
Pittsburgh Riverhounds (1094) v Toronto FC II (1093)
Saturday, May 6th
Ottawa Fury FC (1098) v Tampa Bay Rowdies (1111)
New York Red Bulls II (1102) v Harrisburg City Islanders (1101)
Richmond Kickers (1088) v FC Cincinnati (1098)
Charleston Battery (1122) v Bethlehem Steel FC (1091)
Saint Louis FC (1102) v Rochester Rhinos (1105)
Bye Week: Louisville City (1118), Orlando City B (1095), Charlotte Independence (1089)
With seven clubs above the average in the East, the conference has seen a split, with its top three clubs starting to breakaway from the rest. Charleston, Louisville, and Tampa have all set the pace for the rest of the East to follow. Charleston, Tampa and Saint Louis remain the only clubs in the conference not see their ratings fall below 1100.
Which clubs do you think will maintain their starts to the season? Are there any clubs that have surprised you so far? Which clubs are over or underrated? Let us know in the comments below!