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2017 USL Western Conference Elo Rankings - Week 9

The top two have pulled away from the back, but there’s still some changes happening down below.

USL teams entering the US Open Cup this week resulted in fewer games played than normal, but some high scoring matches more than made up for it. Five goal, six goal and seven goal matches allowed for plenty of movement in the table, as well as a tie at the very top. As things continue to spread out near the top, things are quickly tightening elsewhere.

As always, the first tiebreaker is greatest number of games played. Beyond that, standard USL tiebreakers are used. You can find last week’s rankings here, and an explanation of our methodology here.

1 (Last week – 1) San Antonio FC (1146)

The shutout streak for San Antonio reached four consecutive games as they ground out another 1-0 victory. They will be tested this week as they play a current top six Elo team for the second time all season.

2 (2) Real Monarchs SLC (1146)

With another high scoring game over the weekend, the Monarchs have proven that they can score seemingly at will. Monarchs have now scored multiple goals in eight of their first nine matches this season and have hit five goals twice. At this point, everyone is trying to find a way to slow this team down.

3 (3) Tulsa Roughnecks (1112)

Tulsa continued both its up and down season and its historic struggles against Sacramento over the weekend. A trip to Reno to face a team that may have turned a corner will be critical moving forward.

4 (4) Swope Park Rangers (1107)

Swope got a week off to prepare to face the team at the top of our Power Rankings in back-to-back games. It will be a statement game for last year’s Western Conference champions against one of this season’s surprise hot teams.

5 (5) Rio Grande Valley Toros (1106)

The Toros likely will be feeling that they should have taken all the points from Los Dos over the weekend. However, if they can continue to give up only about half of a goal per game and continue their unbeaten run when scoring, they will be a force moving forward.

6 (6) Orange County SC (1102)

Despite a loss, Orange County will likely feel good about themselves as they kept it very close against Oklahoma City despite being down a man for the majority of the match. After playing seven of eight on the road, they will get a week off to try and get things back on track.

7 (9) Sacramento Republic (1098)

Sacramento ended their scoreless streak and were able to edge out Tulsa in only their third home match in their first ten games. Next, they travel to Tukwila in search of another win over Seattle Sounders 2.

8 (8) Vancouver Whitecaps 2 (1096)

The Whitecaps had a week off to rest, but the face a big test in their return to league play when they face the red-hot Monarchs.

9 (12) Reno 1868 (1096)

Reno has quickly turned their season around after blowing out Phoenix and Seattle to the tune of a combined 10-0 score line in their past two matches. Two matches this week against Colorado and Tulsa will be a test to see if Reno has truly turned the corner.

10 (13) Oklahoma City Energy (1088)

OKC got their second win of the season over the weekend. However, being up a man for the majority of the match should have resulted in far better than a 1-0 win against a team that was ran off the pitch the previous week. They will look to get on track hosting wooden spoon frontrunners Portland this week.

11 (7) Seattle Sounders 2 (1087)

After a promising few weeks, the wheels entirely fell off in Reno as Seattle gave up a first half hat trick on the way to a 0-6 drubbing. They will look to bounce back and get revenge for a season opening loss to Sacramento this week.

12 (10) Phoenix Rising (1086)

Phoenix was the latest victim to the San Antonio powerhouse as they fell 0-1 on the road. Next up for them is a trip to Southern California to face a Galaxy II side that has been struggling to find its form all season.

13 (11) Colorado Springs Switchbacks (1082)

The Switchbacks continued to fall down the Power Rankings this week as they fell 5-2 against the Monarchs. The Switchbacks will desperately need to get back on track soon, but face a tough test this week against a Reno team that has been scoring at will recently.

14 (14) Los Angeles Galaxy II (1079)

Los Dos had a surprisingly efficient week, ending a five game winless streak by taking down the 2017 USL Champions and then getting a draw against a good Rio Grande Valley side. If this Galaxy side continues to show up, they can still climb up the table.

15 (15) Portland Timbers 2 (1069)

Portland had the week off to try to come up with a strategy to get back on track, and will travel to Oklahoma City and Tulsa this week to see if their solutions will bear any fruit.

Week 10 Matches

Wednesday May 24

#10 Oklahoma City Energy (1088) v #15 Portland Timbers 2 (1069)

#9 Reno 1868 (1096) v #3 Tulsa Roughnecks (1112)

Friday May 26

#4 Swope Park Rangers (1107) v #1 San Antonio FC (1146)

Saturday May 27

#13 Colorado Springs Switchbacks (1082) v #9 Reno 1868 (1096)

#3 Tulsa Roughnecks (1112) v #15 Portland Timbers 2 (1069)

#14 Los Angeles Galaxy II (1079) v #12 Phoenix Rising (1086)

Sunday May 28

#11 Seattle Sounders 2 (1087) v #7 Sacramento Republic (1098)

#8 Vancouver Whitecaps 2 (1096) v #2 Real Monarchs (1146)

Bye Week: #5 Rio Grande Valley Toros (1106), #6 Orange County SC (1102)

Thoughts:

A week of many surprisingly high scores saw lots of movement near the middle and the bottom of the table, but it also saw the top two teams continue to assert their dominance over the rest of the pack. The gap between the top two teams tied at the top of the rankings has become greater than the difference between third place and fourteenth place.

Junk time goals came into heavy play this week, with Colorado Springs getting a late one to keep the Monarchs from stealing the top spot away from San Antonio for the first time this season.

Will San Antonio continue to hold on to the top spot? Will any other teams make a run at the top of the table, or will the middle of the pack continue to be cluttered? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!