Let us return to our Eastern Conference Power Rankings. Remember, 1100 is considered an average rating.
Below are the rankings as of May 21st, 2017 (last week’s rankings are in parentheses).
1 (Last Week- 1). Charleston Battery (1131)
After a second yellow card was shown to Tah Anunga in the 53rd minute, Charleston appeared in danger of losing to Harrisburg. Instead, the Battery showed resilience, scoring twice, and earning a hard-fought point on the road. This match is another reason why Charleston are the conference leaders.
2 (2). Tampa Bay Rowdies (1127)
Despite conceding early, and being down a goal at halftime, the Rowdies rallied with a three-goal second half, defeating Toronto FC II on the road Friday night. Tampa Bay sits within striking distance of leaders, Charleston.
3 (3). Louisville City FC (1118)
Luke Spencer’s lone goal vs Pittsburgh sees Louisville maintain the third spot in our Power Rankings. Including their Open Cup match on Wednesday night, Louisville City has scored ten goals in the city of Pittsburgh this week.
T4 (5). Orlando City B (1104)
A bye week served the Florida club well, as they moved into a tie for fourth in our rankings. Orlando has quietly become a dangerous club, one that seems to have improved from last season.
T4 (4). Rochester Rhinos (1104)
The Rhinos earned a draw Sunday afternoon against Richmond, holding their spot at fourth. A midweek fixture against Tampa Bay awaits in Week 9.
T6 (5). Pittsburgh Riverhounds (1098)
Their loss to Louisville this week has Pittsburgh back under the average rating. A Keystone Derby - and Old Guard Shield - match vs Harrisburg is on tap for the Riverhounds this week.
T6 (7). Saint Louis FC (1098)
Another club that moved up during their bye week because of results elsewhere, Saint Louis close out a three-match road trip with a pivotal fixture against Tampa Bay this Saturday.
T8 (12). Ottawa Fury FC (1097)
A seven-goal shootout leading to a 4-3 victory over NYRB II has Ottawa making the biggest jump this week. Fury scored the tying and winning goal in the final five minutes of the match. Ottawa will look to continue this momentum with a match against the struggling Richmond Kickers.
T8 (8). Charlotte Independence (1097)
Charlotte held their spot in the rankings for another week, as they travel Orlando City B this weekend, a rematch of a fixture that saw the clubs share the points in early April.
10 (9). Harrisburg City Islanders (1095)
Despite scoring first against conference leaders Charleston, and going up a man for most of the second half, it was Harrisburg who had to score late to take a point at home. This rating, 1095, is the lowest Harrisburg has had all season.
11 (13). FC Cincinnati (1094)
Danni König made an immediate impact at his new club, scoring two goals for FC Cincinnati in a 2-1 win versus Bethlehem. FCC will look to make a jump in the rankings, taking advantage of a languishing Toronto FC II club.
12 (11). Bethlehem Steel FC (1089)
In their last meeting of the regular season, Bethlehem could not repeat previous wins against FC Cincinnati, as they lost 2-1 this past week. Matches against conference leaders Battery and the City Islanders make up a busy week for Bethlehem.
13 (10). New York Red Bulls II (1088)
The Baby Bulls lost a third consecutive match, and have taken one of the biggest falls in the Eastern Conference in the past two weeks. This week does not look much better, as they welcome Charleston to New Jersey this Sunday.
14 (14). Richmond Kickers (1087)
Richmond made it a third-straight draw with their result versus Rochester on Sunday. A Canadian road trip this week to face Toronto FC II and Ottawa is next on tap.
15 (15). Toronto FC II (1074)
Scoring early versus Tampa Bay seemed to be a step in the right direction for Toronto, but the club took a step backwards, giving up three scores in the second half, and extending their winless streak to eight.
Week Ten Matches
Wednesday May 24, 2017
#15 Toronto FC II (1074) v #14 Richmond Kickers (1087)
#10 Harrisburg City Islanders (1095) v #6 Pittsburgh Riverhounds (1098)
#4 Rochester Rhinos (1104) v #2 Tampa Bay Rowdies (1127)
Thursday May 25, 2017
#12 Bethlehem Steel FC (1089) v #1 Charleston Battery (1131)
Saturday May 27, 2017
#8 Ottawa Fury (1097) v #14 Richmond Kickers (1087)
#11 FC Cincinnati (1094) v #15 Toronto FC II (1074)
#4 Orlando City B (1104) v #8 Charlotte Independence (1097)
#2 Tampa Bay Rowdies (1127) v #6 Saint Louis FC (1098)
Sunday May 28, 2017
#13 New York Red Bulls II (1088) v #1 Charleston Battery (1131)
#12 Bethlehem Steel FC (1089) v #10 Harrisburg City Islanders (1095)
Bye Week: Louisville City FC (1118)
Each week, the East becomes more and more top-heavy, as only five clubs sit above the average rating this week. The three leaders continue to break away from the rest of the conference, making the race for the top look like it will be up to Charleston, Tampa Bay or Louisville.
Lots of movement is still taking place across the conference, as eight different clubs shifted positions from last week. This amount of parity in the middle of the East will make for an exciting playoff chase come September.
As we enter the dog days of summer, what are your thoughts on the 2017 USL season in the Eastern Conference? Is there any club you have your eye on to make a run through June and July? Let us know in the comments below!