Welcome back to our Eastern Conference Elo Power Rankings! With the second full month of the 2017 season in full swing, let us look at the clubs that have started the season hotly and those who have been slow out of the gates (a horse racing pun in honor of the Kentucky Derby). Remember, 1100 is considered an average rating and tie-breakers go to whichever club has played more matches.
Below are the rankings as of May 6, 2017 (last week’s ranking in parentheses):
1. (Last Week - 1) Charleston Battery (1126)
The Eastern Conference leaders edged out Bethlehem for a win on Saturday, spending another week atop our rankings.
2. (2) Louisville City FC (1118)
A bye week sees Louisville maintain the second spot this week, with a pivotal trip down to Florida this weekend to face the #3 club in the East, Tampa Bay.
3. (3) Tampa Bay Rowdies (1112)
A scoreless draw was the result of the first USL meeting of the two former NASL clubs. The Rowdies now gear up for a bout with Louisville and a chance to take the second spot in the rankings with a win this weekend.
4. (5) New York Red Bulls II (1108)
NYRB II avenged a 1-0 defeat to Harrisburg from earlier in the season with a 3-1 win Saturday night. The Baby Bulls have gained rating points in three straight weeks and will have two chances this week to improve upon that rating.
5. (4) Rochester Rhinos (1105)
Their match versus Saint Louis FC was postponed due to flooding at Toyota Stadium in Missouri. The Rhinos face a bye week next.
6. (5) Saint Louis FC (1102)
Saint Louis FC travel to Charleston this weekend, a club they outscored 4-3 in two matches when they last met in 2015.
7. (8) FC Cincinnati (1099)
A second half goal from Jimmy McLaughlin salvaged a draw for FC Cincinnati this weekend. FCC are in the middle of a four match winless streak, matching their record from last season.
8. (11) Pittsburgh Riverhounds (1098)
The biggest movers of the East this week took all three points in a match vs. Toronto FC II. The Riverhounds will face another Ontario club this weekend when they travel to Ottawa.
9. (8) Ottawa Fury FC (1097)
After a draw with their former NASL counterparts, Fury slip a spot in our rankings. Ottawa’s rating has been as low as 1092 (week 2), but has not been back at or above 1100 since the season’s start.
T10. (10) Orlando City B (1095)
After a bye week, Orlando City B travel to Nippert Stadium, looking to extend their unbeaten run to a fourth consecutive match.
T10. (7) Harrisburg City Islanders (1095)
Harrisburg scored one goal vs. NYRB II in a loss on Saturday. The City Islanders failed to record a shot in the second half. A match versus rankings-bottom Richmond awaits this weekend and may stand to help the Pennsylvania club.
T12. (12) Toronto FC II (1089)
A loss to Pittsburgh on Wednesday night ended a streak of three consecutive nil-nil results, as Toronto FC II hosts Bethlehem on Saturday.
T12. (14) Charlotte Independence (1089)
One of only two clubs—Rochester being the other—to have played only five matches thus far, Charlotte has been off to a slow start on the year, as their rating has not been above 1100 through the first month of the season.
T14. (13) Bethlehem Steel FC (1087)
Bethlehem travel to Canada this weekend face Toronto FC II on Saturday. Last year’s two bouts between the clubs saw TFC II take both results by a score of 3-2.
T14. (15) Richmond Kickers (1087)
Despite their draw vs FC Cincinnati, Richmond spends another week in the basement of our rankings. They host Harrisburg this weekend hoping for a repeat of the season’s opening match, which saw the Kickers win 1-0.
Week Eight East Matches
Thursday, May 11th
#12 Charlotte Independence (1089) v #4 New York Red Bulls II (1108)
Saturday, May 13th
#9 Ottawa Fury FC (1097) v #8 Pittsburgh Riverhounds (1098)
#7 FC Cincinnati (1099) v #10 Orlando City B (1095)
#12 Toronto FC II (1089) v #14 Bethlehem Steel FC (1087)
#14 Richmond Kickers (1087) v #10 Harrisburg City Islanders (1095)
#1 Charleston Battery (1126) v #6 Saint Louis FC (1102)
#3 Tampa Bay Rowdies (1112) v #2 Louisville City FC (1118)
Sunday, May 14th
#4 New York Red Bulls II (1108) v #14 (West) LA Galaxy II (1081)
Bye Week: Rochester Rhinos (1105)
For the second week in a row, the top three clubs remain unchanged. With a match between clubs #2 and #3 in the rankings, we may see a shift in power at the top after next weekend.
The East is starting to settle into its old top-heavy ways of last season, as nine clubs find themselves below the average rating and four of those clubs fall below a rating of 1090. Are we starting to see a lead pack form in Charleston, Louisville and Tampa, or could an outsider crash the party at the top?
With nearly a quarter of the season in the books, will any clubs make major jumps or suffer falls over the next couple weeks? Is there a club that you think is over or underrated? Let us know in the comments below!