In a week that saw multiple teams in contention for the third place team in the USL West Elo, a new club rose to that place spot with a pair of wins to cement themselves as more than a fluke.
At the same time, we saw what may be the largest tie in the West history. Four teams ended up with the same rating at eighth place, with the tiebreaker being most games played, since more games yield more data.
With seven of the top ten teams from Week 11 changing their spot in the rankings, the Week 12 standings are as follows:
1 (Last Week - 1) Real Monarchs SLC (1160)
The Monarchs continued their top-of-the-Elo-ranking performance by dispatching cellar dwellers Portland in a simple 2-0 home victory, becoming the first USL West team to ever hit 1160.
2 (2) San Antonio FC (1150)
San Antonio, dealing with a suspension due to card accumulation on their back line, held an injury-hampered OKC to a scoreless draw as their shutout streak hit six games. But they have also only scored three in their past five.
3 (5) Reno 1868 (1114)
Reno avenged a US Open Cup loss to Sacramento by winning on their home turf and jumping into the top three for the first time in the 2017 season, taking a lead over the rest of the chasing pack.
4 (6) Swope Park Rangers (1110)
Swope Park took advantage of two goals in stoppage time to down Tulsa and break a winless streak which had reached three matches.
5 (4) Rio Grande Valley Toros (1109)
The Toros lost a close midweek game in Reno before returning to dominate Seattle in a home performance to maintain a top-five spot in the Elo rankings.
6 (3) Tulsa Roughnecks (1103)
Tulsa felt like they had earned a point against Swope Park, but gave up two late goals to fall on the road and fall out of the top five Elo ranking for the first time in multiple weeks.
7 (8) Orange County SC (1097)
Orange County did not play, but thanks to losses from competing teams were able to move up a place in the rankings.
8 (7) Sacramento Republic (1092)
Sacramento was unable to find an answer to Dane Kelly as Reno evened the all time series at 1-1-1 and continued to raise concerns about Republic’s play in the final third.
9 (9) Vancouver Whitecaps 2 (1092)
You can blame the loss on Drogba, but Vancouver will need to be able to capitalize on injury-riddled teams if they want to move up the table and into playoff contention.
10 (13) Oklahoma City Energy (1092)
Oklahoma City earned a win and a draw this week to get back into the top ten as they look to live up to pre-season expectations of a playoff-bound club.
11 (11) Phoenix Rising (1092)
Drogba has arrived. After a midweek loss, he gave Phoenix a goal and assist in their victory as he looks to propel the club from playoff contention to solid playoff team. He will be one of the stories of the USL to watch moving forward.
12 (12) Colorado Springs Switchbacks (1091)
A road win against Los Dos kept the Switchbacks in the playoff hunt, but they will need to continue to improve moving forward to prevent being caught by the chasing pack of teams.
13 (10) Seattle Sounders 2 (1087)
Between a loss on the road to the Toros and strong performances by teams in the playoff hunt, Seattle has dropped out of the top ten Elo teams and will need to rebound to remain relevant in the West.
14 (14) Los Angeles Galaxy II (1061)
Los Dos continued to struggle, and have now lost eight of their past eleven games. If the club does not right the ship shortly they will miss the post-season for the first time in their history.
15 (15) Portland Timbers 2 (1050)
Against the top team in the league there was not much to expect from a reeling Timbers side, but they have now dropped four straight matches and will need to do something soon to prevent becoming a glorified bye week.
Week 11 Matches:
#15 Portland Timbers 2 (1050) v #10 Oklahoma City Energy (1092)
#5 Rio Grande Valley Toros (1109) v #14 Los Angeles Galaxy II (1061)
#2 San Antonio FC (1150) v #6 Tulsa Roughnecks (1103)
#8 Sacramento Republic (1092) v #9 Vancouver Whitecaps 2 (1092)
#4 Swope Park Rangers (1110) v #11 Phoenix Rising (1092)
Bye Week: #1 Real Monarchs (1160), #3 Reno 1868 FC (1114), #7 Orange County SC (1097), #12 Colorado Springs Switchbacks (1091), #13 Seattle Sounders 2 (1087)
Despite at times having a questionable defense, Reno has forced themselves into the top three behind the best offense in the West, which features all-time USL leading goal scorer and current USL scoring leader Dane Kelly. While they still face plenty of competition, Reno has entrenched themselves as a team with enough firepower to give even the best clubs a run for their money.
A week that features multiple US Open Cup matches will make for a low number of USL matches, but with a large cluster of teams around the 8th place spot in the pack, there will undoubtedly be multiple changes in the standings and tired legs may come into play.
Who do you think will use this week where few games are played to their advantage? Who will fail to keep pace with the pack? Let us know in the comments below!