The top teams stayed the same again this week, but the middle of the table was an unpredictable whirlwind of points in the fourteenth week of the Western Conference USL Elo rankings. Multiple teams who had shown struggles in advancing past the main team have been able to show that they have the potential to create the power for any team to step up and forge their own path.
Will the typical power house squads remain at the top of the table, or will the teams who have been the staples of the USL continue to represent the West?
1 (Last Week – 1) Real Monarchs SLC (1164)
The winning run ended with a draw in Phoenix, but the Monarchs are now in control of the longest winning streak in USL history as they continue to have an iron grip on the top team in the USL. How long this run will last time will only tell, but this team looks to be a threat no matter what happens.
2 (2) San Antonio FC (1150)
The unbeaten streak is over at the hands of the giant killers, Colorado Springs, but San Antonio continues to be one of the top teams in the league and show no signs of slowing down anytime soon. With their all first team candidate keeper Restrepo being sent off, though, this week’s match against a suddenly hot Sacramento side will require other players to step up.
3 (3) Reno 1868 FC (1117)
Reno continued to shut down top teams, but fell again to a Salt Lake side. The expansion team will need to quickly improve, against the top teams in the West to avoid suffering an approach similar to Cincinnati last season.
4 (4) Swope Park Rangers (1114)
The Rangers bounced back against the Switchbacks to take home a one goal home victory as the held onto their fourth pace spot in the West, keeping pace between them and Sacramento while keeping third place Reno in their sights.
5 (8) Sacramento Republic (1109)
After major struggles on the offensive end early in the season, Sacramento broke out with nine goals scored in a week that saw them take home two victories and rise to the top five in the Elo rankings. An open cup team against the Galaxy and home match against San Antonio awaits this week.
6 (7) Orange County SC (1101)
After multiple weeks off, Orange County jumped out to a major lead against Seattle before having to cut it close late and escape with a one goal victory. As they pick up the game playing pace, the team who made a splash late will have plenty of time to make their comeback.
7 (7) Tulsa Roughnecks (1098)
No games this week saw team pass the Roughnecks, and the Roughnecks pass teams who had lost matches. The Oklahoma team remained in their seventh place spot throughout all of the ups and downs this week, as last year’s dumpster fire makes a playoff push.
8 (6) Oklahoma City Energy (1096)
The Energy suffered a disappointing loss to Seattle, but will remain squarely in the hunt for the final few spots in the USL playoffs as other teams continue to struggle as well. A bye week awaits the Energy as they hope to hold their ranking.
9 (5) Rio Grande Valley Toros (1095)
The Toros continued a slide after giving up a record number of goals in a single game to Sacramento. They will need to get back on track to stand a chance of being the post-season threat that they were in their inaugural 2016 season.
10 (11) Colorado Springs Switchbacks (1092)
The Switchbacks are now the only club to beat San Antonio AND the only club to beat the Monarchs. If they can continue to step up and play well against the good teams while applying the same level of play to the rest of the league, Colorado Springs will be a giant killer come October.
11 (10) Phoenix Rising (1092)
Even if Phoenix put the winning streak of the Monarchs to an end, they were unable to break through and make a run up the Elo table. As the Arizona squad continues to play, they will surely be granted many of chances to break through.
12 (12) Vancouver Whitecaps 2 (1088)
Vancouver held the Energy to a home draw, but the Whitecaps will need to recapture the magic of the 2016 season if they are going to recover and make a good push at the playoffs in the West.
13 (13) Seattle Sounders 2 (1087)
This Seattle team has been a nightmare to predict from week to week, as they move each week from a team who appears to be a threat to a team who does not appear to deserve a chance in the playoffs. Which team shows up each week will pay dividends for what team is around come the end of the season.
14 (14) Los Angeles Galaxy II (1062)
Los Dos continues to flounder, even after responding well to a first half surge from Sacramento this week. Los Angeles will need to return to the form that they have exhibited the previous few seasons to continue to be a threat in the West.
15 (15) Portland Timbers 2 (1035)
The Timbers continue to slide. Something will need to be fixed and sooner rather than later if Portland will remain in the cellar for the entire season.
#7 Tulsa Roughnecks (1098) v #4 Swope Park Rangers (1114)
#14 Los Angeles Galaxy II (1062) v #4 Swope Park Rangers (1114)
#3 Reno 1868 FC (1117) v #11 Phoenix Rising (1092)
#12 Vancouver Whitecaps 2 (1088) v #13 Seattle Sounders 2 (1087)
#6 Orange County SC (1101) v #15 Portland Timbers 2 (1035)
#7 Tulsa Roughnecks (1098) v #1 Real Monarchs SLC (1164)
#10 Colorado Springs Switchbacks (1092) v #9 Rio Grande Valley Toros (1095)
#5 Sacramento Republic (1109) v #2 San Antonio FC (1150)
#3 Reno 1868 FC (1117) v #14 Los Angeles Galaxy II (1062)
Bye Week: #8 Oklahoma City Energy (1096)
In a week of many upsets, the table showed some signs of weakness at the top of the table as San Antonio saw their undefeated run fall flat and the Real Monarchs ended their undefeated streak as the Drogba led Phoenix team saw a draw.
In the middle of the table, there was plenty of movement as Sacramento netted nine goals in two games, and Orange County returned to action as they saw their team jump out to a large lead before ended in a close draw against an ever dangerous Seattle Sounders USL squad.
With Sacramento representing the entire USL West this week in the Lamar Hunt Open Cup play, who will stand out as summer shifts into full swing?