With the second half of the season now upon us, it is key for clubs to build towards a postseason run starting now. With the top three of the East breaking away from the pack, many spots are still up for grabs come October.
Below are the rankings as of July 9th, 2017 (last week’s rankings are in a parentheses).
1 (Last Week- 1). Charleston Battery (1151)
The Battery have scored in each of their 17 matches this year, are unbeaten in their last six bouts, and continue to set the pace for the rest of the conference.
2 (2). Louisville City (1141)
While it was no 4-4 draw like at the start of June, Louisville still walked away from Charleston with a hard-earned point.
3 (3). Charlotte Independence (1138)
A fifth straight win for the North Carolina club, who are making the case that they are the conference’s hottest team. The Independence have outscored opponents 14-3 in their last five matches.
4 (4). Tampa Bay Rowdies (1117)
It was a seven-match winless streak that ended on Thursday, as the Rowdies got a confidence-boosting win over FC Cincinnati. It’s an I-4 Derby match this week, as the Rowdies travel East to Orlando.
5 (5). Bethlehem Steel FC (1114)
One of three clubs to be unbeaten in each of their last five matches, Bethlehem shut out an opponent for the sixth time this season in a win over NYRB II.
6 (5). Rochester Rhinos (1113)
Rochester has remained consistent throughout the season, recording their sixth win on Saturday. A trip north to face Ottawa is on tap for week 17.
T7 (8). FC Cincinnati (1099)
Unbeaten in four of their last five matches, FC Cincinnati found a return to form with a win against Richmond on Sunday. A big River City Derby match against Louisville City looms this Saturday.
T7 (7). Ottawa Fury FC (1099)
With no goals against their Ontario neighbors and their last win coming three weeks ago, Fury are starting to fall behind the rest of the top half. Ottawa remain in the heat of the playoff race, as they sit just below our average rating.
9 (9). Orlando City B (1096)
With an unbeaten streak at three matches, Orlando City B hold steady in ninth. The Baby Lions also last scored multiple goals in a contest all the way back on June 3.
10 (10). Pittsburgh Riverhounds (1085)
Pittsburgh took just one point from a possible six this week, and face a grueling rest of the month, as each of their opponents reside in the top half of our power rankings.
11 (11). Saint Louis FC (1080)
Their goal scoring streak came to an end, but Saint Louis FC were on the wrong side of a 5-1 result against Charlotte. Now, the conference leaders make a trip to Toyota Stadium, as the Missouri club hopes to bring a stop to their recent poor form.
T12 (12). New York Red Bulls II (1078)
Sunday marked the second consecutive 2-0 defeat against Bethlehem this year for the Baby Bulls. NYRBII have scored multiple goals in just one match out of their last five.
T12 (13). Harrisburg City Islanders (1078)
Despite seeing their two-match winning run come to an end at the hands of Rochester last week, Harrisburg still has a chance to move up in our rankings. With a crucial three-match homestand, one that ends against the red-hot Charlotte Independence, the City Islanders will look for a return to good form.
14 (14). Richmond Kickers (1057)
The Kickers’ winless streak is extended to a 12th-straight match after a loss on Sunday at Nippert Stadium. If Richmond struggles against Harrisburg next week, they may slip into our bottom spot.
15 (15). Toronto FC II (1055)
The Baby Reds recorded their first win over Canadian foes, Ottawa, on Saturday night. Toronto FC II have now scored in each of their last five matches, and are unbeaten in three of the matches during that span.
Week Seventeen Matches
Wednesday, July 12th
#12 Harrisburg City Islanders (1078) v #12 New York Red Bulls II (1078)
Thursday, July 13th
#9 Orlando City B (1096) v #4 Tampa Bay Rowdies (1117)
Saturday, July 15th
#7 Ottawa Fury (1099) v #6 Rochester Rhinos (1113)
#12 New York Red Bulls II (1078) v #3 Charlotte Independence (1138)
#5 Bethlehem Steel FC (1114) v #10 Pittsburgh Riverhounds (1085)
#12 Harrisburg City Islanders (1078) v #14 Richmond Kickers (1057)
#2 Louisville City (1141) v #7 FC Cincinnati (1099)
#11 Saint Louis FC (1080) v #1 Charleston Battery (1151)
Bye Week: #15 Toronto FC II (1055)
It’s getting more crowded at the top, as Charlotte’s winning streak has taken the club to within striking distance of second place Louisville City. Both sides still remain relatively close to Charleston, making the race for first all the more exciting. At the other end of rankings, Richmond are in danger of dropping below Toronto FC II. Toronto FC II’s recent good form has seen them making gains in attempts to move out of last place.
With only three clubs changing rankings from last week, are we starting to see teams settle into their places for the rest of the year, or do you think there will be a shake-up during the season’s second stanza?
What are your thoughts on this week’s Power rankings? With the second half of the season about to start, which clubs do you believe will rise above the rest of the conference? Let us know in the comments below!