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USL Western Conference Strength of Schedule Points Projections - Week 22

The battle for 8th place heats up as the season winds down

Orange County SC
San Antonio FC / Darren Abate

You can find last week’s projections here, and an explanation on our methodology here. Projections are as of August 20th, 2017 (last week’s projected position is in parentheses).

Very little changed over the past week in the USL West, but one important thing to note is that gaps have continued to grow throughout the Conference. The top four teams continue to pull away from the pack, almost on pace to finish two full games ahead of the remainder of the league with less than ten games to play.

The middle of the table has a battle heating up as well, as the current 8th place Orange County is only five points clear of the 12th place Seattle Sounders 2. With this close of a gap, and with teams that have all proved to be capable of hot streaks and cold streaks, the battle for the final spots in the West may once again come down to the last games of the year.

Projected Standings:

1 (Last Week – 1) Real Monarchs SLC (72.9)

2 (2) San Antonio FC (63.6)

3 (3) Swope Park Rangers (59.0)

4 (4) Reno 1868 FC (57.7)

5 (5) Tulsa Roughnecks (52.4)

6 (6) Sacramento Republic (50.4)

7 (7) Phoenix Rising (48.1)

8 (9) Orange County SC (43.0)

9 (10) Oklahoma City Energy (42.2)

10 (8) Colorado Springs Switchbacks (41.8)

11 (11) Rio Grande Valley Toros (38.2)

12 (12) Seattle Sounders 2 (37.9)

13 (13) Los Angeles Galaxy II (33.5)

14 (14) Vancouver Whitecaps 2 (28.5)

15 (15) Portland Timbers 2 (12.9)

Hardest average opponent finish to season (West teams only):

Orange County SC (1.513 points gained/game)

Oklahoma City Energy (1.494 points gained/game)

Rio Grande Valley Toros (1.490 points gained/game)

Easiest average opponent finish to season (West teams only):

Tulsa Roughnecks (1.189 points gained/game)

Phoenix Rising (1.252 points gained/game)

San Antonio FC (1.314 points gained/game)

Thoughts

The Western Conference has two distinct battles raging late in the season. Much attention has shifted to the final spots in the division, as it appears that five teams will be fighting it out down the stretch. For all their effort, only one of them will earn a trip to face powerhouse Salt Lake City in the first round.

Meanwhile near the top of the table, a recent scoring slump from San Antonio and a hot streak from Reno has created a three way battle with the two aforementioned sides and Swope Park to see who will take the second seed. The victor will be guaranteed a second home game if they get out of the first round.

Who do you think will be left out in the cold come playoffs? Who will take that second seed? Let us now in the comments!