Another week is in the books around the USL Championship and with it, an opportunity for another look at how things are looking around the Pacific Division. Let’s get to it:
Good week for...
The expansion team has only played two games this season, and their second one was a big one, as they defeated LA Galaxy II 3-2 in Southern California on Sunday. It’s their first win at USL Championship level, of course, and a good result to boot against a team that can run with just about any team in the division. Jeremy Bokila scored the winner in second-half stoppage time, and Roots look like they will be able to compete in the division just fine this year.
The goal that secured our first win in @USLChampionship history.— Oakland Roots (@oaklandrootssc) May 24, 2021
Make sure to vote for our guy, Jeremy Bokila.#OAKvLA | #OaklandFirstAlways https://t.co/tRbQag5Cv8 pic.twitter.com/r5qQ8Ko3Mp
Position in Pacific Division: 6th place (3 points)
Phoenix Rising FC
The juggernaut did what they do, absolutely crushing Las Vegas Lights FC 5-1 at home on Saturday. Rufat Dadashov had a brace and Santi Moar had a golazo, and Phoenix had a vintage win over a weaker opponent.
Position in Pacific Division: 1st place (9 points)
Orange County SC
Orange County also notched their first win of the season in their second match, defeating Sacramento Republic 1-0 in Irvine on Saturday. Newcomer Chris Wehan broke OCSC’s scoring duck on the season, and former Sac Republic man Thomas Enevoldsen looks like he’s going to be a playmaking forward this season for his current team.
Position in Pacific Division: 5th place (3 points)
Bad week for...
LA Galaxy II
The only team in the division on a double-game week, Los Dos only picked up one point, in Wednesday’s 1-1 draw against Sporting Kansas City II. They followed that up with the 3-2 loss against Oakland Roots. Both games were at home, which I think is what the real concern is here. Galaxy II very much are still a team that will likely compete for a playoff spot this year, but they are racking up a ton of early-season games, most of them at home. The more points they drop, the more they could end up getting crushed if their opponents pick up points in their games in hand.
Position in Pacific Division: 2nd place (8 points)
San Diego Loyal
San Diego’s nightmare start to the season continued Saturday, when they lost 2-1 to Louisville City in Kentucky. Obviously playing one of the top sides in the league is not an easy assignment, but desperation is really creeping up, now that a team that was expected to potentially contend for the division has started the season 0-4-0. Only consolation is that there’s a lot of games to go.
Position in Pacific Division: 7th place (0 points)
Las Vegas Lights
The other winless team in the division, Las Vegas saw a script that is becoming worryingly familiar through three games: Hang tough in the 1st half before crumbling in the 2nd, this time in a 5-1 loss at Phoenix Rising. Cal Jennings had a nice goal but unless things transform when they finally start playing home games, Las Vegas look like they’re going to have a long season results-wise.
Position in Pacific Division: 8th place (0 points)
Compared to San Diego or Las Vegas, Sacramento’s 1-0 loss at Orange County SC is a setback, not an indictment on a terrible season. Considering Republic FC and OCSC are probably the closest analogues to each other in the division, a narrow result is not a huge surprise, and this time, Sac Republic were on the wrong side of it.
Position in Pacific Division: 4th place (6 points)
Off this week
Sure, Phoenix catapulted them, but Sacramento didn’t, so the Defiance maintain a solid 3rd place spot despite having the week off. I have to think they’ll take it.
Position in Pacific Division: 3rd place (7 points)
What do you think? Leave a comment below.