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Reckless Rankings: USL PRO Week 11


This is not an opinion poll. An algorithm is used to determine where each team will be racked and stacked. Certain factors are used to scale the points earned for wins and draws. Results on the road are weighed more heavily than those at home. Strength of schedule is taken into consideration. A lot of emphasis is placed upon the most recent result.

The previous week’s ranking, the position in the USL PRO table, and the strength of schedule are presented for  each team. These numbers are conveniently located just below the team’s rank and accumulated Reckless Rankings points.

Harrisburg_Logo_1001. Harrisburg City Islanders (55.39 points)

Prev Week: 6 | USL PRO Pos: 2 | SoS Ave: 1.442

It would be an understatement to say that the City Islanders had an impressive week. They had a monstrous week, earning six points on the road at Charleston and Charlotte. They took the Eagles behind the woodshed with a 4-0 whipping that included a first-half brace by Aaron Wheeler. It was the perfect way to rebound from last week’s loss at Richmond. When the City Islanders are firing on all cylinders, they are as good as any team in this league.

Week Ahead: at home tonight against Wilmington and at home on Saturday against Colorado Rapids reserves

2. Orlando City (55.10 points)Orlando_Logo_100

Prev Week: | USL PRO Pos: 1| SoS Ave: 1.388

Orlando had a break in their USL PRO schedule. It allowed Harrisburg to make up a lot of ground in the league table and surpass OCSC by the slimmest of margins in this week’s Reckless Rankings. Everyone seems to proclaim that Orlando is heads and shoulders above everyone else in the league, and it’s certainly hard to argue with that. A close look at the stats, though, reveal that HCI are as stingy on defense and nearly as potent on offense as the Lions.

Week Ahead: At home on Friday against Phoenix and at home on Sunday against Antigua

Richmond_Logo_1003. Richmond Kickers (42.52 points)

Prev Week: 3 | USL PRO Pos: 3 | SoS Ave: 1.439

The Kickers turned in a solid defensive performance against the Phoenix FC Wolves. Nate Robinson’s goal was all that Richmond needed to secure the victory and remain undefeated. It’s going to be interesting to see what happens when this team hits the road.

Week Ahead: at home on Saturday against Wilmington

LosAngeles_Logo_1004. Los Angeles Blues (36.50 points)

Prev Week: | USL PRO Pos: 5 | SoS Ave: 1.495

Now that the Blues are more than halfway through their league schedule, we have a pretty good idea about who they are. Los Angeles is very good at home, and solid on the road. The recent road trip included draws at Rochester and Dayton. Not bad for a west coast team playing east of the Mississippi.

Week Ahead: the Blues aren’t scheduled to play in USL PRO this week

Charleston_Logo_1005. Charleston Battery (33.94 points)

Prev Week: | USL PRO Pos: 4 | SoS Ave: 1.484

The Battery suffered a tough 2-1 loss at home against Harrisburg, which was the exact opposite of the result when Charleston made the trip to Pennsylvania earlier in the season. I’m sure that USL PRO followers are wondering when Jose Cuevas is going to start making some noise for the Battery.

Week Ahead: at home tonight against Charlotte and at home on Saturday against Houston Dynamo reserves

TampaBay_Logo_1006. VSI Tampa Bay (25.84 points)

Prev Week: 5 | USL PRO Pos: 6 | SoS Ave: 1.358

Tampa Bay was up 4-1 at home against the Portland Timbers reserves, but couldn’t hold onto the three points. Portland charged back in the second half to level the score and earn a draw. Andriy Budnyy scored two goals before the first 15 minutes of the match had expired. As the season wears on, it appears that VSI Tampa Bay is going to be making a serious bid for a playoff spot in their first year in the league.

Week Ahead: at home on Friday against Antigua and at home on Sunday against Phoenix

Pittsburgh_Logo_1007. Pittsburgh Riverhounds (25.69 points)

Prev Week: 8 | USL PRO Pos: 9 | SoS Ave: 1.448

The Riverhounds are on something of a roll in league play. The team’s success coincides with the individual performances of Jose Angulo, who keeps scoring goals, and Matt Dallman, who keeps assisting on them. It helps that Jhonny Arteaga seems to have found his stride.

Week Ahead: at home on Friday against Toronto FC reserves

Dayton_Logo_1008. Dayton Dutch Lions (24.55 points)

Prev Week: 7 | USL PRO Pos: 7 | SoS Ave: 1.419

Dayton had a chance to climb a spot higher in the league standings against a Los Angeles side that should have been tired from travel and playing two nights prior. Instead, the Dutch Lions seemed to come out flat, and could only manage a 0-0 draw. Still, Dayton is on a four-game unbeaten streak in the league and looks to make the playoffs for the first time in team history.

Week Ahead: at home on Saturday against Columbus Crew reserves

Charlotte_Logo_1009. Charlotte Eagles (19.14 points)

Prev Week: 9 | USL PRO Pos: 8 | SoS Ave: 1.451

The Eagles were flying high for the first seven games of the USL PRO schedule. The recent loss to Harrisburg is now the teams second consecutive defeat, and Charlotte has yielded 4 goals to the opposition in both defeats. What has happened to the defense that was so stout at the onset of the season?

This Week: at Charleston tonight

Wilmington_Logo_10010. Wilmington Hammerheads (18.61 points)

Prev Week: 11 | USL PRO Pos: 10| SoS Ave: 1.507

Wilmington eked out a win at home against the Wolves last week. The Hammerheads are going to have to string together more positive results if they want to avoid being labeled as the best of the worst in USL PRO.

Week Ahead: tonight at Harrisburg and and Saturday at Richmond

Phoenix_Logo_10011. Phoenix FC Wolves (13.96 points)

Prev Week: 10 | USL PRO Pos: 11 | SoS Ave: 1.514

Phoenix dropped two decisions on the road. The team is simply unable to live up to the expectations that may have been generated by some of the successes early in the season. At this point, it’s fair to assess that Phoenix will probably be watching the playoffs rather than competing in them.

Week Ahead: at Orlando on Friday and at Tampa Bay on Sunday

Rochester_Logo_10012. Rochester Rhinos (11.91 points)

Prev Week: 11 | USL PRO Pos: 12 | SoS Ave: 1.607

Well, if the fans in Rochester expected a quick turnaround after the return of Pat Ercoli to the helm, they are disappointed. I don’t know what else to say about this team right now.

Week Ahead: at home on Friday against Montreal Impact reserves

Antigua_Logo_10013. Antigua Barracuda (0.00 points)

Prev Week: 13 | USL PRO Pos: 13| SoS Ave: 1.587

The Barracuda had the week off. Many of the staff at Reckless Challenge are convinced that Antigua is going to get into the win column soon.

Week Ahead: at Tampa Bay on Friday and at Orlando on Sunday

Chad Hollingsworth
Chad has supported USL since its incarnation as USL PRO in 2011. He is dedicated to the growth of soccer in the United States. In addition to writing and podcasting for Reckless Challenge, he started a supporters group for Dayton Dutch Lions FC and obtained a USSF coaching license to help local youth.

3 thoughts on “Reckless Rankings: USL PRO Week 11

  1. OK so the rankings are not an opinion poll, they are based on an algorithm that take into account several factors to rank the teams…Perhaps there should be a factor added into the the algorithm to account for MLS talent propping up a roster and creating results that otherwise would not be available to said team were they not provided the advantage of MLS loaner talent.

    Yes, Harrisburg came away from Charlotte with a decisive 4-0 win. But the 4 goals came from the MLS talent on the roster not your standard USL Pro (DIII) talent. Either your gonna play in the MLS or your not…Oh wait Harrisburg lost their U.S. Open Cup 2nd round match to a PDL team…I guess that didn’t get figured in the algorithm. What’s happening in Harrisburg and several other USL Pro clubs who have the advantage of getting loaner MLS talent is just like the New York Yankees never ending quest to buy world series titles…

    1. This appears to be an analysis of the teams as they are compiled, not as a value study of what players are in MLS or not. The facts are, the players who were sent down are in the exact same boat as the other USL players. Most of the USL players (I would think) were at the combines at some point and available to be chosen by MLS teams. The MLS players playing for USL teams couldn’t make it at their parent clubs and are playing exactly at the level they should be. In many cases, higher level USLPRO players on teams without affiliations could easily be on an MLS roster talent-wise and just haven’t had the breaks go their way.

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