USL Rankings – 30 Jun 2015

USL Eastern Conference

RochesterRhinos_100E1. Rochester Rhinos (4.81 StP PPG)

6/18/15 StP Rank: 1

USL Standings: 1 | Record: 9-0-5 | PPG: 2.29 (1) | DWWDW

Goal Ratio: 3.60 (1) | TSR: 0.667 (1)

 

The Rhinos continue to dominate the standings and most statistical categories, particularly those involving defense. Rochester is allowing its opponents fewer than six shots per game and fewer than 0.4 goals per game. No other team comes close to putting up these kinds of numbers.

There has been some talk of the improved Rhinos attack in 2015. Although Rochester probably has more legitimate scoring threats than it has in recent years, the Rhinos are only scoring at a rate good enough for 8th in the Eastern Conference.

Up Next This Week: The Rhinos travel to Charleston on Friday.


CharlestonBattery_100E2. Charleston Battery (3.52 StP PPG)

6/18/15 StP Rank: 2

USL Standings: 2 | Record: 7-2-6 | PPG: 1.80 (2) | WDDLW

Goal Ratio: 1.53 (3) | TSR: 0.561 (4)

 

The Battery bounced back from a tough loss at Charlotte by thumping Harrisburg at Blackbaud Stadium last week. Charleston was propelled by a pair of goals from Dane Kelly, bringing his season total to six.

Up Next This Week: Charleston hosts Rochester on Friday. The Battery has been one of the elite clubs in the Eastern Conference this season. The tilt against the Rhinos will demonstrate just how elite Charleston is.


LouisvilleCityFC_100E3. Louisville City FC (3.38 StP PPG)

6/18/15 StP Rank: 3

USL Standings: 4 | Record: 6-3-5 | PPG: 1.64 (3) | DWLLW

Goal Ratio: 1.86 (2) | TSR: 0.605 (2)

Louisville rebounded from consecutive 2-0 defeats by thrashing a solid OKC Energy FC team by a score of 6-2. Matt Fondy notched a hat trick as he and his club made a statement.

The Derby City pros are getting it done on both ends of the pitch, ranking in the top 3 in both goals scored and goals allowed per game.

Up Next This Week: Louisville hosts Richmond on Saturday.


RichmondKickers_100E4. Richmond Kickers (3.11 StP PPG)

6/18/15 StP Rank: 4

USL Standings: 3 | Record: 6-2-8 | PPG: 1.63 (4) | WDDDD

Goal Ratio: 1.47 (4) | TSR: 0.483 (7)

Just beyond the halfway point of the season, the Kickers have managed to achieve draws in half of their matches. This includes a current streak of four consecutive draws. It’s not entirely their doing. Inclement weather has limited their last two games to 45 minutes a piece.

Although Richmond has not allowed a goal in the last 243 minutes of USL competition, the Kickers have failed to score a goal in the last 226 minutes. Established names like Matthew Delicate, Brian Ownby, and George Davis IV need to regain form if Richmond is going to stay in the top third of the Eastern Conference.

Up Next This Week: Richmond travels to Louisville on Saturday.


NewYorkRedBullsII_100E5. New York Red Bulls II (2.66 StP PPG)

6/18/15 StP Rank: 9

USL Standings: 5 | Record: 6-5-4 | PPG: 1.47  (5) | LDWWW

Goal Ratio: 1.09 (6) | TSR: 0.483 (8)

An MLS-2 side is finally making some noise in the Eastern Conference. On the strength of three consecutive wins, all on the road, NYRBII has surged to the fifth spot in the standings and the StP rankings. New York outscored its opponents 7-1 over those three matches. During that run, Konrad Plewa knocked the ball into the net three times, and Chris Tsonis and Derrick Etienne assisted on goals for one another.

Up Next This Week: NYRBII finish out a six-match road trip at Pittsburgh on Saturday.


PittsburghRiverhounds_100E6. Pittsburgh Riverhounds (2.40 StP PPG)

6/18/15 StP Rank: 6

USL Standings: 6 | Record: 5-5-4 | PPG: 1.36 (6) | WDLWL

Goal Ratio: 1.17 (5) | TSR: 0.495 (6)

The Riverhounds still lead the Eastern Conference with 2.00 goals scored per game, but Pittsburgh has only managed three goals in the four matches since the six-goal thriller against Harrisburg.

Up Next This Week: Pittsburgh plays host to New York on Saturday.


HarrisburgCityIslanders_100E7. Harrisburg City Islanders (2.20 StP PPG)

6/18/15 StP Rank: 5

USL Standings: 7 | Record: 4-4-4 | PPG: 1.33 (7) | LDDDL

Goal Ratio: 0.96 (8) | TSR: 0.498 (5)

Up Next This Week: Harrisburg hosts Wilmington on Saturday.


CharlotteIndependence_100E8. Charlotte Independence (2.06 StP PPG)

6/18/15 StP Rank: 8

USL Standings: 8 | Record: 4-4-4 | PPG: 1.33 (7) | DLW – WD

Goal Ratio: 0.93 (9) | TSR: 0.574 (3)

Up Next This Week: Charlotte is at home against Saint Louis on Saturday.


SaintLouisFC_100E9. Saint Louis FC (1.67 StP PPG)

6/18/15 StP Rank: 7

USL Standings: 9 | Record: 3-5-5 | PPG: 1.08 (10) | DDDLL

Goal Ratio: 1.00 (7) | TSR: 0.439 (10)

Up Next This Week: Saint Louis embarks on a two-match road trip with stops at Wilmington on Wednesday and Charlotte on Saturday.


TorontoFCII_100E10. Toronto FC II (1.08 StP PPG)

6/18/15 StP Rank: 10

USL Standings: 10 | Record: 3-5-3 | PPG: 1.09 (9) | WLDDW

Goal Ratio: 0.53 (10) | TSR: 0.385 (12)

Up Next This Week: Nothing on the docket for TFCII this week.


WilmingtonHammerheadsFC_100E11. Wilmington Hammerheads FC (0.63 StP PPG)

6/18/15 StP Rank: 11

USL Standings: 11 | Record: 2-8-5 | PPG: 0.73 (11) | DL – DWL

Goal Ratio: 0.50 (11) | TSR: 0.444 (9)

Up Next This Week: Wilmington hosts Saint Louis on Wednesday before heading to Harrisburg on Saturday.


FCMontreal_100E12. FC Montreal (-0.34 StP PPG)

6/18/15 StP Rank: 12

USL Standings: 12 | Record: 1-10-2 | PPG: 0.39 (12) | DLDLL

Goal Ratio: 0.38 (12) | TSR: 0.407 (11)

Up Next This Week: Montreal is not scheduled to play this week.

USL Western Conference

ColoradoSpringsSwitchbacksFC_100W1. Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC (4.09 StP PPG)

6/18/15 StP Rank: 3

USL Standings: 3 | Record: 9-5-0 | PPG: 1.93 (1) | WWWWW

Goal Ratio: 1.94 (1) | TSR: 0.534 (4)

Colorado Springs strapped on some solid rocket boosters and tore through the month of June with a perfect 5-0-0 record. The Switchbacks have been victorious in six straight matches, dating back to the end of May.

The Switchbacks’ roster is bolstered by tested USL veterans like Luke Vercollone (7G, 7A) and Shintaro Harada as well as talented rookies like Miguel Gonzalez (6G, 4A).

Up Next This Week: Colorado Springs hosts Austin on Friday.


LAGalaxyII_100W2. LA Galaxy II (3.65 StP PPG)

6/18/15 StP Rank: 6

USL Standings: 4 | Record: 9-5-1 | PPG: 1.87 (2) | WLWWW

Goal Ratio: 1.50 (2) | TSR: 0.552 (2)

Los Angeles began the season without a win in its first four matches. Since that time, Los Dos has claimed victories in nine of eleven contests.

It helps to have a prolific goal scorer like Ariel Lassiter (7G) on the roster. It also helps to have a distributor like Raul Mendiola (4G, 8A). Adding Bradford Jamieson IV to the mix, as LA did in the last match against Tulsa, is almost a sure recipe for success.

Up Next This Week: LA welcomes OKC to SoCal on Sunday.


SacramentoRepublicFC_100W3. Sacramento Republic FC (3.59 StP PPG)

6/18/15 StP Rank: 5

USL Standings: 1 | Record: 9-6-2 | PPG: 1.71 (5) | LWWWD

Goal Ratio: 1.47 (3) | TSR: 0.579 (1)

Someone opined on social media that the 2015 version of the Republic is stronger than the 2014 Championship version. StP cannot disagree with that assessment. It is a testament to the strength of the other top teams in the USL West that Sacramento is fighting to remain near the top of the standings.

Included in Sacramento’s current four-match unbeaten streak is a clean sweep against the two USL sides in Oklahoma. Other elite teams have failed at the same task.

Up Next This Week: Sacramento visits Salt Lake City on Wednesday.


SeattleSoundersFC2_100W4. Seattle Sounders FC 2 (3.38 StP PPG)

6/18/15 StP Rank: 4

USL Standings: 2 | Record: 9-5-2 | PPG: 1.81 (3) | LWLWW

Goal Ratio: 1.26 (4) | TSR: 0.489 (7)

StP has given Seattle some grief over its penchant for giving up goals. Perhaps the criticism is unjust. Outside of matches against Sacramento and Tulsa, S2 has conceded multiple goals only once this season. This might be a case of those two teams matching up well against Sounders FC 2.

Up Next This Week: Seattle travels to Vancouver on Saturday.


OKCEnergyFC_100W5. OKC Energy FC (2.95 StP PPG)

6/18/15 StP Rank: 1

USL Standings: 5 | Record: 7-4-3 | PPG: 1.71 (4) | WWWLL

Goal Ratio: 1.10 (5) | TSR: 0.504 (6)

From May 23 to June 13, OKC won five consecutive matches at home. The winning streak came to a resounding halt when Energy FC lost two straight matches on the road at Sacramento and Louisville.

Up Next This Week: OKC stays on the road for matches at Orange County on Wednesday and Los Angeles on Sunday.


OrangeCountyBluesFC_100W6. Orange County Blues FC (2.40 StP PPG)

6/18/15 StP Rank: 2

USL Standings: 6 | Record: 6-6-1 | PPG: 1.46 (6) | DLLLW

Goal Ratio: 0.95 (6) | TSR: 0.546 (3)

Orange County were the darlings of the Western Conference through the first quarter of the season. Then the wheels came off as the Blues managed a meager point in the next five games. Orange County stopped the bleeding with a 3-2 victory over Vancouver last week.

Up Next This Week: Orange County hosts OKC on Wednesday before heading to Arizona on Sunday.


ArizonaUnitedSC_100W7. Arizona United SC (2.01 StP PPG)

6/18/15 StP Rank: 10

USL Standings: 7 | Record: 6-6-1 | PPG: 1.46 (6) | LL LWW

Goal Ratio: 0.67 (9) | TSR: 0.410 (12)

Up Next This Week: Arizona visits Portland on Thursday and returns home to face Orange County on Sunday.


AustinAztex_100W8. Austin Aztex (1.86 StP PPG)

6/18/15 StP Rank: 9

USL Standings: 8 | Record: 5-7-3 | PPG: 1.20 (8) | LWLDD

Goal Ratio: 0.84 (7) | TSR: 0.469 (9)

Up Next This Week: Austin travels to Colorado Springs on Friday.


PortlandTimbers2_100W9. Portland Timbers 2 (1.51 StP PPG)

6/18/15 StP Rank: 8

USL Standings: 8 | Record: 5-8-2 | PPG: 1.13 (9) | LLWLL

Goal Ratio: 0.76 (8) | TSR: 0.460 (10)

Up Next This Week: Portland hosts Arizona on Thursday.


TulsaRoughnecksFC_100W10. Tulsa Roughnecks FC (1.46 StP PPG)

6/18/15 StP Rank: 7

USL Standings: 11 | Record: 4-8-3 | PPG: 1.00 (10) | WLDLL

Goal Ratio: 0.67 (9) | TSR: 0.478 (8)

Up Next This Week: Tulsa is off this week.


VancouverWhitecapsFC2_100W11. Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2 (0.92 StP PPG)

6/18/15 StP Rank: 11

USL Standings: 10 | Record: 4-8-4 | PPG: 1.00 (10) | LLLWL

Goal Ratio: 0.66 (11) | TSR: 0.429 (11)

Up Next This Week: Vancouver hosts Seattle on Saturday.


RealMonarchsSLC_100W12. Real Monarchs SLC (0.17 StP PPG)

6/18/15 StP Rank: 12

USL Standings: 12 | Record: 1-9-5 | PPG: 0.53 (12) | DDLLL

Goal Ratio: 0.56 (12) | TSR: 0.515 (5)

Up Next This Week: Salt Lake City welcomes Sacramento on Wednesday.

Explaining the Rankings

This isn’t the hip, advanced statistical analysis of TSR and PDO (look for that in future posts), but an algorithm has been applied to arrive at the rankings presented here. The four components of the algorithm are:

  • Match Results – Wins, losses, and draws aren’t the only thing, but they are a great place to start.
  • Strength of Opponent – As the cliché goes, you have to beat the best to be the best.
  • Match Location – It is usually more difficult to win on the road, and clubs get credit for that here.
  • Goal Differential – Beating the best is one thing. Beating them into a pulp is even better.

Points per game (PPG), goal ratio, and total shot ratio (TSR) are not included in the algorithm used to calculate the rankings, but they are valuable metrics. StP thought the readers would be interested to view them alongside the rankings.

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