June 6, 2007

USL First Division Power Rankings

I'll fill in for El Güero on these this week, since he has been driven to staying away from the park these days.

1- Vancouver (+1): They've moved into first place on overall points, and got a point out of a visit to Montreal. The defending champs are still the team to beat. They travel to California tomorrow and host Minnesota over the weekend. They should be able to get six points out of that, although I still think Minnesota is better than their record.

2- Montreal (-1): The draw at home to Minnesota on Tuesday punishes the Impact a bit. They host Portland this weekend in what could be a good match.

3- Rochester (+1): Solid road trip, bringing four points home from Miami and Puerto Rico. Their six game home stand will say a whole lot about this team, starting this weekend against a tired Portland team. The Rhinos will be tired themselves, traveling back from Carolina.

4- Portland (+1): They've been mainly at home for their first six games, but face a tough back-to-back in Montreal and Rochester this weekend. The Timbers should be happy with any points they can bring home from that.

5- Carolina (-2): They host Rochester on Friday, in a match that will say a lot about how the rest of the Railhawks season will go. Rochester has a 2 game weekend (plus travel) while Carolina can just focus on the Rhinos. I'm still not sold on this team, I don't think they have the overall talent to break into the upper echelon of the league, but I have to give them a ton of credit for the results that they've been getting.

6- Charleston (+1): The Battery picked up a big three points on the road in Minnesota this weekend, which almost made me put them above Carolina. They host Seattle tomorrow night, let's revisit things then.

7- Miami (+3): Great job rebounding from a tough loss at home against Rochester to winning late against Atlanta. From the sounds of the Atlanta USL Live PBP guys, it was a pretty tough trip, complete with delayed flights, lost luggage, the whole nine yards. Guys like Zinho and Sean Fraser make this a tough team to deal with.

8- Seattle (-2): Pretty much everything from slots 4-8 is up for grabs. Seattle has been off, so we'll see how they deal with a Thursday/Saturday trip to Charleston/Atlanta.

9- Puerto Rico (-): They were able to get a point at home against a tired Rochester team, but needed more. They can move up after their Thursday/Saturday doubleheader in Miami.

10- Atlanta (-2): El Güero covered a lot of it here. I think there are too many people being played out of position, too little variety in the style of play, the team is too predictable, and there's too much talent on the roster to be in this position. They get Seattle on the back end of a Southern road trip on Saturday, let's see if they can take advantage.

11- Minnesota (-): I don't get it, I think they have some talent there, but just can't get results.

12- California (-): I do get it here, they're just not very good.

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