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USL eCup Power Rankings – Pre-Tournament

By NICHOLAS MURRAY - nicholas.murray@uslsoccer.com, 03/29/20, 10:45AM EDT

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You’ll be familiar with some of the names lining up this week, but how do we think they might stack up?

If there’s one thing every single tournament requires, it’s a set of Power Rankings that are filed by someone with tremendous knowledge of the sport and the participants. Enter: myself!

For those of you who don’t know, I have dedicated much of life to studying Rocket League. I am a guru of sorts.

I have a master’s degree in Rocket League Theory and my knowledge of the game is only superseded by my grasp of quantum mechanics.

Now, with these impeccable credentials in hand, follow me, as I guide you into the first edition of the USL eCup: Rocket League Edition Power Rankings!

For more insightful Rocket League analysis, you can follow me on Twitter (@NJEMurray) or in the live game streams on Twitch (@NJEMurray_).

Austin Bold FC Birmingham Legion FC Charleston Battery Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC El Paso Locomotive FC Forward Madison FC Greenville Triumph SC Hartford Athletic
Indy Eleven Las Vegas Lights FC Loudoun United FC Louisville City FC Memphis 901 FC New York Red Bulls II North Carolina FC North Texas SC
OKC Energy FC Philadelphia Union II Phoenix Rising FC Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC Reno 1868 FC Rio Grande Valley FC Richmond Kickers Saint Louis FC
San Antonio FC San Diego Loyal SC Tacoma Defiance South Georgia Tormenta FC Toronto FC II FC Tucson FC Tulsa Union Omaha

Rank

 

Team

Change

Summary

1 San Diego Loyal SC
Captain: Andrew Vassiliadis
Charity: Feeding San Diego | Group 3
Chairman Andrew Vassiliadis is going to be on the sticks for SD Loyal, and given Rocket League developer Psyonix’s home base in San Diego and Kelsi Steele’s preview endorsement, San Diego enters the tournament as perhaps the greatest favorite to enter any competition… ever
2 Louisville City FC
Captain: Sean Totsch
Group 1
Sean Totsch enters the tournament as the only competitor to have won three Championship Finals. And while that’s not in any way relevant to Rocket League, I appreciate a winner
3 North Texas SC
Captain: Jacob Walraven
Charity: FC Dallas Foundation | Group 5
The Jon Arnold Seal of Approval. Enough said.
4 Las Vegas Lights FC
Captain: DJ Ocho
Charity: Miracle League of Las Vegas | Group 7
Handing the sticks to DJ Ocho – the king of Lights FC’s in-house entertainment – guarantees high-octane action from Las Vegas’ representation. An endorsement from Scott Stewart for the most interesting club in the world helps as well.
5 Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC
Captain: Kenardo Forbes
Charity: AHN COVID-19 Assistance Fund | Group 4
Sources tell me three-time All-Championship selection Kenardo Forbes has been training day and night for this event since being unveiled. It’s that kind of work ethic that should see the Hounds advance deep into the tournament.
6 Tacoma Defiance
Captain: Josh Atencio
Charity: United Way of Pierce County | Group 1
In one of history’s great deadline day coups, Tacoma snatched up 18 year-old Seattle-area native, Josh Atencio. A tidy bit of business that couple reap huge rewards.
7 Austin Bold FC
Captain: Andrew Green
Charity: Central Texas Food Bank | Group 2
With a vibrant millennial base, Austin is a breeding ground for Rocket League talent. Bold FC has done very well to grab super-fan Andrew Green to man the sticks, but the question remains as to whether he’ll be able to withstand the pressure with the eyes of an entire city upon him.
8 Loudoun United FC
Captain: Brandon Williamson
Charity: Tourism & Hospitality Relief Fund | Group 6
Loudoun’s Brandon Williamson spent four years at Duke, a school with dedicated eSports leagues. He might be rusty but expect Loudoun to gain momentum throughout the tournament.
9 Union Omaha
Captain: Jake Mickleson
Charity: Omaha Foundation | Group 6
Los Buhos have already been getting into online gaming in recent weeks with their own in-house FIFA tournament. That should have sharpened Jake Mickleson’s skills as he gets set to represent the club.
10 El Paso Locomotive FC
Captain: Logan Ketterer
Charity: El Paso F&B Workers Fund | Group 4
In Rocket League, like boxing, it’s important to have a good corner man. Goalkeeper Logan Ketterer has one of the best in El Paso’s eSports manager Edwin Moreno.
11 Phoenix Rising FC
Captain: Joey Farrell
Charity: AZ COVID-19 Community Response Fund | Group 3
Defender Joe Farrell has been putting in the work online to get ready for the tournament. Can’t knock the hustle.
12 Indy Eleven
Captain: Jordan Farr
Charity: Agape International Missions | Group 7
He’s been a fan favorite with his pregame pep talks on Twitter, now goalkeeper Jordan Farr picks up the sticks with the battle cry of #VictoryIsOurs.
13 North Carolina FC
Captain: Ryan Jernigan
Charity: NCFC Youth Financial Aid Fund | Group 1
Oak City Supporters club member Ryan Jernigan is going to go at the field like a dog taking on an empty trash can.
14 San Antonio FC
Captain: Josh Richards
Charity: Spurs Give | Group 4
During the live draw show, Kelsi Steele made an impassioned case for San Antonio’s chances in the tournament. It had something to do with a conference and didn’t make a lot of sense, but we like her so SAFC lands at 14.
15 Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC
Captain: Dilland Wavra
Charity: Care and Share Food Bank of Southern Colorado | Group 2
However things turn out for Switchbacks’ marketing guru Dilland Wavra, we’re sure he’ll be able to produce some great content out of it.
16 Richmond Kickers
Captain: Nathan Heintschel
Charity: Feed More Richmond | Group 5
Like the Switchbacks, getting your Digital Content Manager to take on your biggest digital moment to date seems like a solid move. Let’s see how Nathan Heintschel gets on.
17 Memphis 901 FC
Group 8
We don't know who Memphis' player is yet, but we're hoping it's Head Coach Tim Mulqueen, who reputedly was the king of the Atlantic City videodrome Pac Man machine in 1980.
18 Hartford Athletic
Captain: Damon Gray
Charity: Foodshare | Group 6
Mad Hat Massive member Damon Gray’s mod skills were on display in Animal Crossing recently (sweet Athletic cap and jersey!). If his Rocket League skills match up, watch out.
19 Greenville Triumph SC
Captain: Chris Ashley
Charity: United Way of Greenville County | Group 7
If your time away from the stadium has you recreating games that would have happened live, then you might be locked in for this tournament, like Triumph SC fan Chris Ashley.
20 FC Tulsa
Captain: John Horlander
Charity: Tulsa Area United Way | Group 8
The club’s new logo has serious crossover potential as an eSports brand. Will the club’s Communications Coordinator John Horlander soar like a scissor-tailed flycatcher in the digital arena?
21 South Georgia Tormenta FC
Captain: Daniel Jackson
Charity: The Ibis Foundation | Group 2
Forward Daniel Jackson was being counted on to bang in goals on the field this season, if he can accomplish that online then Tormenta FC could make a serious run.
22 New York Red Bulls II
Captain: Preston Kilwien
Charity: Wings For Life | Group 5
The Red Bulls II are built around high-energy action in every area of the field. That seems ready made for a game like Rocket League as defender Preston Kilwien takes the sticks for the club.
23 Forward Madison FC
Captain: Brandon Eaton
Charity: Flock Soccer Fund | Group 8
The Flamingos announced their first official eSports player on Friday night, but it’s going to be forward Brandon Eaton on the sticks to represent the club in the USL eCup.
24 Reno 1868 FC
Captain: Kevin Bass
Charity: Food Bank of Northern Nevada | Group 1
Everyone knows that PR people have traditionally struggled in major esports competition. Reno’s Kevin Bass is hoping to buck that trend.
25 Rio Grande Valley FC
Captain: Anarbol Villareal
Charity: RGV Food Bank | Group 4
RGV have given the sticks to Equipment manager Anarbol Villarreal. The scouting report is thin on Villarreal, and it’s believed to be his first major competition. Truth is, we just don’t know what to expect.
26 Saint Louis FC
Captain: Keith Mayfield
Charity: STL Area Food Bank | Group 5
STLFC has brought in a member of the St. Louligans in Keith Mayfield to represent them, so there’s the chance things could get pretty SiLLy. Carnage beckons
27 FC Tucson
Captain: Trent Wieland
Charity: Community Food Bank of Southern AZ | Group 7
No pressure, Trent Wieland, but we’re looking for highlights like Odaine Sinclair’s bicycle kick six years ago in USL League Two from you in the next two weeks.
28 Charleston Battery
Captain: Mauro Cichero
Group 2
Offseason newcomer Mauro Cichero gets the call for the Battery, but he’s going to be in for a serious test in Group 2 as he looks to make a big first impression.
29 Birmingham Legion FC
Captain: Patrick Glenn
Charity: Birmingham Strong Fund | Group 8
There’s no questioning Legion FC Merchandise Manager Patrick Glenn’s design chops, but whether or not he has the online skills to Hammer Down is another question entirely.
30 OKC Energy FC
Captain: Billy Walton
Charity: Energy Assist Foundation | Group 6
Another one who will be looking to break the centuries long tradition of poor performances from PR people in major esports competition. But as one of the tournament’s elder statesmen, Energy FC Director of Marketing and Communications Billy Walton certainly seems fired up to lead the charge for OKC. Could be a dark horse.
31 Toronto FC II
Captain: Kevin Silva
Charity: Second Harvest | Group 3
Goalkeeper Kevin Silva is more used to making big saves than scoring them for TFC II, it’ll be interesting to see how he fares in a group with two of the presumptive favorites.
32 Philadelphia Union II
Captain: Evan Slabicki
Charity: City Team - Chester | Group 3
Senior Sales Executive by day, superstar gamer by night? Evan Slabicki could face an uphill climb. Here’s to hoping he proves us wrong.

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