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League One Power Rankings - Week 11

By NICHOLAS MURRAY -, 06/15/21, 2:15PM EDT


Omaha ascends to top spot after Greenville’s rust shows in North Texas

If there was a knock on the wildly successful inaugural campaign put together by Union Omaha in 2020, it was that the side at times underachieved in front of goal. With 20 tallies in its 16 regular season games, the club’s underlying numbers bore that out, with Los Buhos finishing at a negative margin to its Expected Goals for the season (-2.10, third lowest in the league).

This season, though, things certainly look to have turned around. Greg Hurst’s hat trick on Saturday night against the New England Revolution II – which saw the side record four goals in a game for the first time in its history – continued a trend of overperformance for Los Buhos so far this season.

Omaha currently sits at +2.14 differential between its 12 goals this season and its Expected Goal rate (9.86xG) according to American Soccer Analysis, and Hurst is a key reason why. Now tied for the league-lead with five goals, the Scottish forward is outperforming his individual Expected Goals mark by a similar margin (+2.48), illustrating the difference having a proven attacker can make to a squad.

While there’s always risk of regression, one of the hallmarks of the best forwards in the USL has been their ability to overdeliver. Since the start of the 2017 USL Championship season, current Louisville City FC forward Cameron Lancaster has produced 10 more goals than his Expected Goals numbers would have dictated, and the same goes for the likes of Daniel Rios – now in Major League Soccer with Nashville SC – and two-time Championship MVP Solomon Asante.

Hurst has a chance to position himself as League One’s equivalent to those standouts this season. If he does, it could mean even greater things for Omaha at the end of this campaign.

Here’s how everything else looks right now. As always, feel free to come and yell at me on Twitter (@NJEMurray).

Biggest Movers






1 Union Omaha
Week 11: @ RIC
Last Week: 2
Los Buhos put up the best attacking performance in their history thanks to Greg Hurst’s hat trick against the Revolution II, which carried him into a tie for the lead in the race for the Golden Boot.
2 Greenville Triumph
Week 11: v. NC, @ TRM
Last Week: 1
Even the best teams can get rusty after a couple of weeks off, and North Texas produced some outstanding finishes on Sunday night. Greenville will need to rebound well against North Carolina on Wednesday.
3 Forward Madison FC
Week 11: v. NE

Last Week: 3
The Flamingos seemed to play a perfectly fine game against the Kickers in the Henny Derby, but one shot on target isn’t going to get three points very often.
4 Richmond Kickers
Week 11: v. OMA

Last Week: 4
Going into Madison and getting a point is certainly a credible result. The Kickers are still a bit too hot-and-cold in front of goal, though.
5 Chattanooga Red Wolves SC
Week 11: v. NC
Last Week: 6
There’s a lot to be said for the ability to pull out victories late in games, but the big tests of the Red Wolves’ mettle arrive after Sunday’s contest with North Carolina FC.
6 Fort Lauderdale CF
Week 11: v. TOR, @ TOR
Last Week: 5
The Flamingos were probably feeling reasonably good about the results around them during the week off. Now begins the peculiar run of three consecutive games against Toronto FC II in the Sunshine State.
7 South Georgia Tormenta FC
Week 11: v. GVL
Last Week: 10
Tormenta would get a bit more credit for their three-game winning streak if two of them hadn’t come against a TFC II side that’s understandably lost a bit of zip. A win against Greenville on Saturday would bring a big upward move.
8 North Texas SC
Week 11: v. TUC
Last Week: 11
Granted, it was a week less than Greenville’s time away from the field, but North Texas showed how you rejoin the action in remarkably impressive style. Hope there’s more where that came from.
9 FC Tucson
Week 11: @ NTX
Last Week: 7
Tucson had done the hard part in rallying against the Red Wolves and then let its guard down for the late sucker punch. Home defeats don’t come much harder.
10 Toronto FC II
Week 11: @ FTL, v. FTL
Last Week: 8
The optimism that came with TFC II’s opening win seems a long time ago with the arduous schedule the club has gone through seeming to take a toll. It doesn’t get easier with another two-game week ahead.
11 New England Revolution II
Week 11: @ MAD
Last Week: 9
There’s a lot of promise in what New England is doing in attack, but the better teams in the league are taking too much advantage of the Revolution II’s leaky defense to get results.
12 North Carolina FC
Week 11: @ GVL, @ CHA

Last Week: 12
Back to action this week, all you’ve got to do is visit two of the top three teams in the standings to try and find that first win. Good night, and good luck.

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