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League One Power Rankings - Week 12

By NICHOLAS MURRAY -, 06/22/21, 3:00PM EDT


Red Wolves second-half surges are in line with bigger picture for high-flying attack

On the face of it, Chattanooga Red Wolves SC’s ability to pull out results late in games – the latest example coming in its 3-2 victory against North Carolina FC on Sunday night – could be a sign of a side that is getting the bounces to go its way. The club has scored nine of the its 13 goals this season in the second half, including five in the final 10 minutes and stoppage time, gaining or regaining the lead for five wins in seven games to start the season.

If you look at the club’s underlying numbers from American Soccer Analysis, though, you see what might actually be at play here is the Red Wolves’ attacking persistence is being paid off in the manner it should, making this less about good fortune than Chattanooga wearing opposing defenses out and capitalizing late on.

Through seven games, the Red Wolves have recorded 13 goals overall, which lines up almost exactly with the club’s Expected Goals total of 13.07xG. That’s good for second in the league in cumulative Team xG behind Fort Lauderdale CF’s 16.40xG, with FTLCF having played five games more than Chattanooga so far.

Are some individuals overperforming as part of this? Yes, and that’s in some ways to be expected. While Juan Galindrez’s four goals have come out at 2.20xG and Josue Espana’s three tallies at a 0.83xG, their success is the counterweight to the cumulative put in by Blake Frischknecht, who despite having a team-best 2.67xG this season has yet to find the net.

You can still argue there’s some good fortune in consistently being able to come through with key late goals, and that would be fair. The numbers, though, say that the Red Wolves are much more good than lucky.

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 12: v. TUC

Last Week: 1
Omaha let its lead in Richmond slip in unfortunate circumstances on Saturday, but a point on the road is always valuable and the result kept los Buhos undefeated in their last four outings.
2 Chattanooga Red Wolves SC
Week 12: v. GVL
Last Week: 5
The Red Wolves keep coming through late in games – the side has rallied for a league-high seven points from losing positions, tied with North Texas – and has scored nine of 13 goals in the second half.
3 South Georgia Tormenta FC
Week 12: @ TOR
Last Week: 7
Tormenta’s four-game winning streak is now the club’s longest in the professional ranks and is going to put pressure on the teams with games in hand below them to start picking up wins as well.
4 Greenville Triumph
Week 12: v. MAD, @ CHA
Last Week: 2
Triumph SC is still in really good position even after Saturday’s loss at South Georgia, but this is a big week with Madison visiting on Wednesday before a trip to Chattanooga on Saturday.
5 Richmond Kickers
Week 12: @ NC
Last Week: 4
The Kickers are undefeated in three games after Saturday’s draw with Omaha, which has helped keep the side’s head above the playoff line for the time being.
6 North Texas SC
Week 12: @ NE
Last Week: 8
Dropped points at home that include a missed penalty kick and a man-advantage always sting a little bit more, but NTSC is still in reasonably good shape despite that.
7 Forward Madison FC
Week 12: @ GVL
Last Week: 3
Madison has gone from unbeatable to struggling to find a win since the calendar turned to June. Saturday’s home defeat to the New England Revolution II was a major surprise.
8 Toronto FC II
Week 12: v. TRM, @ FTL
Last Week: 10
Did TFC II learn something from its home-and-home series with Tormenta FC? It certainly seems it might after picking up four points against Fort Lauderdale in the past seven days.
9 New England Revolution II
Week 12: v. NTX
Last Week: 11
The Revolution II’s defense found its form again after giving up seven goals in the prior two games to post a third shutout of the season in a remarkable road victory against Forward Madison.
10 Fort Lauderdale CF
Week 12: v. TOR
Last Week: 6
Fort Lauderdale is still above the playoff line for now, but its up-and-down form has left a queue of teams right below it with multiple games in hand. Pressure’s on to go on a run to hold those sides off.
11 FC Tucson
Week 12: @ OMA
Last Week: 9
Holding on for a point in North Texas was admirable, but Tucson is still behind the pace when it comes to chance creation with only 38 key passes on 86 shots in eight games this season.
12 North Carolina FC
Week 12: v. RIC

Last Week: 12
NCFC continues to do positive things, and let them go to waste. It’s going to take an even better run than the one Tormenta is on right now to get the playoffs back within view from here.

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