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League One Power Rankings - Week 19

By NICHOLAS MURRAY -, 08/10/21, 3:15PM EDT


Greenville’s monthlong downturn a cause for concern as the pack closes in

If there was one thing you could rely on in USL League One over the past two seasons – and even early in 2021 – it was the solidness of Greenville Triumph SC’s defense.

With back-to-back Golden Glove and Goalkeeper of the Year winner Dallas Jaye behind it – say nothing of a pair of players in the back line of the USL League One All-League Teams – Greenville conceded the fewest goals of any side in each of the league’s first two seasons.

Well, don’t look now but those days are well in the rear-view mirror. Yes, the clean sheets are still there, but the consistency has gone with the side now having conceded 19 goals in 16 games this season. And the notable part? That’s pretty much where the numbers say it should be this season, with Triumph SC having allowed an Expected Goals Against mark of 19.36xGA this campaign. That’s sixth-best in the league – even the suddenly-hot New England Revolution II have kept Joe Rice better protected than Jaye’s back line has this season.

Is it enough to cost Greenville a place in the League One Playoffs? I have my doubts, although the concern has been rising in the past winless month of action. For one, no-one else has been assertive enough yet to take advantage of Greenville’s downturn in form. Second, it’s hard to believe that there isn’t a solution here that Head Coach John Harkes isn’t figuring out right now to right the ship.

But that ship needs to get righted, and fast. Triumph SC has 12 games left in its season, but it can hear the footsteps of Tormenta FC, Toronto FC II and New England now within range to overtake them. Sunday’s game at Fort Lauderdale is starting to feel like a must-win, if only to get things moving back in the right direction.

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 19: @ TUC

Last Week: 1
Omaha got washed out after holding a halftime lead against Madison, but will be hoping for a similar performance when the teams reconvene to do it all again.
2 Chattanooga Red Wolves SC
Week 19: @ NC

Last Week: 2
The Red Wolves get back underway on Tuesday night against North Carolina FC after a week off and have a shot at being in first with a win on the road.
3 New England Revolution II
Week 19: @ RIC

Last Week: 3
The Revolution II have won three of their last four meetings to vault above the playoff line. Now they face a massive game in Richmond on Saturday night.
4 South Georgia Tormenta FC
Week 19: @ MAD
Last Week: 6
Tormenta FC is undefeated in three games after beating Greenville on the road twice in the past two outings. Considering Triumph SC lost only once at home all last season, that’s big.
5 Toronto FC II
Week 19: --
Last Week: 8
The Young Reds got their first “home” win since September 27, 2019 with Friday evening’s result against the Kickers, and are back above the playoff line with a chance to build as a result.
6 North Carolina FC
Week 19: v. CHA, @ NTX
Last Week: 4
NCFC’s momentum came to a screeching halt against the Revolution II on Thursday night. It’ll be a big test of the side’s mettle to challenge Chattanooga at home as it looks to rebound.
7 North Texas SC
Week 19: v. NC
Last Week: 9
North Texas is undefeated in four games after Saturday’s victory against FC Tucson has put back-to-back road performances together as well. The second half of their season just got a whole lot more interesting.
8 Richmond Kickers
Week 19: v. NE
Last Week: 5
The Kickers haven’t had the same result in back-to-back games since a pair of draws on June 12 and 19. Consistently inconsistent would be one way to put things after Friday’s loss in Toronto.
9 Forward Madison FC
Week 19: v. TRM
Last Week: 10
Madison and Chattanooga were tied for the most draws in League One this season, so what happened on Saturday was entirely predictable. The Flamingos have to find a way to soar, soon.
10 Greenville Triumph SC
Week 19: @ FTL
Last Week: 7
Triumph SC has gone more than a month without a win, a thought that at the start of this season would never have entered anyone’s mind as possible.
11 FC Tucson
Week 19: v. OMA
Last Week: 9
Tucson’s three consecutive defeats have moved it six points out of the playoff places with 13 games to go. It’s going to have to start addressing the former, or the latter is going to catch up fast.
12 Fort Lauderdale CF
Week 19: v. GVL

Last Week: 12
Fort Lauderdale hosts Greenville on Sunday evening. If there’s a decisive result, it’s not going to be good for the team on the losing end.

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