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League One Power Rankings – Week 20

By NICHOLAS MURRAY -, 08/17/21, 2:00PM EDT


Chattanooga, Omaha showdown arrives with first place, playoff momentum at stake

Ever since Union Omaha and Chattanooga Red Wolves SC first squared off earlier this season in a game that gave us numerous narratives – Greg Hurst scoring against his former club for Omaha, Chattanooga pulling off a late equalizer among them – the rematch this Saturday night at CHI Memorial Stadium has been circled.

As it arrives, everything appears to be in place for a contest that could determine the direction of the regular season for two teams that have combined to lose only once apiece all year.

On one hand, you’ve got the Red Wolves, an impressive attacking force that sits second in USL League One with 26 goals and first in Expected Goals at 25.15xG. It has shown an ability to withstand and rebound from challenges thrown in its direction. Chattanooga is never out of a game, it seems, with its 10 points gained from a losing position, the most in League One this season.

On the other, you have the immovable object in los Buhos, a side that has conceded only 11 times this season – seven goals fewer than any other side in League One – and that has only allowed one team to find the net twice in a single game all year. While you can’t sleep on the Red Wolves’ back line, Omaha has been the most difficult side to break down in the league all year.

With Saturday night serving as the final meeting between the top two this season, if a side can come out on top, it might not only tilt things in their favor when it comes to first place at the end of the regular season, but could provide a mental edge should they meet with everything on the line.

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 20: @ CHA

Last Week: 1
Omaha’s defense was rock solid again to earn victory on the road against Tucson, but the attack will want to find a little more spark as it builds to its biggest game of the season so far.
2 Chattanooga Red Wolves SC
Week 20: v. NTX, v. OMA

Last Week: 2
The Red Wolves’ Ricky Ruiz made League One history with his three-assist night against North Carolina. Chattanooga can’t overlook North Texas before Saturday’s showdown, though.
3 New England Revolution II
Week 20: @ TRM

Last Week: 3
There should be a glass half-full attitude for the Revolution II after its remarkable comeback against the Kickers on Saturday night. As points go, that one could be very big.
4 North Texas SC
Week 20: @ CHA, @ MAD
Last Week: 7
Look out above, North Texas is starting to click. Tuesday night’s game in Chattanooga could be almost as intriguing as the main event on Saturday night.
5 Toronto FC II
Week 20: @ MAD

Last Week: 5
Toronto got to stay above the playoff line after this weekend’s results ahead of its next playoff six-pointer against Forward Madison on Wednesday night.
6 Forward Madison FC
Week 20: v. TOR, v. NTX
Last Week: 9
It’s a sign of how tight the League One standings are that if North Texas doesn’t take victory on Tuesday night, Madison could move from ninth to third with a win against TFC II on Wednesday before squaring off with NTSC this weekend.
7 Richmond Kickers
Week 20: @ GVL
Last Week: 8
It’s not just that the Kickers let a two-goal lead slip at home, but it’s the lateness of the Revolution II’s goals. Sunday’s game with Greenville is going to be seriously important for both sides.
8 Fort Lauderdale CF
Week 20: v. TUC
Last Week: 12
Great stuff from Mitchell Curry on Sunday night, FTLCF can keep hanging around the postseason picture with more performances like that in its final 10 games.
9 South Georgia Tormenta FC
Week 20: v. NE
Last Week: 4
Falling to Madison was a double-blow for Tormenta’s playoff hopes, with the crowd of teams with games in hand now having a chance to pounce.
10 North Carolina FC
Week 20: --
Last Week: 6
That short run of success feels longer ago than 16 days, doesn’t it? North Carolina’s defense has to tighten up and give its attack a chance to shine again.
11 Greenville Triumph SC
Week 20: v. RIC
Last Week: 10
After Sunday’s defeat to Fort Lauderdale, there’s no other way to put it than this Sunday’s game with Richmond is a must-win, if only for the sake of the locker room’s confidence.
12 FC Tucson
Week 20: @ FTL
Last Week: 11
Four consecutive defeats and three consecutive games shut out. That’s not pretty, at all.

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