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League One Power Rankings - Week 21

By NICHOLAS MURRAY -, 08/24/21, 3:45PM EDT


Red Wolves claim top spot, but the fates don’t seem to be on Madison’s side right now

Looking back, there were two important storylines coming out of this past weekend in USL League One.

First, congratulations, Chattanooga Red Wolves SC. Picked up that big W and get to sit in first place in the standings still having potential to grow. In terms of setting the postseason narrative when you potentially square off with Union Omaha again, you’ve helped out a lot with your win.

Second, *stares at positions 3 through 9 in the standings*


This is weird, right? Can you think of a league anywhere where this deep into a season you’ve got seven teams on the same point total? How does this happen?

We have, of course, gone into a few of the whys already; most importantly, teams keep ending in stalemate. But now, they’re not happy to pick up a point in normal, relatively stress-free ways. No, now we’ve entered the “Late Drama” portion of the season, where the playoff race makes all kinds of inexplicable things happen.

Take Forward Madison FC, for example. Until the last seven days when at home, the Flamingos had been good, and especially good when holding a lead. They’d only had one team come back to take points off them at Breese Stevens Field, in fact. Now after Week 20, it’s happened twice in as many games, and what could – and probably should – have been a solid third place position for the Flamingos has them still sat in ninth place. Fate can be cruel, most of the time.

The ups and downs are only going to grow from here. So, keep your wits about you, you’ll never know when the next twist is going to arrive.

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

Biggest Movers






1 Chattanooga Red Wolves SC
Week 21: @ TOR
Last Week: 2
The Red Wolves’ victory not only moved them ahead of Omaha – which does still have a game in hand, mind – but also equaled the League One record for consecutive games without defeat at 12.
2 Union Omaha
Week 21: v. NTX
Last Week: 1
There just wasn’t quite enough danger from Omaha in Chattanooga, something it will need to sort out as it hosts a North Texas side that is making its move right now.
3 New England Revolution II
Week 21: --

Last Week: 3
It’s a logjam from third to nine now, but the Revolution II are undefeated in four and have more games remaining than most to sit in a positive spot for now.
4 North Texas SC
Week 21: @ OMA

Last Week: 4
North Texas got bitten by the late goal bug in midweek in Chattanooga, then hit back with a late goal of its own against Madison. The 2019 title-winners are in the same spot as New England with 11 games to go.
5 Toronto FC II
Week 21: v. CHA

Last Week: 5
You couldn’t have asked for a better time for Kobe Franklin’s first professional goal to earn a draw in Madison, which helped keep Toronto above the line for now.
6 Richmond Kickers
Week 21: v. NC
Last Week: 7
No matter the issues Greenville’s having, Richmond going and getting a victory on the road there on Sunday was a really good boost for the Kickers’ playoff chances.
7 Forward Madison FC
Week 21: @ NC
Last Week: 6
Madison was headed for third place in the standings in both of last week’s games, only to be stung by a pair of late equalizers. The Flamingos must move past that quickly and find a win on Wednesday in North Carolina.
8 South Georgia Tormenta FC
Week 21: v. FTL
Last Week: 9
Tormenta is still right there, but with only eight games to go they can’t afford too many more draws down the final stretch.
9 FC Tucson
Week 21: v. GVL
Last Week: 12
Tucson produced the performance of the week in Fort Lauderdale, more of that and they might still have something to say in the playoff race over the next few weeks.
10 Fort Lauderdale CF
Week 21: @ TRM
Last Week: 8
Fort Lauderdale isn’t out of the playoff picture by any means, but that loss to Tucson is going to leave a serious mark.
11 North Carolina FC
Week 21: v. MAD, @ RIC
Last Week: 10
North Carolina got the weekend off ahead of a two-game week where it hosts Madison and visits Richmond. If there was a time for this team to become a serious spoiler, this is it.
12 Greenville Triumph SC
Week 21: @ TUC
Last Week: 11
Greenville didn’t play poorly against Richmond, but that’s still three losses in a row and seven games without a win overall. Can this squad break out of its funk in Tucson?

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