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League One Power Rankings – Week 29

By NICHOLAS MURRAY -, 10/19/21, 4:00PM EDT


Greenville’s surge continues, building momentum for title defense in postseason

This year’s League One title defense for Greenville Triumph SC has been a complicated one.

There was the fast start where everything looked as it was last year, then the eight-game winless streak where it seemed Triumph SC might fall out of the playoff positions completely as nothing quite seemed to go right.

Over the past month-plus, though, things have swung back the way of Head Coach John Harkes and his side and with a three-game winning streak and seven game undefeated run they’re not just on course to advance to the postseason for a third consecutive season but might be in the right place to defend the crown as well.

There’s certainly this idea about momentum, where if you’re playing well at the end of the season it should carry over into the playoffs. We saw it in League One two years ago when North Texas SC won six of its last seven regular season games and then found its way to the silverware on home turf.

It’s also happened in the USL Championship. In 2018, Louisville City FC won its final six games of the regular season and then rolled to the title with another four victories in the postseason. Two years ago, Real Monarchs SLC went 6-1-1 in its final eight games and used that platform to drive to a title.

Is it set in stone? Certainly not, because as much as a team can get swept up in the feeling a winning streak can give you it only takes on bad game – or one great game by an opponent – to burst that bubble.

But if Greenville takes victory at home against Chattanooga Red Wolves SC on Saturday night to move into second place in the standings with a game to go having also taken victory on the road recently against Union Omaha, would you go against Triumph SC as the favorite going into the playoffs?

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

Biggest Movers






1 Greenville Triumph SC
Week 29: vs. CHA

Last Week: 1
Triumph SC has won three in a row and is undefeated in seven games overall. Now it gets the chance to grab second place at home to Chattanooga Red Wolves SC on Saturday night at Legacy Early College.
2 Richmond Kickers
Week 29: @ OMA

Last Week: 2
Five consecutive victories have the Kickers within one win of tying the longest winning streak in League One history as Emiliano Terzaghi establishes himself as the best goalscorer at the club since Matt Delicate.
3 Union Omaha
Week 29: vs. MAD; vs. RIC

Last Week: 3
Omaha responded impressively to its setback last week and is now within reach of clinching first place in the regular season as the Red Wolves falter down the stretch. Victory on Wednesday would see los Buhos home.
4 Toronto FC II
Week 29: vs. FTL
Last Week: 5
The Young Reds have won three in a row after their victory on the road against Chattanooga. With two home games to go, they could make things very interesting indeed in the battle for the last two places.
5 FC Tucson
Week 29: @ MAD
Last Week: 7
Last Wednesday’s loss was a major missed opportunity, but Tucson rebounded and is still in control of its playoff path. Saturday’s visit to Madison is a must-win, though.
6 New England Revolution II
Week 29: @ NTX

Last Week: 6
The Revolution II are still in control of their fate, and with Joe Rice between the sticks they can head to face North Texas with confidence that one goal might be enough to get the result they need.
7 North Texas SC
Week 29: vs. NE
Last Week: 8
The visitors pulled out the win they needed in Fort Lauderdale to recover from that gut-punch loss to Richmond the prior weekend. If North Texas can beat the Revolution II on Saturday, it’s in control going to the final day.
8 Chattanooga Red Wolves SC
Week 29: @ GVL
Last Week: 4
The Red Wolves have now lost three of their last four and are in danger of slipping out of the top two as they head to face Greenville Triumph SC on Saturday. It’s gut-check time.
9 South Georgia Tormenta FC
Week 29: @ NC

Last Week: 9
Elimination was officially confirmed for Tormenta this weekend, and they’ll wrap up the season on Saturday against fellow non-playoff side North Carolina FC.
10 North Carolina FC
Week 29: @ TRM
Last Week: 12
It may have come with a man-advantage for more than an hour, and been followed by a quick return to earth on Saturday night, but NCFC made a valuable contribution to the overall playoff race with its win against FC Tucson last Wednesday night.
11 Fort Lauderdale CF
Week 29: @ TOR
Last Week: 10
Fort Lauderdale had the chances but couldn’t find the net against North Texas on Sunday night, much to the chagrin of the teams battling the Texas club for a playoff spot.
12 Forward Madison FC
Week 29: @ OMA; vs. TUC
Last Week: 11
The Flamingos scored multiple goals for the first time in a game since August 18 and still came away with a defeat in Richmond. When it’s not your year, it’s not your year.

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