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USL Power Rankings: A coaching change in El Paso, quality out West & more from Week 11

After 11 weeks of USL Championship action, we're ranking every team in the league.

22 min read
Design: Peyton Gallaher

122 games down, 286 to go. The USL is barreling toward the one-third mark in the season, and another thrilling round of U.S. Open Cup matches awaits for nine clubs. It’s a hectic stretch of the schedule, and this week lived up to the billing.

Between managerial changes, stadium announcements, blowout wins, and upset results, who came out of Week 11 looking stronger? Let’s dig in.

1. Charleston (No change)

Result: 1-0 win at Birmingham

The Battery weren't at their sharpest this week, yet they still edged out Birmingham on an expected goals basis (1.15 to 0.96) and in the final scoreline (1-0). It was a tepid offensive showing for Charleston against a fiery marking scheme on the other side, and consistent stars like Nick Markanich struggled to get involved. The real difference maker? Emilio Ycaza.

Though Ycaza had a modest 45 touches at his central midfield position, it felt like he was the catalyst for all of the Battery's most dangerous moves through the Legion defense. On the winning goal, it was #8's patient movement off the back of Myers that did the trick, allowing him to sneak into a gaping hole in the box to score.

Adam Grinwis was equally influential in goal. The veteran netminder had five saves, and all of them felt crucial. Charleston was somewhat leaky down the stretch against a more vertical Legion approach, but Grinwis' fearless positioning and quick-fire reactions saved an away win.

Not the cleanest outing for the Battery, but you always take three points on the road. This team will enter Week 12 undefeated in all competitions with the Open Cup quarterfinals fast approaching.

2. Louisville (No change)

Result: 2-2 draw at Las Vegas

LouCity plays a high-leverage system by design. They want to stretch the pitch with their wing backs when in possession and counterpress with the utmost aggression. They play with a high defensive line and try to hug tight against opposing attackers. The formula has consistently paid off this season, but a sneaky Las Vegas team proved somewhat troubling away on Saturday night.

In the first half, the Lights baited defenders Sean Totsch and Kyle Adams with zesty attacking movement, often setting up the ability to blast a diagonal over the top. Throw in central defensive uncertainty with the height of the wing backs, and you had a situation where Louisville could be caught out. There were still bright spots; Taylor Davila (six takeaways, 13 recoveries) was a man possessed in the middle.

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