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USL Power Rankings: Landmark match on CBS, contenders stay strong & more from Week 5

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

23 min read
Design: Peyton Gallaher

The biggest story of the USL this week didn’t come on the pitch, but on the television of viewers across the nation on CBS for Saturday’s clash between Louisville City and Indy Eleven. Between a typically enjoyable and insightful call from Mike Watts and Devon Kerr, sideline interviews from former U.S. women’s national teamer Heather Mitts, and enough drone shots of Lynn Family Stadium to make any stadium architect jealous, the match was a showcase for the USL as a media product.

CBS can take the honorary top spot in the power rankings for a job well-done, but that still leaves 24 teams – all of whom were in action this weekend – to sort through. What stood out on the field in Week Five?

“We have this because it’s working”: Inside the USL’s progress ahead of historic CBS debut
Saturday marks the first game on network television in USL history.

1. Louisville (No change)

Result: 5-3 win vs. Indy

Another week, another unchanged lineup, another prodigious offense outing. LouCity is in peak form at the moment, and that starts with Wilson Harris, who one-upped last weekend's brace with a hat trick in the Louisville-Indianapolis Proximity Association Football Contest.

Harris' success was the point of a brilliant tactical spear, one founded upon field-tilting control in Danny Cruz's 3-4-3. It's hard to find new things to say four matches into a dominant season: this team knows when to bunch attackers in the overloads, picks good spots to hold a high line, and is almost flawless when they need to drop in a 5-4-1 block.

Jake Morris was a standout on Saturday, one who's been fine but not all that influential in the grand scheme of LouCity this season. Playing at the left wing back spot, Morris came alive when his side lost possession. His counterpressure behind roving attacker Ray Serrano powering the opening goal and consistently denied Indy clean opportunities to break out.

It’s an interesting dichotomy when comparing Morris on the left to Jansen WIlson on the right. The former succeeds by forcing opponents into bad passes, while the latter is much more active. Wilson led his team with 12 ball recoveries on Saturday and added in four more interceptions. Remarkably, neither was expected to start heading into opening day.

A LIPAFC domination on CBS could've been enough, but this team also went out and added star wingback Aiden McFadden, who broke out with an eighth-goal, three-assist season in 2021, on loan from Atlanta United. The rich keep getting richer.

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