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SBI USSF Division 2 Power Rankings: Week 5



With the top club in the power rankings, the Portland Timbers, getting a weekend off — the rest of the USSF second division had a chance to catch up.

The Rochester Rhinos took advantage of Portland's off week, grabbing a win against A.C. St. Louis, for the club's first win at home in New York. 

On the other end of the table, none of the expansion teams have been able to distance themselves from the bottom, with Minnesota, St. Louis and Tampa Bay all looking the part early on. Between the three brand-new clubs, and fourth newcomer Crystal Palace Baltimore, they've posted a collective record of 4-14-3.

With the top eight clubs qualifying for the postseason, it remains to be seen if any of them will have what it takes to make the playoffs.

Here's a look at this week's USSF Division 2 Power Rankings:


1. Portland Timbers (3-0-1)


Last Match– Beat Vancouver 2-1 on Thursday, April 29.

Next Match– vs. Crystal Palace Baltimore, tonight.

Outlook: Portland got a chance to rest up with a weekend off, which bodes well with a much busier slate of two games in three days this weekend. Fortunately, both matches are at PGE Park and each features an expansion team — with Palace Baltimore up first Thursday night, before A.C. St. Louis visits Saturday evening. Mandjou Keita, on loan to an Indian club over the weekend, could feature for the first time this season in either match.


2. Rochester Rhinos (3-1-2)

Rhinos New Logo

Last Match– Won vs. A.C. St. Louis 2-1 on Saturday.

Next Match– vs. Crystal Palace Baltimore on Wednesday.

Outlook: After last weekend's win, Rochester now boasts the highest point total in the league — thanks in part to having played two games more than Portland and one more than Austin. The strong and steady start has to be encouraging for a club that endured such a massive turnover from last season's roster.


3. Austin Aztex (3-1-1)


Last Match– Tied 2-2 at FC Tampa Bay on Saturday.

Next Match– vs. Crystal Palace Baltimore on Sunday

Outlook: A promising start to 2010 is well underway for Austin, and they were cruelly denied two more points last weekend, conceding a late penalty against a Tampa Bay that denied the Aztex a win and a chance to spoil the Rowdies' home opener. Early indications are that Austin has learned the hard lessons from a tough expansion campaign last season and are poised to be close to the top of the table for most of the season.


4. Vancouver Whitecaps (2-1-2)


Last Match– Tied 0-0 vs. Crystal Palace Baltimore on Saturday.

Next Match– vs. Montreal Impact on Saturday

Outlook: Story of Vancouver's this season so far has been a stout defense accompanied by a rather toothless attack. The problems continued over last weekend as the Whitecaps were held at home by new side Crystal Palace Baltimore. A point against a club that hadn't earned one all season isn't good enough for a club aiming for a deep playoff run as they prepare for the jump to the next level.


5. Puerto Rico Islanders (2-1)


Last Match– Lost 1-0 at Montreal on Saturday, May 1.

Next Match– vs. Carolina on Wednesday, May 26.

Outlook: There are still two weeks until Puerto Rico step on the field again in USSF D-2 play, but the club got to celebrate a championship over the weekend. The Islanders claimed the Caribbean Football Union's Club Championship, finishing atop a group of three other clubs in the tournaments final round. Nicholas Addlery's two goals in three games paced the winners, who now wait a couple more weeks before hosting Carolina.


6. Montreal Impact (2-1-1)

Montreal_impact logo

Last Match– Won 2-1 vs. NSC Minnesota on Saturday.

Next Match– at Vancouver on Saturday

Outlook: Like their Canadian counterparts, goal-scoring has been a problem for Montreal. Four goals in four games isn't overwhelming, and the scoring has been timely enough to put Montreal in decent standing points-wise. A weekend clash at Vancouver will be a big test to see if Roberto Brown can chip in to solve the goal-scoring problems.


7. Carolina Railhawks (1-1-2)


Last Match– Tied at Miami FC 1-1 on Saturday.

Next Match– vs. FC Tampa Bay on Friday

Outlook: Carolina is one of six clubs in the USSF D-2 to have only played four games at this early point in the season. Keeping that in mind, five points from those matches aren't a bad thing. Like many other clubs, a lack of goal-scoring options threatens to derail Carolina's plans of USSF D-2 domination. Etienne Barbara has yet to recapture the form that saw him score a brace in the season opener, but as long as the rigid and compact defense keeps performing, Carolina will be a team to watch out for.


8. Miami FC (0-0-4)

Miami_fc logo 

Last Match– Tied vs. Carolina 1-1 on Saturday.

Next Match– at NSC Minnesota on Saturday

Outlook: The good news for Miami? The club remains undefeated. The bad news? They've now tied four straight games, all at home, and head to the road for the first time this season. Only three goals in four games is a disappointing return, something that needs to be corrected. A trip up north presents a chance to do that with a winnable game for the Blues, who will look to get the better of expansion NSC Minnesota.


9. FC Tampa Bay Rowdies (1-1-2)

Last Match– Tied vs. Austin 2-2 on Saturday.

Next Match– at Carolina Railhawks on Friday

Outlook: A late penalty kick bailed out Tampa Bay in what was an otherwise promising home opener last weekend against Austin Aztex. With a solid crowd on hand, Tampa Bay showed signs of improvement, but remain — like the other clubs — an expansion team very much a work in progress. Jeremy Christie's departure for the World Cup with New Zealand will be a morale booster, but simultaneously leave a hole in the lineup.


10. NSC Minnesota Stars (2-5)


Last Match– Lost 2-1 at Montreal on Saturday.

Next Match– vs. Miami on Saturday

Outlook: A season that started in an ideal fashion has quickly made a turn for the worse. Up 1-0 late against Montreal, a second road win was there for the taking — but for a Rocco Placentino quick-hit brace in the game's dying minutes, Minnesota would have come away from Saputo Stadium with all three points. Instead, it's a third consecutive loss, a trend that can be reversed against Miami FC this coming weekend.


11. A.C. St. Louis (1-5)


Last Match– Lost 2-1 at Rochester on Saturday.

Next Match– at Portland on Saturday

Outlook: Another game, another loss for St. Louis. The win against Crystal Palace Baltimore was nice, but after losing five of their first six matches this season, there isn't much to be optimistic about. Add to that the three goals scored versus 10 indicated this will be a long season. Steve Ralston nears his St. Louis debut, though with another match played on turf this weekend, it might be another week of waiting for the former Revolution star.


12. Crystal Palace Baltimore (0-3-1)


Last Match– Tied 0-0 at Vancouver on Saturday.

Next Match– at Portland tonight.

Outlook: The first point of the season came on the road, and it couldn't have come at a better time for Crystal Palace Baltimore. A massive week of travel awaits — first the Portland game on Thursday, because a trip down to Austin to play the Aztex on Sunday, before finishing up the stretch in New York with a third match in seven days against Rochester.


  1. Hope we get a good marksman in the crowd to take de Jong out. After what he did to Stu Holden in the Netherlands “friendly”, I wouldn’t weep at a deJong funeral.

  2. Tonight should be able to determine if Baltimore is progressing. The Timbers are a tought team and PGE is one of the most exciting places to play in the division. If the Baltimore boys can manage even a point tonight, that would be fantastic considering how the team has started the season after moving up.

  3. Is Ives’ website messed up? There’s a mess of comments in this thread about things that have nothing to do with the USSF D2.

  4. They got into soccer pretty quickly thankfully. Explained why Seattle gave the money back to season ticket holders, talked about the world cup bid.

  5. For some reason I click the link to see the full article on Davies this morning, but it only opens a blank page (with the SBI template but no article). Am I the only one having this problem?

  6. My daily World Cup musing:

    “Best players on the field at all times formation”

    Forwards: Altidore, Dempsey*

    Midfielders: Holden, Bradley, Clark, Donovan*

    Defenders: Cherundolo, Edu**, Boca***, Spector

    GK: Timmy

    *Donovan and Dempsey tactically interchanging as the need arises.

    **Make Edu a CB. He has ball skills. That is an asset. Gooch has none.

    ***If you want presence, and Gooch is game ready, swap him for Boca. I don’t rate Boca but he scores tons of goals – how can you leave him out.

    No Gooch, he hasn’t played soccer in months!

    No Demeritt, he hasn’t seen a decent game in months (albeit he is a great shot blocker).

  7. “there isn’t much to be optimistic about” – Luckily this is a Div. II expansion team, so I think there is still plenty to be happy about at all.

    If it turns into not getting an MLS team in a few years, the novelty will likely wear off (assuming we still suck 3 years from now). Why Garber is set on moving to NYC again makes no sense to me. Need to put some butts in seats in your current one. When you’re not selling out RB games, something tells me Cosmos or whoever will have issues as well.

    StL in MLS would be great for Chicago and KC as well as us. Road trips would be awesome and easy.


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