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SBI USSF Division 2 Power Rankings: Week 7



The Austin Aztex refuse to lose. Austin is the hottest thing in the USSF D-2 League, dealing Miami FC its first loss of the season last night, running away as 3-1 winners, maintaining a six-game unbeaten streak.

Puerto Rico Islanders were also back in action last night after a lengthy break, losing 2-1 at home to the Carolina Railhawks. A late Daniel Palidini winner saved Gregory Richardson's blushes after the forward missed a penalty earlier in the match.

A Portland slump has allowed Vancouver and Montreal to displace the Timbers in the chase for the top spot.

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


1. Austin Aztex (5-1-2)


Last Match– Won 3-1 at Miami FC on Wednesday.

Next Match– at Crystal Palace Baltimore on Saturday, May 29.

Outlook: Austin continued to march through the league without losing, drawing against Tampa Bay last weekend before handing Miami FC a maiden defeat last night. Eddie Johnson and Jamie Watson are finding their scoring groove, and Austin's 17 goals is best in the league.


2. Montreal Impact (3-1-2)

Montreal_impact logo

Last Match– Won 1-0 at Portland Timbers on Wednesday, May 19.

Next Match– vs. Carolina on Sunday, May 30.

Outlook: The Nutrilite Canadian Championship is winding down, a good sign for Montreal. Montreal's league form has lifted of late, and with the distraction of a cup competition a thing of the past, this is a menacing team to watch — provided that they can score.


3. Vancouver Whitecaps (3-1-3)


Last Match– Tied 0-0 vs. Montreal Impact on Saturday.

Next Match– vs. Rochester on Saturday, May 22.

Outlook: The Whitecaps appear to be the real deal when they can score. Defensively, allowing two goals in seven games is an astounding figure. Once the attack starts to gel — if it ever does — Vancouver will remain at the top of the heap.


4. Portland Timbers (3-3-2)


Last Match– Lost at Crystal Palace Baltimore on Saturday, May 22.

Next Match– vs. Carolina on Sunday, June 6.

Outlook: Portland gets a break from league play for a friendly with Boca Juniors on Saturday night — big news for a second-division team. It will give Gavin Wilkinson a chance to regroup and rethink how he can change things around to stop this slide. Portland didn't win a game in May (0-3-1) after starting the season undefeated.


5. Rochester Rhinos (3-3-2)

Rhinos New Logo

Last Match– Lost 2-0 at Vancouver Whitecaps on Saturday.

Next Match– vs. Vancouver Whitecaps on Saturday, May 29.

Outlook: Is there cause for alarm in New York? The re-tooled offense hasn't scored in two games, and the defensive-minded Whitecaps come in for a visit. Revenge will be on the docket after the Whitecaps handed Rochester a 2-0 defeat last weekend.


6. FC Tampa Bay Rowdies (3-1-3)

Last Match– Won 3-0 at A.C. St. Louis on Saturday.

Next Match– vs. NSC Minnesota on Thursday, May 27.

Outlook: The Rowdies proved their status as the cream of the expansion group with a convincing win over St. Louis last weekend. They should be able to cope with Jeremy Christie's World Cup absence, but he'll be sorely missed over this busy three-day period.


7. Carolina Railhawks (2-2-2)


Last Match– Won 2-1 at Puerto Rico Islanders on Wednesday.

Next Match– at Montreal on Sunday, May 30.

Outlook: Carolina's win in Puerto Rico couldn't have come at a better time. The club was reeling a bit after a few disappointing results. It was also the first win for Carolina since the very first game of the season on April 10, a nice boost.


8. Puerto Rico Islanders (2-2)


Last Match– Lost 2-1 vs. Carolina on Wednesday.

Next Match– at FC Tampa Bay Rowdies on Saturday, May 29.

Outlook: After a lengthy layoff, Puerto Rico dropped its first game in D-2 play since the beginning of May. A combination of rust and a bad performance dictated the outcome, though Bill Gaudette's penalty stop almost allowed the Islanders to escape with a point.


9. Crystal Palace Baltimore (3-4-1)


Last Match– Won 2-1 vs. Portland on Saturday, May 22.

Next Match– vs. Austin Aztex on Saturday, May 29.

Outlook: Crystal Palace Baltimore has been grinding out wins, but it's going to take a sustained run to push themselves up the power rankings. A big test against Austin awaits this weekend.


10. Miami FC (1-1-5)

Miami_fc logo 

Last Match– Lost 3-1 vs. Austin Aztex on Wednesday.

Next Match– at Puerto Rico on Wednesday, June 2.

Outlook: Miami finally suffered its first lost last night, as the defense came unglued. Paulo Araujo's goal scoring is a bright spot, and it won't be long before the Blues turn it up a notch.


11. NSC Minnesota Stars (2-6-1)


Last Match– Lost 1-0 at Miami on Saturday.

Next Match– at FC Tampa Bay Rowdies on Thursday, May 27.

Outlook: A heavy stretch of two games in three days — one at home, one on the road — will test the Stars' depth. Injuries have become an issue, not to mention a failure to close out matches in the later stages.


12. A.C. St. Louis (1-6-1)


Last Match– Lost 3-0 vs. FC Tampa Bay Rowdies on Saturday.

Next Match– at NSC Minnesota on Saturday, May 29.

Outlook: As if their performance on the pitch wasn't bad enough, financial problems have cropped up in St. Louis that threatens the club's future. Steve Ralston finally debuted last weekend, though it'll take more than one player to turn this thing around.




    @Aaron I couldn;t agree more with your last sentiment. You lot in St. Lou deserve far better.

    Here’s hopin!

  2. Rowdies killed Minessota in the first half hour last night: 3 early goals, game over. About 4,000 announced attendance. They need to get out of the baseball staidum; 1/4 of the field is UNPLAYABLE! Horrendous! And the fans are so far removed from the action. That being said, professional soccer will thrive in Tampa. The fanbase (quite diverse) is there. Dalglish has them playing the right way, and you can already see a very strong team spirit. I will say it again, at present the Rowdies are better than just about half the MLS teams.

  3. If Puerto Rico Islanders can shake off the rust and get it together you guys are going to take another loss on Saturday night. I wish that I could make the trip down from Baltimore but I can’t. I am expecting a nice turn out by the Puerto Rican community to support the team. I’m not saying that there will be a big group but i expect it to be a very vocal one.

  4. What Crystal Palace is doing is impressive. I like the Baltimore Boys chances of getting the three points tomorrow night.

    Last week’s comeback win of the Portland Timbers was fantastic. I was amped up. All the way home. Great win.

    Hopefully more people get out to see what is going on.

  5. How bout those Rowdies! Hey Miami,think about bringing back the Strikers name. Leading with “Ft. Lauderdale” alienates the Miami market. “Miami” playing in Ft. Lauderdale doesn’t help either. How about just FCStrikers? St Louis soccer fans, if you are as great of fans as you say you are, rally and show up to games and your team will survive. If you give up, you will never get an MLS team. No real soccer fans want this market to fail.

  6. Easy there big fella, the Aztex still need to get their own stadium for ~6K. We have a ways to go befor we can expect 18-24K a home game. Let’s dominate D2 for a few years, build up the fanbase and then take down MLS.

  7. I’m right there with William and Modibo. I think Baltimore and Tampa are underrated. Not sure where I’d put them, but at least one or two higher.

  8. Y’know, I’ve been pretty much of the ‘D2 is good enough for Austin’ mindset. But with Formula 1 looking to come here, including building a massive track and stands, and with Austin being the largest metro area without a major league franchise, I may be starting to come around to the idea.

  9. the Aztex need to be in MLS! we should have our own texas triangle akin to the NBA. Texas and California should have at least 3 teams a piece, and since california already does…and get san antonio a D2 team!

  10. Rumor has it that over 4,000 tickets have been sold for the Rowdies game tonight! I will be there. Payback time v. Minnesota.

    The Rowdies are solid; all we need is a staidum that is not covered in dirt (or at least 1/4 of the field currently is). Hopefully the ownership and the City of Tampa will find a solution w/in the next 2 years.

  11. William, I suspect we (FCtampabay) will have earn our SBI ranking. We want nothing given to us anyway.

    Need to slap around the “Stars” tonight.


  12. c’mon. Tampa Bay has only lost once and you have them behind two teams with three losses each? that is not right.

  13. “Crystal Palace Baltimore has been grinding out wins, but it’s going to take a sustained run to push themselves up the power rankings. A big test against Austin awaits this weekend.”

    I disagree strongly with you, sir!

    C’mon – we’re talking power rankings here, not a marathon. You completely turn around your season on an extended road trip, take down the alleged #4 and #5 team away and then with no surprises left come from behind to take down #4 at home, and the best you get for it is ninth? The whole point of power rankings is to recognize who’s gone on a tear. #7 and #8 are sinking and hovering respectively, and don’t really show any ‘power’ at all.


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