NASL Power Rankings: Week 3 shuffles the deck
Well, there is no denying it. This North American Soccer League season is unpredictable at best and these Power Rankings are subject to change. I mentioned last week that this 2017 NASL season has the potential to be the most interesting in North America and I think that still holds true. The spring and fall seasons are split evenly with a winner getting an automatic playoff bid, but the top four teams will make the playoffs. No team will be out of this race.
Three of last year’s four postseason teams are in this week’s bottom four in the Power Rankings. What is going on?
I use complicated critical analysis to put this list together… maybe. But if you are curious about how all eight teams came into the weekend, you can find last week’s rankings HERE.
No one has been given an official reason why the schedule has featured so many two-legged matchups, but do we really care? These schedule quirks are just a part of 2017’s format and we know these teams will become incredibly familiar with each other.
Getting on with the Power Rankings
1. Jacksonville Armada – 2
Dogs and cats are living together, but you can’t deny Jax their week in the sun. NASL United was bad last year. So bad that they had only one win in their entire spring season. They have doubled that total already while keeping FC Edmonton off the board in two consecutive matches. Congratulations, Jacksonville, on playing well ahead of expectations and earning maximum points when no other team has.
2. Miami FC – 1
They are human after all and they dropped points at home, but South Beach FC remain one to watch. Their opponents were out-shot and out-possessed, but New York still found a way to spoil a nice evening in southern Florida. It’s not like Miami has plummeted from grace, but everyone take note that the sunshine state is leading these Power Rankings for the first time.
3. San Francisco Deltas – 2
Congratulations, Triangles! Your first win was in your second match and in front of the home crowd. It was more like a gathering, but congratulations on leapfrogging in the Power Rankings nonetheless. The San Francisco Treats put up a convincing win on #NCFC which gives them four goals in two games at Kezar Stadium. Norwich City was unaware the contest took place.
4. Puerto Rico FC – 2
Through no real fault of their own, the Carmelos drop two places in this week’s rankings, but they maintain the edge on Indy Eleven because they just can’t be beaten right now. They opened the season with three draws just like Indy. Two of those are to Indy. Both teams had plenty of chances, but neither team seemed fit enough to pull away. The real advantage is having Hector Ramos as a man among boys. The Eleven stare at him like he is covered in glitter.
5. Indy Eleven – 2
There is no reason to panic but the Chubby Checkers need to put the room service down and play some defense. Scoring five in three games makes Indy the best in the league and it will be rewarded later on in the season, but conceding five is also a league-leading stat. Their wounds are self inflicted which sends my Power Rankings algorithm into a frenzy. The bye week will be welcomed by the Eleven, who were already nursing multiple injuries in Week 3.
6. North Carolina FC – No Change
It’s a long trip to make to San Francisco. It’s probably even longer to come home with nothing to show for it. The season opened strong for #NCFC
Canaries when they scored in the 4th minute against Miami. The RailHawks settled for a draw in that one. They opened the scoring again in San Fran, but fell 3-1 to an expansion side in front of the same crowd they used to film this basketball game. Coincidence?
7. New York Cosmos – 1
So… The Cosmos won, but I am not buying what they are selling just yet. It is truly hard to tell if Jax or NYC are the bigger story in these rankings. The ‘Mos were efficient with their opportunities, but they were hardly the better team against Miami who had 14 shots inside the box. A win on the road is worth something and it gets them out of the doghouse, but there is work to do in New York before I can comfortably put them near the top four.
8. FC Edmonton – 1
They are a tough nut to crack under Colin Miller. They always have been. However, this year the Eddies have been beaten at home and away. They have no goals and no points after two matches versus the Jacksonville Armada who just happen to be leading the league?! The bright spot here is that they haven’t got a long way to claw back into the fold. They go on the road to North Carolina next week with both teams desperately needing a win.
These Power Rankings were a lot harder than they were last week, but this season and this league belong to anyone at this point. While Miami are proving themselves, they are not without weaknesses.
Are Jacksonville the real deal or are they just the beneficiaries of some insane scheduling against the leagues worst?
It is safe to say that neither of last year’s championship competitors are in full swing. New York squeaked some goals in and Indy is tattered on defense. What do you think of this week’s rankings?