UPSL SoCal Power Rankings Update
1. California United FC II
A few weeks back, during the first edition of my power rankings, Cal United finished at the top spot. The club finished with a perfect season: eight matches and 24 points. In those eight matches Cal United scored a total of 53 goals and only allowed one. Its biggest win came in the final week of play when it beat OC Real Force SC 16-0. United’s prowess in front of goal was unlike any other team within Southern California. It averaged a goal every fourteen minutes of play. Currently Cal United is still playing for U.S. Open Cup qualification. The third round match against Cal FC was tied at 2-2 in the 89th minute of play when the power suddenly went out. Due to a city ordinance, the lights were not allowed to be turned back on after 10:30 pm. This stellar match was one of the best matches I've seen within the lower leagues and now will be replayed at a later date.
2. Cal FC
Earning the second spot, Cal FC went undefeated with seven wins and one draw. In its eight matches it would go on to score thirty goals while only allowing six. In Cal's last match of the season, it came up against a determined Sporting San Fernando side unwilling to give away three points. That final match ended 3-3. Cal FC had the opportunity to take out Cal United FC II during the Open Cup qualification battle, but even after going up two goals in the first ten minutes, it could not see out the result before the lights went out.
3. Santa Ana Winds FC
The Winds came in second place in the SoCal South with six wins and two losses. During those eight matches they scored nineteen goals and allowed ten. Their success was not limited to their divisional record; during Open Cup qualification they beat the LA Wolves 4-0, Lionside FC 5-0, and Buena Park FC 3-2. The Winds put up the strongest performance against first place Cal United FC II, losing 1-0 against a team that averaged seven goals per match. The winds also lost earlier in the season to Gremio FC San Diego 3-0.
4. LA Wolves
The Los Angeles side had a very strong UPSL fall season, only losing one match. Having lost to Santa Ana Winds early in Open Cup qualification, the Wolves focused on closing out the season to earn their spot into the UPSL playoffs. Their one loss was via a 5-1 beatdown from Cal FC. Those five goals that were allowed were more than they let in all season. They finished the season with a plus eleven goal differential and look ready to face any competition they may face on their path to the UPSL National Playoffs. Hopefully that path stays away from facing the Winds, a team that has shown they can beat the Wolves time and time again.
5. Orange County FC 2
This Orange County club coach by Paul Caliguiri finished in third place of the SoCal South. OCFC had a hard time finding consistency throughout its fall UPSL season. Its best streak fell towards the end of the season where it had a three game win streak that was then stopped in the final week of play by Cal United FC II. While it finished in third, it had the second best goal differential at plus eleven.
6. Sporting San Fernando
Scoring the second most goals in the division at 21, Sporting San Fernando showed an ability to step up against the stronger competition within the division and put an end to Cal FC's perfect season, drawing 3-3 in the final match of the season. Sporting will need to continue its run of form as it fights for a spot in the UPSL playoffs
7. San Diego Premier Pros FC
My initial pick to win the SoCal South did not pan out. Its play style was impressive, but was unable to beat the top two teams in the division. Those two losses would be the only ones of the season and the Pros would go on to earn points against every other club in the competition, including a 2-2 draw against Orange County FC 2. Being one of the three San Diego clubs, the Premier Pros had the opportunity to play in two separate San Diego derbies. The first was a draw at home against San Diego Zest FC and then a 7-1 beat down of Gremio FC SD.
8. San Diego Zest FC
The Zest finished one point behind its crosstown rivals San Diego Premier Pros FC. After a tough start to the season, San Diego Zest FC went on a five game streak where they earned all 13 of their points. During that stretch it drew away against SD Premier Pros FC and beat Gremio FC San Diego 5-2. The Zest's impressive point streak would come to an end when it lost to Santa Ana Winds FC 3-2 in its final match of the season.
9. Kern County Mustangs FC
After receiving promotion via last season’s UPSL Championship promotion playoffs, the Mustangs went on to finish fourth in the SoCal North Pro Premier. They earned four wins and three losses, while still having a goal differential of plus five. Their only losses came against the top three clubs in the competition. They received a 3-2 loss against Cal FC, a 3-2 loss to LA Wolves, and a 4-3 loss against Sporting San Fernando.
10. Lionside FC
Rounding out the top ten once again is Lionside FC. It managed to maintain a positive goal differential by scoring seventeen goals and allowing sixteen. Since the first edition of the power rankings, Lionside FC managed to play to a close 1-2 loss against LA Wolves FC, then beat Panamerican FC 5-1. It finished fifth in the SoCal North table with ten points.
1. City Legends FC
It was a huge inaugural UPSL season for the City Legends Football Club in which it went undefeated in the SoCal South, earning promotion into the Pro Premier. It scored 25 goals and only allowed eleven. The club was led in the goalscoring by striker Kevin Marello who put in nine goals for the Perris club. The biggest win of the season came during the Battle for the Inland Empire, where it took down then second placed Inland Empire FC 3-2.
2. LA 10 FC
The dominant Los Angeles side went on a tear through the SoCal North division. It scored 44 goals while only allowing eleven. LA 10 finished the season with a record of eight wins, one draw, and one loss. That loss was against Newhall Premier, where LA 10 was forced to forfeit after its home field was vandalized and was unfit for competition. Unfortunately for LA 10 FC, this match still constitutes a loss and pushes them into second place in my power rankings. Hopefully during the offseason LA 10 FC can battle with City Legends FC to see which club is the best in the UPSL SoCal Championship.
3. Newhall Premier
Finishing second in SoCal North with a record of eight wins, one draw, and one loss, it ended the season with victory in the match LA 10 FC was forced to forfeit. The North competition was a bit stronger than its Southern counterparts and with its record and tremendous goal differential of plus twenty, Newhall has proven to be a strong candidate to win the Championship promotion playoff. What helped push this club into third place in the power rankings was its big 5-1 victory of Warriors FC.
4. Warriors FC
The only team to finish with a perfect away record, its two losses came at home via a 3-2 defeat from LA 10 FC and a massive 5-1 defeat at the hands of Newhall Premier. The Warriors are in a great run of form winning their last five matches by three or more goals. This high powered offense scored the second most goals in both Championship divisions with 34 goals.
5. Inland Empire FC
IEFC finished second in the SoCal South division, proving to be one of the most balanced sides within the Championship. It scored 28 goals while only allowing eight. While allowing less than one goal a match, it posted five clean sheets throughout the season and look to be a favorite for promotion via the promotion playoffs.
6. Disciples FC
Finishing third in the SoCal South table, Disciples proved to be one of the toughest sides to play against. They drew both top-of-the-table sides City Legends FC and Inland Empire FC. Their one loss of the season came at home from the SoCal Troop FC, where they lost in a scoreline of 1-0. The Fullerton squad has recently begun a brand refresh, updating its crest to have a more traditional soccer feel. With their great results and new look, the Disciples will be ready to compete for promotion during the playoffs.
7. Anaheim Legacy FC
Another SoCal South club makes its mark onto the power rankings. The Legacy finished the season with a record of six wins, one draw, and three losses. It managed to beat Anaheim FC in the Anaheim derby 1-0 and went on to win its last five matches of the season. This streak helped propel it into the top ten, after its initial slow start to the season.
8. Revolution FC
The Revolution finished fourth in the SoCal North division with a record of six wins, one draw, and three losses. While it scored 24 goals this season, it also allowed 21 which is the worst in the top ten. Revolution matches always had plenty of highlights for its fans with matches like the 5-2 loss against LA 10 FC, 5-3 win over C.D. Independiente, and a 6-2 win over Sporting San Fernando II.
9. SoCal Troop FC
Moving up one spot to number nine is SoCal Troop FC. The Troop closed out the season with strong performances against Fontana International SC and Inland Empire FC, after its loss to City Legends FC. It finished the season with a goal differential of plus eight.
10. Santa Ana Winds FC II
Rounding out the fall 2018 UPSL power rankings is Santa Ana Winds FC II. After being ranked sixth in the previous edition, the Winds went on to lose their final two matches of the season. They would finish in sixth place in the SoCal South table, still earning a goal differential of plus five.
- Steven Ramirez