Steven Ramirez's UPSL SoCal Rankings - Round 2

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So it’s been a month since the last issue of the SoCal Power Rankings and a lot has changed. I rank these teams with a few topics in mind: results, strength of schedule and goal differential. Just because a team may be in second place, doesn’t mean they are the second best team in my power rankings.

Pro Premier

1.Cal FC: 5-0-0

Goals for: 25 Goals against: 7

Change in rank: -

Cal has continued to dominate each opponent they have faced in the UPSL spring season. Keith Costigan’s men have been one of the few sides to take on an opponent from the other Pro Premier division, recently beating Santa Ana Winds FC in the fourth round of US Open Cup qualification, and still stay undefeated. The bigger challenges within the league will come up at the beginning of May, but I don’t doubt that Cal will be able to put away its opponent with the same ease it has during this season.

2.Newcastle United FC: 5-0-1

Goals for: 14 Goals against: 8

Change in rank: ⇧ 2

The South Pro Premier has been full of surprises, including NUFC sitting on top of the table. During the season Newcastle has managed to put away every rival except for Cuervos FC. What has been most impressive about the club is its strong defense that has only allowed 1.33 goals per game, one of the lowest in all of the Pro Premier. The big rematch against Cuervos FC will be on May 11th, just in time for the next update.

3.Cuervos FC: 4-1-2

Goals for: 23 Goals against: 18

Change in rank: -

The crows are standing strong in second place in the South Pro Premier. They have gone on to beat league leaders Newcastle United FC and average over three goals a game. Cuervos are currently on a two game losing streak, with losses against Santa Ana Winds FC and Gremio FC SD, but enter a softer portion of the season where they should be able to push towards first place in the division.

4.Gremio FC San Diego: 3-0-2

Goals for: 9 Goals against: 9

Change in rank: not listed previously

Another big surprise in the south is the Brazilian inspired club from San Diego, Gremio FC SD. Gremio makes the jump onto the power rankings after not being listed last month. Since the initial 2019 rankings Gremio has gone on to beat Inland Empire FC and Cuervos FC. While they have shown a bit of success through the first half of the season, they must prepare to play each squad again and hope to earn results against clubs they lost to previously.

5.LA Wolves FC: 2-2-2

Goals for: 15 Goals against: 9

Change in rank: ⇩ 3

The Wolves are conditioned to being at the top of the table and fighting for playoffs. And while the latter is still a reality, the results have not swayed in the Wolves favor. The club managed to only grab one point in two matches against Sporting San Fernando and go on face some of the stronger clubs in the division over the next two weeks. The Wolves did manage to put three goals on Cal FC, but still lost the match. If the Wolves want to make the playoffs they will have to turn its form around as soon as possible.

6.LA 10: 2-1-2

Goals for: 9 Goals against: 6

Change in rank: ⇧ 3

The newly promoted Los Angeles squad is making a splash this UPSL spring season. The club recently announced a new co-owner in the Italian legend, Alessandro Del Piero, and have begun developing the brand. Not only has the club been successful off the pitch, but on the pitch the squad has allowed only 1.2 goals per match, the lowest in the SoCal Pro Premier. This is stalwart defense has helped lead the club to big results such as the 1-1 draw against LA Wolves FC and a big 4-0 blowout victory against FC Santa Clarita.

7.Santa Ana Winds FC: 3-1-2

Goals for: 16 Goals against: 11

Change in rank: ⇩ 1

The Winds have been a staple in the SoCal UPSL scene. The club often fights for top of the table, battles in the US Open Cup and is often seen as the poster club for the league. The clubs successes has led to the development of players, some of which have moved on to the next level of play. Enter Jordan Gorman, the dangerous goalscorer who left the Winds to join Milwaukee Torrent in the NPSL professional division. Gorman’s goals could be what is missing from this Santa Ana side, but the club has still manage to hold a positive goal differential. The next step for the Winds is to continue to strive for consistent results throughout the season to put themselves in a position to make the playoffs.

8.FC Santa Clarita: 3-1-3

Goals for: 5 Goals against: 13

Change in rank: ⇧ 2

Currently in second place, this FCSC side has played more matches than any other in the North competition. The club’s three losses came from some of the stronger opposition in the division: LA Wolves FC, Cal FC and LA10, all of whom earned clean sheets against FCSC. If Santa Clarita wants to continue to maintain its current position it needs to find a way to tally in more goals.

9.Sporting San Fernando: 2-1-2

Goals for: 9 Goals against: 12

Change in rank: ⇩ 4

This club has stumbled quite a bit from the previous seasons. They went from being a powerhouse in the North, with a reserve squad, to just a first team with lackluster results. San Fernando’s lack of success is one of the biggest surprises of the spring season, but not all is lost. While the club has a challenging schedule ahead of them, they have shown a capacity to score goals, only being shut out once during the season. The club will need to continue to build upon that goal scoring success, if it wants to propel itself back up the table.

10.City Legends FC: 2-0-4

Goals for: 13 Goals against: 15

Change in rank: ⇩ 2

This newly promoted side has scored in every match that they have played in this season. The club’s biggest win came in the Inland Empire derby, where they dismantled IEFC 3-0. While the club did lose to the divisions top squads such as Newcastle United FC and Cuervos FC, the club managed to tally a few goals and show its fighting spirit. That spirit will need to continue to develop if they wish to make a push for top of the table.

Inland Empire FC was previously listed at 7, but have gone one to lose three out of the four matchups this month, with the strongest portion of the schedule still ahead of them.

Championship

1.Alta California Sol: 8-0-0

Goals for: 27 Goals against: 4

Change in rank: -

1st year club and the easy bet for automatic promotion. Not only has this club ran perfect so far, it is showing dominance in the division, similar to Cal United FC II and Cal FC of the Fall 2018 season. Four of the club’s eight matches have been clean sheets and they have never given up more than one goal in any game. Alta California Sol still has some tough competition remaining, with the likes of USA Soccer Stars FC and Santa Monica United, but I have no doubts that the club will finish with a perfect record. Watch this club as it is building a great brand on and off the pitch.

2.Injen Total Futbol USA: 7-1-0

Goals for: 29 Goals against: 13

Change in rank: ⇧ 5

2019 looks to be the year of expansion squads in the Championship division and leading this charge in the South division is Injen TF USA. The club averages 3.5 goals a match and is heading into its easiest portion of the season. While this new club looks to be heavy favorites for automatic promotion in the South, its inability to shut out opponents could lead to a big loss if the club doesn’t bring its shooting boots to a match. Either way any loss from the remainder of the season would be a major upset that could shift them off the top of the table.

3.MAFO Inland Wolves FC: 6-1-1

Goals for: 36 Goals against: 13

Change in rank: ⇧ 7

Another Wolves franchise in the UPSL at the top of the table? Yes, indeed. The new expansion to the Inland Empire has gone on to put up some big wins by big margins. The Inland Wolves beat top contender Anaheim Legacy FC 6-1, then went on to demolish AC Miracle Hill 7-1. The club averages over five goals a match, the highest in the SoCal UPSL. Similar to Injen TF USA, the Wolves are entering the easiest portion of its schedule.

4.Santa Monica United: 5-1-0

Goals for: 23 Goals against: 4

Change in rank: ⇧ 5

One of the four undefeated sides remaining in the Championship tier, SMU have not only won by big margins, but have earned three clean sheets out of its six matches. In the clubs remaining seven matches SMU faces some of the strongest competition in the North. If the club can stay defensively stout it may find a way to hit the top spot in the table. April 13th against Alta California Sol, will prove to be the biggest matchup for SMU and if the club can earn a result they will have positioned themselves for the automatic promotion slot.

5.USA Soccer Stars FC: 6-1-0

Goals for: 26 Goals against: 11

Change in rank: ⇩ 2

Another one of the undefeated squads in the Championship division. Even though the Soccer stars have earned a few big results they have shown to have a few leaks in defense and have yet to face one of the top 4 squads. The real test comes in the next few weeks as the Soccer Stars face off against Santa Monica United, Red Sharks FC and Alta California Sol. Its uphill the rest of the way, but the high scoring Soccer Stars can make a run into first place if they perform well enough.

6.California Rush SC: 6-0-2

Goals for: 19 Goals against: 13

Change in rank: not listed previously

One of the biggest national brands within the UPSL, the Rush have gone on a march up the SoCal South table. The clubs only two losses came at the hands of top ranked sides: MAFO Inland Wolves and Injen TF USA. The Rush have only been shut out once and have gone on to score as much as five goals in a single match. The next two matches will prove to be another challenge, but if the club can get past Disciples FC and Anaheim Legacy FC, they will be sitting in a good spot to battle through the promotion playoffs.

7.Warriors FC: 4-0-2

Goals for: 19 Goals against: 17

Change in rank: not listed previously

The Warriors were so close to promotion last season and after a few early season roadblocks, against two of the strongest clubs in the division, the club is back on track to earn what they didn’t last season. Out of the clubs 17 goals allowed, 12 came from those first two losses. Since then the Warriors have gone on to produce great results including a 6-0 victory over Lobos FC.

8.Red Sharks FC: 4-1-1

Goals for: 16 Goals against: 11

Change in rank: ⇩ 4

This rebranded club has gone on to earn a few strong results this season, including a 4-0 victory over Valley Lions FC. Currently the Red Sharks look to be swimming in the middle of the table, which looks like an appropriate spot for the club. With half of the season left, the club still has to face the likes of Alta California Sol and USA Soccer Stars FC.

9.Anaheim Legacy FC: 5-2-1

Goals for: 33 Goals against: 18

Change in rank: ⇩ 7

Anaheim Legacy FC started out as one of the hottest clubs in the championship. From the start of the season this club was all about scoring goals. They have the third highest goal tally in the Championship division, this season and average over four goals per match. Anaheim started the season with five straight wins, but since than the club has been unable to find that winning form once more. Anaheim now has an uphill battle as they go on to face three of the toughest squads in the division.

10.Disciples FC: 5-1-2

Goals for: 29 Goals against: 14

Change in rank: ⇩2

Rounding off the top ten is Disciples FC, a well balanced side and my original pick to with the South Championship. The club’s biggest margin of victory was a 9-0 beatdown of Fontana International SC. In the club’s five remaining matches they face off against a few squads at a similar skill level. The Disciples will need to continue to bring that goal scoring prowess as well as sure up the defense against the other high scoring clubs like Anaheim Legacy FC.

SoCal Troop was previously listed at 5, but have been unable to earn a result on any of the top teams. Also no longer listed is Lionside FC, who have been on a match hiatus as they played through the Cal South State Cup. The club recently lost to SoCal Premier League side Caligators FC and will now focus on the UPSL and makeup its matches from throughout the season.

- Steven Ramirez