Wednesday, July 21

No Doubts for Perfect Portland

With the final weekend of the Premier Development League season on the horizon, one thing is certain. The Portland Timbers will remain atop the SNA Power Rankings as they already finished the season with a perfect 16-0-0 record.

With plenty of action having transpired since the last update of the rankings, there has been plenty of movement in the Top 25 although four of the top five stayed at the top. Mississippi, the only other unbeaten in the league, moved up to the second spot from fourth on the strength of four victories, including a 4-3 thriller against Baton Rouge, who were previously third. It remains the only loss for the Capitals, who are now fifth.

Previously second, Kitsap remained in the top four with a 0-0 draw with Victoria and a narrow 1-0 loss to Portland. The Pumas’ only two defeats were at the hands of the Timbers U-23s.

Moving into the top five was Forest City London, with played to draws with Michigan (0-0) and Chicago (1-1) and defeated Dayton, 2-1. Previously eighth, the Canadian side now sits in the number three position.

In the Southwest, Hollywood flew up from 25 to final spot in the Top 10 and defending league champion Ventura County went from unranked to number nine. Both climbed the ladder quickly courtesy of Orange County, which was previously fifth. Hollywood posted a 3-1 win and a scoreless draw while Ventura County, which also sits first in the division now, defeated the Blue Star twice, 2-1 and 2-0.

Also making a significant climb is 2008 champion Thunder Bay, which defeated Des Moines, 3-1, and posted a win (2-0) and a draw (1-1) against Real Colorado. At 11-1-2, the Chill jumped from number 20 to sixth.

SNA PDL Power Rankings

1 – Portland Timbers (16-0-0): Road wins at Tacoma, Victoria and Kitsap.

2 – Mississippi Brilla (9-0-3): Defeated Baton Rouge 4-3.

3 – Forest City London (9-1-5): Draws against Michigan & Chicago, win over Dayton.

4 – Kitsap Pumas (10-2-2): Scoreless draw against Victoria, 0-1 loss to Portland.

5 – Baton Rouge Capitals (9-1-3): Two wins and narrow 3-4 loss to Mississippi.

6 – Thunder Bay Chill (11-1-2): Win over Des Moines, win and draw against Real Colorado.

7 – Reading United AC (9-1-4): Draws on the road against Ironbound and Ocean City.

8 – Ottawa Fury (10-2-3): Win over MPS Portland, draw at Long Island, loss at Brooklyn.

9 – Ventura County Fusion (10-4-1): Two wins over Orange County.

10 – Hollywood United Hitmen (9-3-3): Win and draw against Orange County.

The Rest of the Best: 11 Michigan Bucks; 12 Dayton Dutch Lions; 13 Long Island Rough Riders; 14 Victoria Highlanders; 15 Real Colorado Foxes; 16 Chicago Fire; 17 Rochester Thunder; 18 MPS Portland Phoenix; 19 Ironbound Express; 20 Laredo Heat; 21 Tacoma Tide; 22 West Texas United Sockers; 23 Atlanta Blackhawks; 24 Central Florida Kraze; 25 Orange County Blue Star.

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Flash on Top as Playoffs Loom

The regular season came to a close with some movement in the SNA W-League Power Rankings. Although the Buffalo Flash remained in the top spot, Hudson Valley and Ottawa were benefactors of unbeaten Vancouver’s fourth draw of the year.

Buffalo closed out their unbeaten 10-0-2 campaign with a pair of dominating performances (11-0, 8-0) against the Cleveland Internationals, a club that has had an off year.

Vancouver, meanwhile, tied playoff contender Seattle 1-1 at home to finish 6-0-4, well ahead of the rest of their conference. While the draw only cost the Whitecaps a couple spots in the rankings, it doomed Seattle to the offseason as it allowed the defending two-time league champion Pali Blues to claim the second playoff berth on tiebreakers as three teams finished with 12 points in one of the most unusual finishing tables I have seen.

Pali finished 3-4-3 with all of the other clubs finishing within five points with two wins on the year. The division was tight top-to-bottom as the worst goals allowed average per game was 1.6. Pali defeated another contender Colorado Rush, 3-0, to essentially qualify for the postseason, showing the form that made them champions the past two seasons and thus putting them into the final spot of the rankings despite their record.

The Whitecaps’ draw against the Sounders was not only good news for Pali. The Hudson Valley Quickstrike Lady Blues moved into the second spot in the rankings as they captured the regular season league title on points percentage following wins versus North Jersey and at Long Island. Ottawa also moved up a spot with a 1-1 draw against playoff-bound Laval and a victory over Quebec City.

The remainder of the list remained relatively unchanged with the exception of the Rush’s drop off the Top 10 with their loss and the switch between Charlotte and Atlanta as the Silverbacks moved back in front following their season-ending victory over Charlotte to claim the division title.

Playoff clubs not in the list include the Laval Comets and New Jersey Wildcats, who could both move into the list with upsets in the postseason.

SNA W-League Power Rankings

1 – Buffalo Flash (10-0-2): Two wins over Cleveland 19-0 on aggregate.

2 – Hudson Valley QLB (11-1-0): Win versus North Jersey 2-0 and 1-0 win at Long Island.

3 – Ottawa Fury (8-1-3): Tied Laval 1-1 and beat Quebec City 4-0.

4 – Vancouver Whitecaps (6-0-4): Tied Seattle 1-1.

5 – Washington Freedom Futures (10-1-1): Won 4-1 at Northern Virginia

6 – Chicago Red Eleven (8-2-2): Idle.

7 – Toronto Lady Lynx (7-2-3): Won 4-0 against Hamilton.

8 – Atlanta Silverbacks (7-2-1): Won 2-1 against Charlotte.

9 – Charlotte Lady Eagles (5-3-2): Lost 1-2 to Atlanta, but finished with fewest GA.

10 – Pali Blues (3-4-3): Victory 4-0 over Colorado Rush.

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