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2017 Western Conference Power Rankings: Week 1

05/08/2017, 2:45pm EDT
By AARON CRANFORD - aaron.cranford@uslsoccer.com

Foothills FC remains No. 1; BYU enters top five

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A wild weekend in the Western Conference saw heavyweights earn impressive victories and also saw one top team fall out of favor in Week 1's Western Conference Power Rankings.

Calgary Foothills FC and the Fresno Fuego retained the top spots in this week's rankings after securing strong wins over the weekend. Foothills FC, reigning Western Conference champion, earned two wins against Northwest Division foes TSS FC Rovers, while Fresno overpowered Burlingame Dragons FC in the PDL Game of the Week on Saturday.

Meanwhile, FC Tucson, ranked third in the preseason edition of the Western Conference Power Rankings, earned one point from two home games over the weekend and have dropped out of the top five.

Western Conference Top 5:

1. Calgary Foothills FC

Previous: No. 1
Week 1 Results: W 4-3 vs. TSS FC Rovers; W 2-0 vs. TSS FC Rovers
2017 PDL Record: 2-0-0
Next Game: at TSS FC Rovers (7 p.m. PT, May 19)
Overview: On Friday, Calgary Foothills FC showed why it will be tough to beat in the Northwest Division. The club overcame a 3-0 deficit, earning a 4-3 win at home. Two days later, the 2016 Western Conference champion took down TSS FC Rovers for a second time. Kyle Jones leads the team with three goals, while 2016 Canada West Men’s Soccer Player of the Year winner Ajeej Sarkaria has scored two goals.


2. Fresno Fuego

Previous: No. 2
Week 1 Results: W 4-0 vs. Burlingame Dragons FC
2017 PDL Record: 1-0-0
Next Game: at Burlingame Dragons FC (4 p.m. PT, May 14)
Overview: Led by a brace from Jose Cuevas, the Fresno Fuego looked strong in the PDL Game of the Week. The 2016 Central Pacific winners had no problems on offense, creating multiple chances throughout the match; Milton Blanco and Diego Casillas added to Cuevas' two early goals. On defense, University of Virginia standout Sergi Nus thwarted many of Burlingame's attacks, as the Fuego cruised to a shutout victory.


3. FC Golden State Force

Previous: No. 5
Week 1 Results: W 4-0 vs. San Francisco City FC; W 6-0 at Orange County SC U23
2017 PDL Record: 2-0-0
Next Game: vs. Southern California Seahorses (7 p.m. PT, May 20)
Overview: The FC Golden State Force dominated the opening weekend of the 2017 PDL season, scoring 10 goals en route to two victories. Leonardo Nogueira led the Force on Friday, scoring two goals against San Francisco City FC. During Sunday's win, Jinho Kim scored two, while Jose Carrera-Garcia and Mark Verso also added to the score line.


4. Sounders FC U23

Previous: No. 4
Week 1 Results: N/A
2017 PDL Record: 0-0-0
Next Game: vs. Portland Timbers U23 (7:30 p.m. PT, May 19)
Overview: The Sounders FC U23 do not kick off their season until May 19, when they play the Portland Timbers U23. As in years past, Head Coach Darren Sawatzky has assembled a strong roster this year. Among the players to keep an eye on are Young Harris College defender Macauley King and Seattle University defender Nathan Aune.


5. BYU Cougars

Previous: No Ranking
Week 1 Results: W 3-0 at FC Tucson; T 1-1 at FC Tucson
2017 PDL Record: 1-0-1
Next Game: At Albuquerque Sol F.C. (7:30 p.m. MT, May 27)
Overview: The surprise of the PDL's opening weekend proved to be the BYU Cougars, who earned four points on the road in the Mountain Division. Forward Blake Frischknecht was a handful for FC Tucson all game long on Friday, finishing the match with two goals. Cameron McLaughlin, who played all 180 minutes in BYU's Week 1 games, provided one goal and one assist in the team's opening victory.


Honorable Mentions:

San Diego Zest FC

Lane United FC

San Francisco City FC


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Tag(s): NEWS  Power Rankings  Western Conference  Mountain  BYU Cougars  Fresno Fuego  San Francisco City FC  Northwest Division  Calgary Foothills FC  Lane United FC  Sounders FC U23  Southwest Division  FC Golden State Force  San Diego Zest FC