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League Two Kickoff Top 25

By USLLeagueTwo.com Staff, 05/02/22, 11:29AM EDT

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Where does your club sit in our first rankings of the season?

Another new season begins

Welcome to our first Top 25 of the USL League Two season. With so many new clubs, and so much player movement, these rankings are sure to change as the year goes on. The defending champions have a new coach and a host of new players, while another club in our Top 10 loaded up on League Two experience. With 113 clubs entering the season, it's difficult to nail down a Top 25. Clubs will enter and leave the list at a frantic pace. But for now, here are your Top 25 teams as we kick off a new year!

Rank

Team

2021

First Game

Summary

1
North Carolina Fusion U23
Record: 11-2-1
1st in South Atlantic
vs North Carolina FC U23
May 11
7:30 p.m. ET
After a one-goal loss to Des Moines Menace in last year’s League Two Final, NC Fusion U-23 came back in a big way. They’ve added 2021 United Soccer Coaches All-America First Team selection Yannick Bright, former All-American Paul Mayer, and are bringing back 2021 League Two All-League selection Joao Gomeiro. We got a sneak peek at their capabilities as they advanced to the Third Round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup earlier this year. They’re here to win.
2
Des Moines Menace
Record: 11-1-0
1st in Heartland
at Minneapolis City SC
May 8
3 p.m. CT
While the Menace have had a lot of turnover – several players from last season have found their way to other clubs, as well as their title-winning head coach – it’s impossible to drop them any farther than this. They gave USL League One champions Union Omaha all they could handle in the Open Cup and will certainly be pushing for a third League Two title. They aren’t without their additions as well – Gabriel Rodriguez was South Georgia Tormenta FC 2’s leading scorer last season, and he’s making the trek up to Iowa to give Des Moines some more attacking power.
3
Capital FC
Record: 9-1-1
1st in Northwest
at Oly Town FC
May 21
7 p.m. PT
The rebranded Portland Timbers U23, Capital FC is returning three All-Western Conference selections in Emory Rapaport, David Brog and Jose Sosa after losing to Des Moines in last year’s National Semifinals. On top of that, they’re bringing in Mamadou Danso, who has MLS experience, and George Tasouris, the WAC Defensive Player of the Year and Cyprian international at the U-19 and U-21 levels. It’ll be hard to get through their rigid defense.
4
One Knoxville SC
N/A vs. Asheville City SC
May 14
7:30 p.m. ET
Our first expansion team on the list did what any expansion team would strive to do – get as many players as possible from the defending champions. 21 of their registered players have League Two experience, including nine from last year’s title winners the Des Moines Menace. Head Coach Mark McKeever has also made the trip from the touch lines in Iowa to lead the new Tennessee club, priming One Knoxville for a competitive run in its inaugural campaign.
5
Western Mass Pioneers
Record: 10-2-2
1st in Northeast
at Boston City FC
May 11
7 p.m. ET
Western Mass Pioneers are simply running it back, as much as that’s possible for them. After losing 3-1 against NC Fusion U-23 in last year’s National Semifinals, Western Mass is bringing back 15 players including Nicholas Oberrauch, who notched three goals and five assists a season ago. They’ve also added Jermaine Fordah, incoming from Loudoun United FC of the USL Championship. He saw the pitch 24 times for the pro club last season, and now brings his talents to Ludlow, Mass.
6
Kalamazoo FC
Record: 9-1-4
1st in Great Lakes
vs Oakland County FC
May 13
7 p.m. ET
Daire O’Riordan and Cyrus Harmon both made the League Two All-League Team last season. Both are back with Kalamazoo this season. They were also Kalamazoo’s two leading scorers, combining for 1.25 goals per 90 minutes played. That offensive punch will keep Kalamazoo competitive as one of the very best teams in League Two.
7
West Chester United SC
Record: 11-1-2
1st in Mid Atlantic
at Leheigh Valley United
May 16
7 p.m. ET
Luca Mellor headlines the returners for West Chester United. After dominating a tough Mid-Atlantic Division last season (11-1-2), they lost on a 12th-minute goal against Western Mass Pioneers in a 1-0 defeat in the Eastern Conference Finals. United returns its rigid defensive core, also bringing back Shane and Conor Bradley. Teams will have to go all-out to score against them.
8
South Georgia Tormenta FC 2
Record: 10-3-1
2nd in South Central
vs. Tennessee SC
May 13
7:30 p.m. PT
Alexis Ledoux and his five goals returning is important for Tormenta 2, but even more so could be the acquisition they made from Mississippi Brilla. Jalen James is headed to Statesboro to add a scoring punch to a team that already scored 33 goals last season. The loss of Gabriel Rodriguez to Des Moines hurts, but they’re still primed to be an excellent team this season.
9
Minneapolis City SC
N/A vs. Des Moines Menace
May 14
3 p.m. CT
The second expansion team in our Top 10, Minneapolis City has been a top club in the amateur ranks prior to joining League Two this season. The Crows had a better record than anyone in their former league, winning 10 straight matches at one point. They’ve already gone up against Des Moines Menace in the Open Cup, losing 4-2 in an absolute thriller of a match. The club will also have strong backing – supporters group The Citizens is expected to pack Edor Nelson Field for their home opener, a rematch against Des Moines.
10
Flint City Bucks
Record: 9-3-2
2nd in Great Lakes
vs. Lansing City Football
May 21
7 p.m. ET
One of the longest-standing pillars in League Two, Flint City reached the postseason for the 10th time in 11 seasons after another impressive showing last season. After starting the year with mixed results, the Bucks found their form as the summer progressed. A loss to Grand Rapids held back what was a riveting bid for the Great Lakes Division title, and a more favorable matchup in the playoffs. Instead, they came up against Des Moines in the Conference Semifinals, and their season ended earlier than expected. A four-time title winner – most recently in 2019 – they’ll expect to go further this campaign.

Rank

Team

2021

First Game

11
South Carolina United Bantams
Record: 11-1-2
1st in South Central
vs Peachtree City MOBA
May 21
7:30 p.m. ET
12
Seacoast United Phantoms
Record: 9-3-2
3rd in Northeast
vs Vermont Green FC
May 22
4 p.m. ET
13
Long Island Rough Riders
Record: 9-1-4
1st in South Central
vs Morris Elite
May 22
7 p.m. ET
14
Vermont Green FC
N/A at Boston City FC
May 15
6 p.m. ET
15
The Villages SC
Record: 8-1-1
1st in Southeast
at Tampa Bay United
May 18
7 p.m. ET
16
Ocean City Nor'easters
Record: 9-2-3
2nd in Mid Atlantic
at Real Central New Jersey
May 21
7:05 p.m. ET
17
Boston Bolts
Record: 10-4-0
2nd in Northeast
at Western Mass Pioneers
May 20
7:30 p.m. ET
18
Mississippi Brilla FC
Record: 8-2-3
1st in Mid South
vs Little Rock Rangers
May 21
7 p.m. CT
19
PDX FC
Record: 7-4-1
2nd in Northwest
at OVF Alliance
May 21
6:30 p.m. PT
20
Ballard FC
N/A vs Lane United FC
May 21
6 p.m. PT
21
West Virginia United
Record: 9-3-2
3rd in South Atlantic
at Wake FC
May 14
7 p.m. ET
22
Lionsbridge FC
Record: 9-3-2
2nd in South Atlantic
at Virginia Beach United
May 14
7 p.m. ET
23
Chicago FC United
Record: 9-1-2
2nd in Heartland
vs Chicago City SC
May 21
6:30 p.m. PT
24
Kings Hammer FC
Record: 8-2-4
3rd in South Atlantic
vs Fort Wayne FC
May 10
7 p.m. ET
25
Park City Red Wolves SC
Record: 5-3-2
1st in Mountain
vs Salt City SC
May 21
7 p.m. MT

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