*We’re going to try this again… last time literally half of the teams we put in here didn’t actually end up being in the conference at all, so yeah*
*also we are fully aware that this season officially won’t happen now, but we still want to put this out and support the clubs listed*
Welcome to another set of Power Rankings! This time, we’re looking at another conference near SmallWorld’s home base this summer, so expect to see fairly regular updates on these clubs and their actual positions during the season (well this sentence didn’t age well).
With that said, though, let’s get going with some completely opinionated and likely inaccurate preseason Power Rankings in the NPSL’s Southeast Conference.
There are only two returning clubs to the conference, but a nice new crop of four expansion clubs makes this conference look really intriguing. That gives us six clubs to work with in the Southeast this summer (nope), and here’s how I have them lining up at season’s end (nope).
1) Georgia Revolution FC (McDonough, GA) – The Revs had an off year in 2019, but I think that can be attributed more to unfortunate results and an inability to finish close matches than a lack of quality in the team. It’s hard to look at a system with as much depth and a club with a nice fan base and predict another poor finish from the south Atlanta side. I think they’re a strong pick to represent the conference in the NPSL national playoffs and make a deep run.
2) Inter Nashville FC (Nashville, TN) – Nashville are a very intriguing prospect for me. Recent results would indicate they could struggle this time out, and they weren’t particularly convincing when I watched them in person last summer. That being said, it’s tough to bet against a club in such a prime area for local talent. They’re good with being bilingual on social media and staying connected with the bustling international population in the Music City, and as a result, I think they’ll pull enough hidden talent to challenge for the conference title.
3) Metro Louisville FC (Louisville, KY) – This is a bolder prediction, as no one has seen what Metro has to offer on the pitch yet. Louisville is a good area for soccer, though, and based on their branding and social media alone, it seems like they care enough to build a competitive squad from the onset. They should compete immediately and pose a real challenge in a wide-open conference.
4) North Alabama SC (Huntsville, AL) – Sure, NASC is starting a brand-new men’s side after doing the same with their female team in the WPSL. They’ve never seen action outside of their youth teams, but the system in place in Huntsville is strong from what I can tell. They also should benefit from having gone through the same experience on the women’s side last year. The coaching staff and club leadership will be ready for the competition this summer and will surprise some people, but a national playoff spot this summer might be too lofty an expectation.
5) LSA Athletico Lanier (Gainesville, GA) – The Gainesville outfit have fielded a UPSL team in the past, and I’ve seen some of the good things they have going in their youth system firsthand. All that being said, I can’t exactly vouch for their present talent and likelihood of success as much as I can for their very lofty potential after a few NPSL years under their belt. I’d love to see LSA succeed immediately, though, and I’ll be watching closely this summer.
6) Nashville United (Nashville, TN) – I love the idea of another lower-league club in the city I call home for half the year, and I especially love it in a conference where they can claim a local rivalry. I’m really excited to see if that actually develops in the area. But I really just don’t see the Music City newcomers performing well in their opening act. I think Inter Nashville has already mined a good amount of the quality NPSL-level talent in the area, so NPSL Nashville could struggle in the skill category in their first campaign.
That’s all for this edition of Power Rankings! If you don’t agree with my order of the teams or have your own opinion to add, feel free to do so in the comments of this post or on SmallWorld Social.
As always, support local soccer, unify those around you, and seek out diversity!