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Friday, April 27, 2012
Updated: May 22, 10:39 PM ET
ECNL U18 Power Rankings

By Sheldon Shealer & Chris Ackels

There is one change in this week's ESPNHS ECNL Under-18 Power Rankings as FC Stars of Massachusetts takes over the No. 4 spot. A dominant weekend puts Stars of Mass above the idle Mustang, who drops to No. 5.

Two other top 10 teams were in action last weekend and both held their ground. No. 1 Dallas Texans took care of business against Dallas Sting, and No. 6 Arsenal came out with a win and a tie, enough to tread water in our rankings.

But this coming weekend will be an active one, as six of our top 10 teams take the pitch.

No. 1 Dallas Texans faces Challenge SC as they continue their push for an undefeated season. No. 9 Albertson Fury looks to find its groove again this weekend against Freestate Alliance after a two-game losing streak. No. 10 D'Feeters is out to defend the top spot in Flight B this weekend as it takes on FC Dallas.

The most intriguing matchup this weekend comes on Saturday when No. 3 SC Del Sol takes on No. 6 Arsenal. Both teams have impressive resumes and electric goal scorers and they are both fighting for first place in their respective conferences. This matchup will have major implications not only on the ESPNHS power rankings, but on the overall ECNL playoff picture.

Finally, No. 4 FC Stars of Mass will try to defend their new ranking against a touch Scorpions squad who has something to prove this weekend. The first time these teams met they tied 1-1 back in December, and both teams have a lot to gain in the Northeast Conference standings.

Throughout the rest of the season, ESPNHS will offer a weekly glance at the top ten teams in each age group. These rankings, indicative of the results of a team rather than a prediction of future outcomes, offer a sampling of some of the top talent in the game.

2011-12 Elite Clubs National League Power Rankings: Under-18
Dallas Texans

Last Week: 1
Dallas Texans remained undefeated this week by beating Dallas Sting 2-0 on goals from Lindsey Meyer and Kelsey Shimmick. They continue their quest for perfection this weekend.
Next Match: April 29 vs. Challenge SC
Michigan Hawks

Last Week: 2
This offensive powerhouse has completed their regular season schedule, and now waits to see what seed the Hawks will land in June's ECNL playoffs.
Next Match: Playoffs, TBA
SC del Sol

Last Week: 3
SC del Sol faces a big test this weekend when they take on No. 6 Arsenal. It's a game that could have major implications on playoff seeding and power rankings.
Next Match: April 28 vs. Arsenal FC
Stars of Mass
Last Week: 5
Stars of Mass won two games last weekend by a combined score of 9-1. Their resume includes wins over No. 6 Arsenal and No. 9 Albertson Fury, as well as other strong wins.
Next Match: April 28 vs. Scorpions SC
Mustang SC
Last Week: 4
Mustang drops back to No. 5 this week, as it simply doesn't have the same strong resume as Stars of Mass. But Mustang is 9-0-2 against Northwest Conference opponents.
Next Match: May 5 at Washington Premier
Arsenal FC

Last Week: 6
Arsenal holds the No. 6 spot with a win and a tie this weekend. The team's only two losses this year have been to No. 4 FC Stars of Mass and No. 5 Mustang.
Next Match: April 28 vs. SC del Sol
Colorado Rush

Last Week: 7
Colorado Rush sits just behind Real Colorado for first place in the Mountain West, despite beating them once this year. The early June match could change that.
Next Match: June 3 vs. Real Colorado
Eclipse Select

Last Week: 8
A big win over No. 2 Michigan Hawks highlights their season and next months' match with Carmel United provides a chance to move into second place in the Midwest.
Next Match: May 11 vs. Carmel United
Albertson SC

Last Week: 9
After losing their last two games, Albertson Fury has slipped out of the ECNL playoff picture. The team will need to pick it back up to earn a top eight spot.
Next Match: April 28 vs. Freestate Alliance

Last Week: 10
You can't blame them for two losses to Dallas Texans, and this Flight B team has held their own against Flight A opponents. More Texas Conference games fill up the May schedule.
Next Match: April 29 vs. FC Dallas