With 19 goals apiece, Colorado Rapids 2’s Rémi Cabral, Orlando City B’s Jack Lynn and NYCFC II’s MD Myers won the 2023 MLS NEXT Pro Golden Boot following a thrilling Decision Day on Sunday that saw Cabral score a hat trick in the second half of his match to pull even with Lynn and Myers.
Lynn and Myers entered the final day of the regular season tied for the lead (18 goals) in the race for the scoring title, followed by Cabral and Atlanta United 2’s Nick Firmino with 16 goals each. With all Eastern Conference matches kicking off at 2:00 p.m. ET, Lynn and Myers each scored a goal and seemed to pull away with their share of the Golden Boot before the Western Conference matches began at 5:00 p.m. ET.
However, Cabral would not be denied, scoring three times in a 22-minute span in the second half of Colorado’s 4-2 win over MNUFC2 to finish the season with 19 goals and capture a share of the Golden Boot.
Lynn has been a key figure for Orlando City B (13-10-5, 46 points) throughout the 2023 season, leading the charge for the Lions to clinch their first MLS NEXT Pro playoff berth, finishing in the No. 5 seed. Lynn surpassed his scoring mark from the 2022 season, in which he finished third in the Golden Boot standings with 15 goals.
Myers likewise has been a talisman for NYCFC II (12-12-4, 41 points) at the front, buoying the Northeast Division outfit that narrowly missed out on a playoff berth. In his first season in MLS NEXT Pro, the Rutgers University alum was Co-Player of the Month in August after a stretch of six goals in three games, including a hat trick against Inter Miami II, and also holds five assists.
Like his Golden Boot-winning counterparts, Cabral has been vital for the Colorado Rapids 2 offense in 2023, propelling the Rapids to clinch the Frontier Division title, No. 1 seed in the Western Conference and No. 1 overall seed with the League’s best record (19-4-5, 66 points). Cabral’s goal scoring prowess proved invaluable for Rapids 2, enabling a stark turnaround from the 2022 season’s record of 7-11-6 (31 points).
Lynn has scored 34 total goals since the start of the inaugural MLS NEXT Pro season in 2022, making him the League’s all-time leading scorer. Myers and Cabral join him on the list of all-time scorers, tying for fourth in League history with two others.
Lynn and No. 5 (East) Orlando City B will learn this week who their opponent will be for the first round of the upcoming 2023 MLS NEXT Pro Playoffs, as the League’s new playoff format features a “pick-your-opponent" element. As the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference, Cabral and Rapids 2 will receive a first-round bye and automatically advance to the Conference Semifinals. The playoffs will consist of three rounds followed by MLS NEXT Pro Cup, taking place over four consecutive weeks beginning the weekend of September 29. All playoff matches and MLS NEXT Pro Cup (October 22) will be broadcast live on MLS Season Pass on the Apple TV app.
Complete details on the new playoff format and schedule can be found on mlsnextpro.com.