A thrilling Week 16 of MLS NEXT Pro action can be summed up in one word: goals. And plenty of them, as MLS NEXT Pro reached the 500 goal mark this week. Part of that tally now includes a first-ever professional goal for Inter Miami II midfielder Romeo Beckham and a four-goal haul from NYCFC II forward John Denis. Along with amazing individual performances came incredible team efforts as Tacoma Defiance scored the most goals this week with six, Toronto FC II and Earthquakes II improved to five games unbeaten and seven road teams walked away with all three points.
Here’s your MLS NEXT Pro Week 16 recap by the numbers.
Count ‘em up!
Through 16 weeks of MLS NEXT Pro games, over 500 goals have been scored with countless being memorable and just simply impressive.
Earthquakes II midfielder Eduardo Blancas netted the landmark goal in his two-goal performance against North Texas SC Sunday evening.
With 10 more match weeks left in the regular season along with the playoffs, here’s to the next 500 goals that may be in the cards for the inaugural season of MLS NEXT Pro.
Bend it like Beckham — Romeo Beckham that is.
The Inter Miami II midfielder scored his first MLS NEXT Pro goal with an elusive freekick that curved into the bottom left corner. It marked Inter Miami II’s third score of the night in its 3-1 win over Orlando City B.
Beckham leads the league in assists with seven and now has a goal with hopefully more to come for the 19-year-old.
Did we mention there were an exorbitant amount of goals this weekend? Well, NYCFC II forward John Denis bagged four against the New England Revolution II Sunday evening.
All four goals came in the first half and were the only goals the team scored in the 4-0 triumph.
The 24-year-old now leads the league with 13 goals, moving above forwards Jack Lynn and Jacen Russell-Rowe who both have 11.
Toronto FC II and Earthquakes II are the hottest teams in the league at the moment after remaining unbeaten in five consecutive MLS NEXT Pro matches.
TFC II was pushed to the brink by Eastern Conference leaders Columbus Crew 2, but ultimately came out on top 4-3 in a shootout. The Quakes II looked impressive in its 3-1 road win over North Texas SC as the side continued to make a push to crack the top four in the Western Conference.
Tacoma Defiance avenged its defeat in its last outing on June 26 that halted its nine-game unbeaten run with six goals against Timbers2.
Midfielders Dylan Teves and Ethan Dobbelaere both scored twice with midfielder Marlon Vargas and defender Jeff Hafferty each adding another.
It marked the second time the Defiance netted six goals in a match this season, the first coming June 4 against Earthquakes II, and also was the fifth time the team scored four or more goals in a game.
Away sides dominated the win column this week as seven of the 10 MLS NEXT Pro matches finished with the road team securing all three points.
The only teams that defended home field were Rochester New York FC, Columbus Crew 2 and Houston Dynamo 2.
Seven road teams winning also marks the second time that’s happened this season, tying a league high.