Chicago Fire FC II claimed its first-ever MLS NEXT Pro victory on Sunday, scoring two unanswered second-half goals to defeat FC Cincinnati 2 at SeatGeek Stadium. Columbus Crew 2 extended its winning run to six matches after defeating NYCFC II 1-0 on Sunday afternoon, while Earthquakes II led all MLS NEXT Pro sides by scoring seven goals in a 7-1 romp over Colorado Rapids 2 to close the weekend’s action.
Here’s your MLS NEXT Pro week eight recap by the numbers.
Columbus Crew 2 continued its push for the top spot in the MLS NEXT Pro standings, defeating NYCFC II 1-0 on the road this past Sunday for its sixth-consecutive victory.
Jacen Russell-Rowe scored the winning goal for Crew2, giving him five tallies in five consecutive matches. Despite a second-half red card to Philip Quinton, Laurent Courtois’ side held NYCFC II to three shots on goal and ultimately zero goals.
Earthquakes II entered Sunday’s Western Conference showdown against Colorado Rapids 2 with only seven goals scored through six matches, but Alex Covelo’s side doubled their season tally in just 90 minutes at PayPal Park.
Maximilian Arfsten led the way in a 7-1 win by scoring two goals, while four other Quakes II players also contributed with their own scores. Quakes II led 4-1 at halftime but didn’t take their foot off the gas in the second half, scoring three additional times to earn their most significant victory in 2022.
With two wins out of two matches in May, Quakes II will now prepare to keep their winning run going against Sporting KC II and St Louis CITY2 later this month.
RNY FC didn’t let Wednesday’s U.S. Open Cup elimination hurt them from picking up a second-consecutive league win on Saturday. They scored four goals in 47 minutes to defeat Inter Miami II 4-1 at Monroe Community College.
Edward Williams and Pedro Dolabella opened the scoring in the first half before Jacob Akanyirige, and Jesus Batiz added to the host’s lead after the interval. It was the most goals that Bruno Baltazar’s side has scored in a single match this inaugural season, taking their season tally up to nine.
Five MLS NEXT Pro sides were able to earn clean sheets this round, with three coming at home and two on the road.
North Texas SC and Tacoma Defiance were the only Western Conference teams to pick up shutout wins, while Philadelphia Union II, New England Revolution II and Columbus Crew 2 did so in the Eastern Conference. Both Crew 2 and North Texas SC are in the top five in MLS NEXT Pro for the fewest goals conceded this season.
For only the second weekend of the 2022 MLS NEXT Pro season, only one match went to a shootout.
MNUFC2 edged Houston Dynamo 2 5-4 in a shootout on Saturday, with goalkeeper Fred Emmings playing the hero with a save in round four. Emmings delivered a Man of the Match performance, finishing with eight saves, including a critical stop on Paulo Lima in the shootout.
The 18-year-old now has contributed 17 saves this season for Minnesota United 2.
Sporting KC II fought back to claim three points in MLS NEXT Pro action for the second-straight week.
Benny Feilhaber's side fought back from a 1-0 deficit at Timbers2, using late goals from Julian Vazquez and Mataeo Bunbury to win 2-1 at Hillsboro Stadium. Despite being down to 10-men for the match's final minutes, SKC II stole all three points, with the 17-year-old Bunbury scoring his third goal in his past two appearances.
SKC II is now up to eighth place in the Western Conference.
New England Revolution II picked up three points on the road for the first time this season, defeating TFC II 1-0 at BMO Field on Saturday. Marcos Dias celebrated his second start of the season by scoring his first goal for Revs II, which was all that was needed for Clint Peay's side in Canada.
Revs II sits in fifth place in the entire MLS NEXT Pro standings with 15 points.
Houston Dynamo 2 remained top of the MLS NEXT Pro standings after earning one point in a 5-4 shootout at MNUFC2.
Dynamo Dos has captured 19 points from eight matches this season, losing only once in regulation and posting a 4-0-0 record on home soil. With 16 goals scored and a +8 goal differential, Dynamo Dos will be a formidable opponent for anyone in MLS NEXT Pro to knock off this season.