Following the conclusion of week three in the inaugural MLS NEXT Pro season, Houston Dynamo 2 is flying high as the only team to claim three points in three straight weeks, coming off a 3-0 win over SKC II courtesy of a Roberto Avila hat trick.
Week three saw a frontrunner take center stage in the hunt for the golden boot, a seven-goal-thriller in St. Louis, and saw offensive surges with high-scoring matches all over the country.
Here is your MLS NEXT Pro week three recap, by the numbers.
Goals: They keep popping-up everywhere
The ball found the back of the net 30 times in 9 different matches during week three, including a seven-goal thriller in St. Louis between the Tacoma Defiance and CITY2 and a 0-1 victory for Crew 2 over the number ranked team in the MLS NEXT Pro Top Rankings, Philadelphia Union II.
Check out this lovely game-winning goal from Columbus Crew 2 forward Jacen Russel-Rowe.
Three goals, three wins, three clean sheets, three weeks
Houston Dynamo 2 is off to an incredible start to begin their inaugural MLS NEXT Pro campaign. They haven’t conceded once through three weeks, have a +5 goal differential, and nine points, sitting atop the overall MLS NEXT Pro standings. Dynamo Dos are flying.
Heading into week four, Dynamo 2 will be part of a doubleheader against the Portland Timbers organization with their first team. The first team will feature against the Timbers at PNC Stadium, followed by Dynamo Dos against Timbers2.
Hat-trick hero: Three opportunities, three goals
Dynamo Dos winger Roberto Avila was flying high Sunday evening, finding the back of the net three times on the road against SKC II. Avila found his first goal in the 8th minute, followed by another during the first-half stoppage time, and finally from the penalty spot in the 55th minute.
Avila, a 21-year-old winger, joined Dynamo Dos after competing in the USL Championship in 2021 with Austin Bold, where he tallied two goals in 18 matches.
Seven-goal-thriller in St. Louis
Tacoma Defiance and CITY2 went head-to-head in a late thriller that saw five second-half goals scored between the two sides in the highest-scoring MLS NEXT Pro match to date.
Here’s the winner from Max Schneider.
One goal, four total: Ocampo-Chavez stays on top of the golden boot lead.
Tacoma Defiance and Seattle Sounders homegrown product, Alfonso Ocampo-Chavez, scored his fourth season goal in the Defiance’s 4-3 loss to CITY2 Sunday evening. Ocampo-Chavez has been the key to their attack, having eight shots on target across 10 attempts this campaign. Not only does he find the back of the net, but he’s consistently finding his teammates in the final third, too, boasting an 86.5 percent pass completion percentage across the first three weeks of the season.
Dishing out assists like his dad: Romeo Beckham puts on a display against Union II.
In week three, Inter Miami II forward Romeo Beckham dished out three assists in the final 26 minutes of the match to earn his side a draw in a six-goal-thriller at DRV PNK Stadium Friday evening.
Through three matches, Beckham has four assists over 225 minutes, leading all players in MLS NEXT Pro.
Truly, bending it like Beckham.
Second-half strikes: Big-time performances late
20 of the 30 goals scored during week three of the MLS NEXT Pro season came in the second half, with two coming in the 90th minute or later into stoppage time. Of those three, two proved to be equalizing goals to force the game into a shootout after a regulation draw.
The youth keep producing: 17-year-old stunner
TFC II forward Hugo Mbongue netted a four-minute second-half brace to secure all three points for his side in their 3-1 win over NYCFC II Sunday afternoon. Mbongue found the back of the net in the 75th and 79th minute, scoring the two final goals and securing all three points for TFC in their first MLS NEXT Pro victory.