Tacoma Defiance’s dominance at the top of the MLS NEXT Pro standings continued Saturday as Wade Webber’s side defeated Sporting KC II 1-0 to claim a sixth win from its past seven matches. TFC II’s unbeaten run extended to 10 matches with a 2-1 victory over FC Cincinnati 2 on Sunday while Chicago Fire FC II put five past NYCFC II in a 5-0 home victory to snap a four-match winless run. Inter Miami II and Philadelphia Union II extended their respective unbeaten runs by claiming Eastern Conference wins on Sunday.
Here’s your MLS NEXT Pro week 22 recap by the numbers.
Tacoma Defiance rebounds to earn sixth win out of past seven matches
Tacoma Defiance continued to show why it is top of the MLS NEXT Pro standings by rebounding on Saturday to claim a 1-0 win over Sporting KC II.
Wade Webber’s side used a 78th-minute winner from Hal Uderitz to defeat SKC II, earning a sixth victory from their past seven matches. The victory also featured the Defiance posting a third shutout since the start of July, moving them to a +34 goal differential.
The Defiance have three matches remaining in regular season play, starting with Friday’s trip to Real Monarchs.
Revs II’s Colby Quinones bags 700th Goal of inaugural MLS NEXT Pro season
The goals continued to pile up during Week 22 of the inaugural MLS NEXT Pro season on Sunday with New England Revolution II’s Colby Quinones scoring the 700th combined goal.
Quinones scored in the 87th minute of Revs II’s 5-1 road loss to Philadelphia Union II on Sunday night in Chester, Pennsylvania. It was Quinones’ first goal of his MLS NEXT Pro career, giving Clint Peay a slight positive in what ended up being a disappointing evening for the franchise.
TFC II extends unbeaten run to 10 with victory over FC Cincinnati 2
Toronto FC II’s summer dominance continued Sunday with Gianni Cimini’s squad extending their unbeaten run to 10 matches.
A 2-1 home win over FC Cincinnati 2 moved TFC II five points clear of fifth place NYCFC II for a spot in the Eastern Conference playoffs. Paul Rothrock and Alec Diaz both scored goals at BMO Field, making TFC II the sixth MLS NEXT Pro club to earn 10 victories this season.
TFC II can still catch Columbus Crew 2 for the top spot in the East with five matches remaining.
Jesus Bueno stays hot to extend Union II’s unbeaten run to five
Philadelphia Union II’s unbeaten run extended to five matches on Sunday with Jesus Bueno headlining a dominant attacking performance against New England Revolution II.
Bueno scored twice in a 5-1 victory, giving the midfielder his second multi-goal performance in the past three matches. Nathan Harriel, Quinn Sullivan, and Matt Real also scored goals at Subaru Park, helping Union II stay in the top four in the Eastern Conference.
Bueno’s arrival in Philadelphia last season was expected to give Jim Curtin another midfield option long-term, but instead, he has continued to play a key role with Union II this summer.
NYCFC II’s slide continues with fourth loss in past five matches
NYCFC II’s winless run extended to five matches on Saturday with Chicago Fire FC II claiming a 5-0 win over Matt Pilkington’s side at SeatGeek Stadium.
Josh Penn scored twice in a three-minute span, Victor Bezerra also found the back of the net, and Chris Brady registered a shutout in the dominant result. Fire FC II’s lopsided win not only snapped their four-match winless run, but continued to push NYCFC II away from the playoff picture in the East.
NYCFC II has failed to score in any of the last three matches and won’t find it any easier against an in-form Philadelphia Union II on Wednesday.
Columbus Crew 2 claims first shootout result to edge Orlando City B
Shootouts have not been Columbus Crew 2’s most fondest memory of the 2022 MLS NEXT Pro season, but Saturday’s result against Orlando City B came at an important time of the schedule.
A 3-1 shootout result against OCB helped Crew 2 move nine points clear at the top of the Eastern Conference standings. It was also Crew 2’s first shootout result this season after previously sitting at 0-3 in spot kicks prior to Saturday’s affair.
Patrick Schulte made two saves in the shootout which was key to Crew 2’s result. Isaiah Parente and Marco Micaletto both scored goals in regulation.
Shaynder Borgelin scores sixth goal in past five appearances as Inter Miami moves to eight unbeaten
Inter Miami II is also staying close to the top four in the Eastern Conference following a 2-1 victory over RNY FC on Sunday.
Headlining Darren Powell’s attack is forward Shaynder Borgelin, who scored once in the result. Borgelin has been Inter Miami II’s top attacking threat this season, netting six goals in his past five appearances, including a hat trick against New England Revolution II on August 7.
Romeo Beckham also continued his lead at the top of the MLS NEXT Pro assist chart after notching his 10th assist on Sunday.
Inter Miami II sits in third place, two points clear of fifth-place NYCFC II.
Three-consecutive wins for St Louis CITY2 helps clinch playoff berth
St Louis CITY2 clinched its playoff berth into the MLS NEXT Pro playoffs on Sunday following a 5-2 rout of Quakes II in San Jose.
Joao Klauss scored twice while three other players got on the scoresheet as John Hackworth’s side clinched a playoff spot with four matches remaining on their schedule. CITY2 has won their last three matches in league play, out-scoring their opponents 11-4 over that span.
CITY2 remains in the race for the top spot in the West, sitting one point behind conference leaders Tacoma Defiance.