22MLSNEXTPRO_Cup_Bracket_16x9 Final v2

- MLS NEXT Pro Cup to be Played October 8 at Lower.com Field in Columbus -

NEW YORK CITY (October 2, 2022) – The first-ever MLS NEXT Pro Cup will take place Saturday, October 8 in Columbus, Ohio when the number one seeds from MLS NEXT Pro’s inaugural season face off. Eastern Conference Champion Columbus Crew 2 will take on Western Conference Champion St Louis CITY2 at Lower.com Field (1:30 p.m. ET) to determine the first MLS NEXT Pro Cup Champion.

The MLS NEXT Pro Playoffs began with an eight-team field, led by top-seeded Crew 2 in the East and first-placed CITY2 in the West. Sunday’s Conference Finals featured the four regular season Division Champions after the higher-seeded teams all advanced from the Conference Semifinals the week prior.

Crew 2 defeated Toronto FC II, 4-3, in a thrilling Eastern Conference Final Sunday night. With his team trailing 2-1 in stoppage time, Toronto’s Themi Antonoglou (90’+3’) forced extra time to keep TFC II’s chances alive. Antonoglou then quickly put Toronto ahead with an incredible goal from midfield just four minutes into the extra session. Columbus battled back, scoring twice in the last 11 minutes, including Coleman Gannon’s game-winner in the final minute (119’).

Later Sunday night, St Louis CITY2 defeated Tacoma Defiance, 2-1, in the Western Conference Final. CITY2 led 2-0 in the second half after goals by Tomáš Ostrák (31’) and Josh Dolling (59’) before Abdoulaye Cissoko’s successful penalty kick (76’) brought Tacoma within a goal. St Louis held off the Defiance comeback attempt to capture the Western Conference title.

Tickets for MLS NEXT Pro Cup at Lower.com Field are available at Ticketmaster.com and fans everywhere can watch MLS NEXT Pro Cup live on mlsnextpro.com

About MLS NEXT Pro

Launched in March 2022 by Major League Soccer, MLS NEXT Pro is a professional men’s soccer league in the United States and Canada that completes the pro player pathway. With 21 Clubs competing during the inaugural season – 20 MLS-affiliated and one independent club, Rochester New York FC – MLS NEXT Pro is growing the game through innovation and diversity by bringing professional soccer to new communities and creating opportunities both on and off the field. Seven MLS-affiliated clubs will join MLS NEXT Pro in 2023: Atlanta United, Austin FC, Charlotte FC, LA Galaxy, Los Angeles Football Club, Nashville Soccer Club and New York Red Bulls. Additional MLS-affiliated and independent clubs will join in the years ahead. Beginning in 2023, MLS NEXT Pro matches will be streamed live on the Apple TV app as part of the monumental partnership between Apple and Major League Soccer. For more information about MLS NEXT Pro, visit mlsnextpro.com