Blink, and you’ll miss the action. MLS NEXT Pro is heading into another jam-packed week following a thrilling week four. Let’s take a look at who made the MLS NEXT Pro Top 5 Team Rankings this week:
New England Revolution announced its status as a top-five MLS NEXT Pro team after overcoming a two-goal deficit in its 3-2 win over FC Cincinnati 2 at Gillette Stadium Sunday afternoon. Midfielder Jack Panayotou scored the winner in the second minute of the stoppage time of the second half to lift Revs II to second place in the Eastern Conference. The win also marks the club's second consecutive victory to remain undefeated. Revs II's comeback and resilient effort was highlighted with an outrageous rocket from forward Ryan Lima to level the game in the 67th minute, a serious contender for goal of the season. The team from New England is catching fire, and no squad might want to face them right now.
Previous Ranking: NR
Next Match: at Orlando City B on Sunday, April 24
Lookout! After losing its opening game, Columbus Crew 2 is now on a three-game winning streak following their opening match defeat. They currently sit top of the Eastern Conference — all the wins are clean sheets. The latest victory came at the expense of Orlando City B after a 2-0 win at Historic Crew Stadium Friday night. Standouts in this game were forward Jacen Russell-Rowe, who opened the score with his second goal of the season, and defender Mohamed Farsi who finished with two assists. Crew 2's success so far is thanks to its non-stop pressing every game. The quick transition from defense to offense is proving too much for opponents to handle, leading to teams being worn out late in games as Crew 2 protects a lead.
Previous Ranking: NR
Next Match: vs. Toronto FC II on Sunday, April 24
North Texas SC forward Bernard Kamungo rescued three points for the visitors in its 1-0 win over Earthquakes II at Paypal Park Sunday night. Kamungo's third goal of the season came in the 80th minute to help NTSC remain undefeated and second in the Western Conference. Despite the win, North Texas SC did not play to its standards in previous games after giving up nearly 60% possession and 17 shots. The defense as a collective unit also massively contributed. It held Quakes II at bay, only allowing four shots on target all game. North Texas SC might not have played its best game this week, but it still finds ways to get results week in and week out.
Previous Ranking: 2
Next Match: vs. Houston Dynamo 2 on Saturday, April 23
A 1-0 victory over Sporting KC II at Rock Chalk Park Saturday night made it three wins in a row to start the inaugural season for St Louis CITY2. Akil Watts scored the match winner on a set-piece as the defender tapped in a cross from Erza Armstrong to give CITY2 the win. From that moment, the CITY2 defense took care of business and racked up 18 clearances to blank in-state rivals SKCII. The win also marks the team's second clean sheet of the season, leading them to place third in the Western Conference. CITY2 continues to impress and prove the city of St. Louis is can be an absolute soccer powerhouse.
Previous Ranking: 4
Next Match: vs. Minnesota United FC 2 on Sunday, April 24 (Game of the Week)
Another week, another win for Western Conference leaders Houston Dynamo 2 following a 4-1 victory over Timbers 2 at PNC Stadium Saturday. That makes it four wins in four matches with only one goal conceded for the team from Houston. Forward Roberto Avila again put his name on the scoresheet as he netted his fourth goal, which tied him for the first spot among the league's leading scorers. But it was a collective effort from Dynamo Dos as the home side had four different goal scorers, marking a goal increase every game so far. However, the juggernaut from Houston will be tested in next week's match-up against third-ranked North Texas SC. A Dynamo Dos win would see the club begin separating itself from the rest of the Western Conference.
Previous Ranking: 1
Next Match: at North Texas SC on Saturday, April 23