First Round Matchups to be Determined This Week Through New "Pick-Your-Opponent" Feature
The 2023 MLS NEXT Pro regular season came to a close Sunday with a drama-filled Decision Day, resulting in the final seeding for the 2023 MLS NEXT Pro Playoffs and setting the stage for the new pick-your-opponent selection process to determine the matchups for the opening round (Conference Quarterfinals).
The No. 1 overall seed was determined on Decision Day, with Colorado Rapids 2 (19-4-5, 66 points) edging out Crown Legacy FC (19-4-5, 66 points) on goal differential. The two clubs entered the final day of the regular season with identical records and with both winning their respective matches, the second tiebreaker (after number of regulation wins) was needed to decide who would finish as No. 1 and earn the right to home field advantage throughout the playoffs, including MLS NEXT Pro Cup.
Seeding for the 2023 MLS NEXT Pro Playoffs:
- Crown Legacy FC (19-4-5, 66 points)
- New England Revolution II (14-6-8, 56 points)
- Columbus Crew 2 (16-9-3, 54 points)
- New York Red Bulls II (14-8-6, 51 points)
- Orlando City B (13-10-5, 46 points)
- Chicago Fire II (9-8-11, 43 points)
- Philadelphia Union II (12-12-4, 42 points)
- Colorado Rapids 2 (19-4-5, 66 points)
- Tacoma Defiance (14-5-9, 57 points)
- Sporting KC II (13-9-6, 49 points)
- Austin FC II (12-7-9, 49 points)
- St Louis CITY2 (11-8-9, 47 points)
- Earthquakes II (11-10-7, 45 points)
- Houston Dynamo 2 (12-12-4, 43 points)
The No. 1 seeds in the Eastern and Western Conferences - Crown Legacy FC and Colorado Rapids 2, respectively - will receive a first-round bye and automatically advance to the Conference Semifinals. The No. 2 and No. 3 seeds in each conference will choose their opponent from the No. 4-7 seeds and host that team in the Conference Quarterfinals. Following the second and third seed selections, the remaining two teams in each conference will be slated to face each other, with the higher seed hosting.
The matchups and corresponding schedule for the Conference Quarterfinals are expected to be announced Tuesday, September 26 on mlsnextpro.com and @MLSNEXTPro on Twitter and Instagram.
For the Conference Semifinals, Crown Legacy FC and Colorado Rapids 2 will select their opponents from the two lowest seeds remaining in their Conference after the Quarterfinals. The second highest seeded team will face the remaining team. The Conference Finals and MLS NEXT Pro Cup will then follow a traditional bracket format.
The fate of the last two spots in both conferences came down to a thrilling Decision Day on Sunday. Four teams were in the running for the final two spots in the Eastern Conference: Chicago Fire II, Philadelphia Union II, NYCFC II and Huntsville City FC, with Chicago and Philadelphia claiming the No. 6 and No. 7 seeds, respectively. In the Western Conference, MNUFC2, Earthquakes II and Houston Dynamo 2 all competed for the final two playoff berths, with Earthquakes II and Houston Dynamo 2 emerging as the No. 6 and No. 7 seeds.
The playoffs will consist of three rounds followed by MLS NEXT Pro Cup, taking place over four consecutive weeks beginning the weekend of September 29. All playoff matches and [BG1] MLS NEXT Pro Cup will be broadcast live on MLS Season Pass on the Apple TV app.