The 2023 MLS NEXT Pro Golden Boot race was decided on Decision Day with three players sharing the honors for this season’s award.
Colorado Rapids 2’s Rémi Cabral, NYCFC II’s Matthew "MD" Myers, and Orlando City B’s Jack Lynn finished tied on the league’s goalscoring charts with 19 tallies apiece, which was one of the headlining stories in an action-packed Decision Day filled with drama.
Here is a closer look at how they found themselves on equal footing on the Golden Boot podium originally built for one:
Cabral notched a hat trick on Sunday in Rapids 2’s 4-2 league win over MNUFC2 helped Erik Bushey’s men earn the overall No. 1 seed heading into the MLS NEXT Pro Playoffs, and that came off the heels of a brace against Austin FC II in Matchday 27. The 24-year-old completed his contributions in 20 league appearances during the regular season, totaling 1,410 minutes of play.
The brother of Rapids first-teamer Kevin, Rémi came through the academy of Ligue 1 giants Paris Saint-Germain. Cabral spent time with Metz B and Valenciennes II before moving to LA Galaxy II in 2021.
His 19 goals scored this season were a career-high and should help boost his stock ahead of the Rapids’ 2024 campaign. Of the trio splitting the honor, Cabral played the fewest matches. In all, his 20-game workload produced an immaculate 1.21 G/90 min metric.
Myers, 22, scored once in NYCFC II’s 3-2 road win over Inter Miami II on Decision Day. Despite Matt Pilkington’s squad not qualifying for the postseason, Myers enjoyed a stellar debut campaign in the league, also adding five assists in 28 appearances (2,454 minutes played).
Myers drew a late penalty in NYCFC II's Decision Day finale, one that would have moved him to 20 to take it outright but he appeared to be shaken up by the contact and wasn't afforded the opportunity. His five assists mark the most of his finalist counterparts.
A Delran, New Jersey native, Myers didn't have to travel far from home for his professional debut season which looked to be a roaring success.
Lynn will join Cabral in the postseason after leading OCB to a fifth-place finish in the Eastern Conference. The former University of Notre Dame standout made 26 regular season appearances, finishing with 1,758 minutes played.
The 23-year-old earned his 19th goal by rising above the FC Cincinnati 2 line for a header on a set piece in Orlando City B's 2-1 Decision Day win.
His 36 combined goals over the 2022-23 campaigns have him atop the all-time MLS NEXT Pro goalscoring list. He's been called into the Orlando City first team in recent weeks and could make an impact if afforded an opportunity.
Neither Lynn or Cabral know who their playoff opponents will be quite yet.
The MLS NEXT Pro pick-your-opponent selections are taking place as we speak! Cabral and Rapids 2 have earned a first-round BYE and will select their opponent in the Western Conference semifinals in two weeks.
Lynn and OCB are up for selection and could be chosen by New England Revolution II or defending champs Columbus Crew 2. Be sure to follow all the action and look out for the announcements on MLSNEXTPro.com in the coming days.