MLS NEXT Pro By The Numbers: Week 13

Tacoma Defiance extended its unbeaten run to nine matches on Saturday by claiming a 4-1 win over Colorado Rapids 2, with Marlon Vargas scoring for the sixth-straight match. Timbers2 fought back late in Oregon to earn their first MLS Next Pro win while Max Schneider’s two-minute brace helped St Louis CITY2 defeat Sporting KC II away from home.

Here’s your MLS NEXT Pro week 13 recap by the numbers.

400 MLS NEXT Pro goals and counting

During Columbus Crew 2’s 6-1 victory over Orlando City B, a new milestone was reached this MLS NEXT Pro season with the total goals for 2022 eclipsing 400 so far. 

For the third time this season, Crew 2 were among the top goalscoring teams on a single matchday. The result for Laurent Courtois’ side also moved them ahead of NYCFC II as the highest-scoring team in the Eastern Conference with 30 goals scored in 12 matches.

Tacoma Defiance leads the league with 35 goals scored, but Crew 2 is the only other team that has totaled 30 goals or more.

Timbers2 earn first NP victory in dramatic fashion

Timbers2 finally got to celebrate their first regulation win on Sunday, scoring two goals in the final 14 minutes to defeat Houston Dynamo 2 by a 2-1 scoreline. 

Zac McGraw’s 94th-minute winning goal helped Timbers2 complete a dramatic comeback on home soil to knock off one the West’s top contenders.

Shannon Murray’s side will next host Colorado Rapids 2 in Week 14, aiming to register back-to-back wins for the first time in franchise history.

Jacen Russell-Rowe, Marlon Vargas keep goalscoring streaks going

Jacen Russell-Rowe and Marlon Vargas both kept their consistent goalscoring streaks going this weekend as both attackers found the back of the net in victories for their clubs. 

Russell-Rowe scored for the ninth-straight match as Columbus Crew 2 rolled past Orlando City B 6-1 at Historic Crew Stadium. The in-form forward made his MLS debut on Saturday for Caleb Porter’s squad and followed that up with a two-goal performance in MLS NEXT Pro play on Sunday.

The 21-year-old now leads the Golden Boot race with 11 goals this season.

Vargas scored for the sixth-straight match on Saturday, netting two goals in a 4-1 home victory over Colorado Rapids 2. The 21-year-old midfielder now has seven goals this season for Wade Webber’s side, continuing to be a key player in the club’s surge up the league standings.

TFC II earns first MLS NEXT Pro road victory

TFC II came into Saturday’s showdown with NYCFC II missing two key players due to the Concacaf U-20 Championship, but it didn’t stop the Canadian club from earning its first road win of 2022. Second-half goals from Julian Altobelli and Themi Antonoglou helped TFC II move to 1-4-1 on the road this season and earn a 2-0 result, for their second-straight shutout performance. Hugo Mbongue and Kobi Hamilton’s involvement in Honduras forced others into Gianni Cimini’s starting lineup this weekend, but several key players stepped up to help TFC II stay within reach of the playoff picture.

Union II’s Matt Freese goes 3-for-3 in shootout triumph

Matt Freese delivered a Man of the Match performance for Philadelphia Union II on Sunday, stopping all three chances in a 3-0 shootout result over Chicago Fire FC II at Subaru Park.

The 23-year-old made one save in regulation for Marlon LeBlanc’s side, but rose to the occasion in the shootout. Freese denied Victor Bezerra, Charlie Ostrem, and Carlo Ritaccio all from the spot, becoming the first MLS NEXT Pro goalkeeper to post a 100% save record in a shootout this season. 

Union II moved to fifth place in the Eastern Conference with the two points earned in Chester, Pennsylvania.

Max Schneider’s two-minute brace becomes fastest in MLS NEXT Pro for 2022

St Louis CITY2 claimed an important win on Friday against Sporting KC II with Max Schneider making history at Rock Chalk Park. 

Schneider scored two goals in two minutes to propel John Hackworth’s side to a 2-1 result over their Western Conference opponents. Schneider equalized for St Louis CITY2 in the 64th minute before springing the visitors in front just two minutes later from the penalty spot.

The 21-year-old German now has three goals and two assists in nine appearances in MLS NEXT Pro.

RNY FC remains perfect in shootouts, moves to 3-0

RNY FC remained perfect in shootouts this MLS NEXT Pro season, edging New England Revolution II 5-4 at Gillette Stadium on Saturday. The result kept RNY FC unbeaten in shootouts this season, moving them to 3-0 in that category and keeping them in the top-four of the Eastern Conference. RNY FC shot-stopper Caique totaled four saves in the match for Bruno Baltazar’s side, and made a key stop on Revs II midfielder Michel in the third round of Saturday’s shootout in Foxborough. It was a bounce-back performance following a 1-0 road loss to FC Cincinnati 2 in Week 12.

Inter Miami II joins Orlando City B as lone NP clubs to not concede in victories this season

Inter Miami II rebounded on Sunday with a 4-0 home win over FC Cincinnati 2, continuing to own a shutout streak in matches they have won. 

Darren Powell’s side have a +11 goal differential in matches they have won this season, joining Orlando City B as the only MLS Next Pro sides to not concede in matches they have proceeded to win.

Although Inter Miami II has been on the end of some lopsided score lines this season, Sunday’s performance was a glimpse of their long-term potential this summer. 

Shaan Hundai scored for the second match out of the past three for Inter Miami II.