Week 22 of MLS NEXT Pro action ends with the Game of the Week as Colorado Rapids 2 hosts North Texas SC at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colorado. The action is set to kick off at 10 p.m. ET on Sunday. 

Rapids 2 enter this week on a four-match unbeaten run and have won eight of their last 10 matches. Despite being ninth place in the Western Conference, a home win against a formidable rival could give the squad valuable experience going into next season. 

North Texas SC, on the other hand, is currently fourth in the West after a 4-0 win over Real Monarchs last week. The team is five points from the top seed in the conference with five matches remaining in the season and could move to third with a win and a Houston Dynamo 2 loss.

How to watch:

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Colorado Rapids 2 might be among the bottom teams in the Western Conference, but right now is in the midst of their best run of form all season.  

The club is in ninth place in the West following a 1-1 draw with Houston Dynamo 2 that ended in a 5-4 shootout win, marking the third straight shootout win for Rapids 2 as they continued a string of four matches unbeaten.

The stars of the show for the Rapids 2 all season so far are forwards Dantouma Toure with eight goals and Darren Yapi with five goals. Along with solid frontline play, it has been a team effort to score week in and week out with 13 players contributing at least one goal.

All that being said, the Rapids 2 are not making the playoffs. However, look for the team to bring a different intensity next season if they can finish the season in this current form.

Players to watch:

Dantouma Toure, forward - The 17-year-old has been a key player all season for Rapids 2 as the forward leads the team with eight goals. Despite being so young, look for Toure to step up with some goals in the team’s last five games.

Darren Yapi, forward - Yapi is the second-leading scorer with five goals. If the Rapids 2 are to grab a result over North Texas SC the forward has to compliment Toure up front to deliver the goals.

Yosuke Hanya, midfielder - The 23-year old midfielder has four goals and two assists this season. Two assists leads the team, but look for that tally to rise with Hanya setting up Toure and Yapi.

With four games remaining in its season, North Texas SC still has a shot at the top spot in the Western Conference if results go its way.

The club is currently fourth in the standings after a 4-0 triumph over Real Monarchs at home last week, giving North Texas a three-game unbeaten streak with two shutouts and a 2-2 draw with Timbers2.

A win over Rapids 2 and loss from Houston Dynamo 2 would move North Texas SC to third in the West with first place within arms reach. However, the team can’t afford to drop points in its pursuit of the top seed.

Players to watch:

Bernard Kamungo, forward - Kamungo has been a pivotal player for North Texas SC as he leads the team with 13 goals. Look for the 20-year-old forward to net plenty of goals in the team’s final games of the season.

Jose Mulato, forward - Right behind Kamungo in the RNY FC pecking order is Mulato who has eight goals and three assists. The form of the dynamic frontline partnership between the two forwards may determine how the rest of the season plays out for North Texas SC.

Hope Avayevu, forward - The orchestrator of the offense is Avayevu who has seven assists on the season so look for the 20-year-old to pull the strings and be in and around the goals.