Matchday 10 will kick off on Wednesday with a series of intriguing matchups and captivating storylines waiting to unfold.
This Matchday will see most teams playing a double fixture, placing immense pressure on coaches, players, and staff to perform at their best in pursuit of maximum points.
Let’s dive in and preview the action-packed first round of games happening on Wednesday and Thursday:
Wednesday, May 24th
Crown Legacy FC vs Philadelphia Union II (7 pm ET, MLSNEXTPro.com)
After a scorching start to their campaign, Crown Legacy FC seven game winning streak came to an end against Huntsville City FC last Friday night. Despite taking an early lead, they were unable to hold on, resulting in their first loss of the season. However, José Tavares and his team are determined to bounce back strongly as they face a struggling Union II squad.
Philadelphia Union II led an early lead slip and suffered a crushing defeat at the hands of New England Revolution II in their Matchday 9 encounter.
Head Coach Marlon LeBlanc faces the challenge of revitalizing his team's offense, especially when Chris Donovan is not in the squad, and shoring up their defense, which currently shares the record for the most goals conceded in the league with 22.
MNUFC2 vs LA Galaxy II (8 pm ET, MLSNEXTPro.com)
As Matchday 10 rolls around, MNUFC2 finds themselves having gone to a shootout in each of their last three matches, only managing to secure the extra point once. Currently placed ninth in the Western Conference, they will aim to capitalize on their upcoming two-game home stand to conclude the month of May on a positive note.
Meanwhile, Los Dos claimed their second victory of the season during Matchday 9, defeating Timbers2 with a 2-0 scoreline. LA Galaxy Academy products Ruben Ramos and Alex Alcalá played pivotal roles during the match, with Ramos netting his second goal of the campaign and Alcala opening his goal-scoring account for the season.
Thursday, May 25th
FCC2 vs Atlanta United 2 (7 pm ET, MLSNEXTPro.com)
Last Sunday, FC Cincinnati faced a challenging task as they failed to overcome an early deficit against Columbus Crew 2, resulting in a loss at NKU Soccer Stadium. One key storyline to keep an eye on is who will step up offensively for FCC2 in the absence of Arquimides Ordóñez, who is currently representing Guatemala in the U-20 World Cup.
On the other hand, Atlanta United 2 enters Matchday 10 without a victory in the month of May. Despite this, they managed to secure 2 points by prevailing over Orlando City B in a shootout last weekend.
Despite leading the team in scoring, Nick Firmino has been unable to find the back of the net since April 22nd. However, he has managed to make a positive impact by contributing two assists to his teammates during that time.
Inter Miami II vs Orlando City B (7 pm ET, MLS Season Pass)
MLS NEXT Pro’s version of the Sunshine Derby will take place on Thursday when Inter Miami II hosts Orlando City B.
These two teams previously clashed on Matchday 3, where Orlando City B emerged victorious with a 2-0 scoreline. Favian Loyola stole the spotlight in that match, delivering an outstanding performance with a goal and an assist for The Herons.
NYCFC II vs TFC II (7 pm ET, MLS Season Pass)
Following their loss against NY Red Bulls II on Matchday 8, NYCFC II took advantage of last weekend's break to regroup and refocus.
NYCFC II's performance in 2023 has been marked by inconsistency, as they have struggled to string together back-to-back victories. Despite this challenge, the team currently holds the seventh spot in the Eastern Conference. With plenty of time ahead, there is a significant opportunity for NYCFC II to make improvements and climb the Eastern Conference’s leaderboard.
Meanwhile, TFC II has found success in May, securing both of their season's victories during the month. As they wrap up May, the team embarks on a crucial two-game road trip, aiming to secure favorable results and climb out of the Eastern Conference basement.
Leading the charge for TFC II is Jesus Batiz, who has started in eight games and has scored three goals and one assist this season.
New England Revolution II vs Columbus Crew 2 (7 pm ET, MLS Season Pass)
Now known as the comeback kids, New England Revolution II has earned their reputation through their never give up attitude.
Revs II showcased this resilience once again during Matchday 9 by securing back-to-back come-from-behind victories, after a 4-3 triumph against Philadelphia Union II. Esmir Bajraktarevic emerged as the star of the match, netting a hat trick and earning the MLS NEXT Pro Player of Matchday 9 honor in the process.
Many doubted that Crew 2 had what it takes to compete for the MLS NEXT Pro Cup in 2023 after so many of their stars moved on to the first team. But the Capy’s have shown they can be successful by integrating in their Academy players to continuing to be among the best teams in the league.
Key contributions from players like Gio Delibera and the recent addition of Taha Habroune have been pivotal to Crew 2's success. Their combined efforts have propelled the team to an impressive four-game winning streak and secured them a spot in second place in the Eastern Conference.
North Texas SC vs Colorado Rapids 2 (8:30 pm ET, MLS Season Pass)
Despite not securing the desired three points, North Texas SC demonstrated remarkable determination in the Texas Derby, where they ultimately lost in a shootout against Dynamo 2.
Matchday 9 saw Carl Sainte and Diego Hernandez find the back of the net, registering their first goals of the season. A repeat performance from both of them will be pivotal as they prepare to face the league's leading team, Rapids 2.
Rapids 2 has proven to be a formidable force this season, winning seven out of their eight matches. Spearheading their success is Yosuke Hanya, who has caught the attention of the first team with an impressive record of 7 goals and 2 assists.
If Hanya is absent for this match, the offensive responsibility will fall on Blake Malone and Marlon Vargas to step up and fill the void.
Earthquakes II vs Whitecaps FC 2 (10 pm ET, MLSNEXTPro.com)
Quakes II have been on a positive run, accumulating eight points from their last four games. A victory on Thursday could catapult them into one of the top spots in the Western Conference standings.
Standing in their path is a formidable Whitecaps FC 2 team, coming off a 1-0 win over their Cascadia region rivals, Tacoma Defiance. Leading the offense for WFC2 are Kamron Habibullah and Levonte Johnson, with both players having contributed four goals and one assist each this season.
Timbers2 vs St Louis CITY2 (10 pm ET, MLS Season Pass)
Timbers2 soared to new heights during their Matchday 8 victory, earning Team of Matchday honors thanks to their performance. However, they faced a reality check in their match on the road the following week against LA Galaxy II, succumbing to a 2-0 defeat.
Meanwhile, CITY2 despite only having one victory this season, continued earning points by winning their third shootout victory of the season, thanks to heroics from Ben Lundt. A standout player to watch from CITY2 is 16-year-old Caden Glover, whose display last weekend has marked him as one to watch for the remainder of the season.