Matchday Preview

MLS NEXT Pro Matchday 10 Preview - Part 2


Matchday 10 concludes this weekend with plenty of MLS NEXT Pro clubs seeking a strong ending to a busy week. 

Friday’s three-match slate gets underway with Huntsville City FC hosting New York Red Bulls II in Eastern Conference play. The Western Conference takes centerstage for the final two matches of the night as Sporting KC II hosts Real Monarchs and LAFC2 visits Tacoma Defiance. 

Sunday’s heavy slate is headlined by a Texas Derby between Houston Dynamo 2 and Austin FC II. Monday features one match between New York Red Bulls II and Orlando City B.

Here is a closer look at the Matchday 10 - Part 2 schedule:

Friday - 5/26

Huntsville City FC vs. New York Red Bulls II (8 p.m. ET, MLS Season Pass on Apple TV)

Huntsville City FC claimed its first victory in style on Matchday 9 and will aim to follow that up with another triumph at Joe Davis Stadium.

Jack Collison’s squad defeated Eastern Conference-leading Crown Legacy FC by a 2-1 scoreline using goals from Jonathan Bolanos and Azaad Liadi to do so. Huntsville City FC will now prepare to try and break down one of MLS NEXT Pro’s stingiest backlines in the form of New York Red Bulls II. Bolanos and Liadi will be the go-to attackers once again for the hosts.

New York Red Bulls II have only lost one match in their past six overall, most recently defeating NYCFC II and Inter Miami II by 2-0 and 1-0 scorelines. Red Bulls II have been tough for opponents to score again, registering five clean sheets over the past six weeks. AJ Marcucci has been stellar in net, leading the league with four clean sheets of his own.

Sporting KC II vs. Real Monarchs (8 p.m. ET, MLS Season Pass on Apple TV)

Sporting KC II has earned points in each of their last three matches and will seek to extend that run to four matches on Friday against Real Monarchs. 

Benny Feilhaber’s squad drew 2-2 with St. Louis CITY2 on May 21, before eventually falling 5-4 in a shootout. Pau Vidal has been the leading attacker for SKC II this season with six goals so far, but five additional players have scored for the club during this recent unbeaten run.

Real Monarchs will be seeking to end their three-match losing streak on the road at Rock Chalk Park Friday night. Jamison Olave’s squad have struggled to score in recent weeks, being shutout in two of those three defeats. With Diego Luna still at the FIFA U-20 World Cup, other players will need to step up in his absence. Terron Williams and Duncan Jarvie will be the expected candidates to do so.

Tacoma Defiance vs. LAFC2 (10 p.m. ET, MLS Season Pass on Apple TV)

Tacoma Defiance’s four-match unbeaten run was snapped on Matchday 9 and Wade Webber’s squad will be hoping for a bounce-back performance at Starfire Sports Complex. 

The Defiance were shutout for the first time in 2023 in a 1-0 road loss to Whitecaps FC 2. There is zero shortage of attacking weapons for Webber to call on this week with Hal Uderitz, Abdoulaye Cissoko, and Eythor Bjorgolfsson all having multi-goal campaigns so far. Paul Rothrock has been key in distribution, registering five assists in 2023.

LAFC2’s quest to earn their first victory came to an end on Matchday 9 after a 1-0 road win over Real Monarchs. Yekeson Subah registered his first MLS NEXT Pro goal while the LAFC defense posted their second shutout of the season. A trip to Tacoma won’t be easy, but the confidence in the LAFC2 squad will certainly be rising after earning a first three points of the year.

Sunday - 5/28

Earthquakes II vs. Timbers2 (5 p.m. ET,

Earthquakes II have yet to lose to Timbers2 in MLS NEXT Pro play and Daniel De Geer’s squad will be seeking to extend that streak on Sunday.

Quakes II have won all four of their previous showdowns with Timbers2 including a 2-0 road triumph back in April. However, the Western Conference club fell to Whitecaps FC 2 by a 1-0 scoreline midweek and will be hoping for a bounce-back result. Goals have been hard to come by for Quakes II, who are tied for the second-fewest scored in 2023 (8).

Timbers2 struck first against St. Louis CITY2 on Thursday, but couldn’t hang on in an eventual 2-1 home loss. It’s the second time in 2023 that Timbers2 have lost two or more matches in a row, a theme that will need to change during the busy summer schedule. Noel Caliskan continues to be a promising attacker for Timbers2 with three goals and one assist to his name so far.

ATL UTD 2 vs. TFC II (6 p.m. ET, MLS Season Pass on Apple TV)

TFC II have alternated results in each of their last five matches, most recently suffering a 3-1 road loss to NYCFC II on Thursday. Gianni Cimini is seeking any consistency in his squad, which have conceded two goals or more in four of their last five matches. Alec Diaz has scored in each of his last two outings though, giving TFC II an in-form attacker to try and get after ATL UTD 2’s defense. 

ATL UTD 2’s search for a first regulation win since April 30 continues on Sunday at home against TFC II. Steve Cooke’s squad fell 3-2 in a shootout with FC Cincinnati 2 on Thursday, failing to build off of their early goal. Karim Tmimi is on fire for ATL UTD 2 right now, scoring in four of his last five appearances, but his teammates will need to contribute if they want three points at Fifth Third Bank Stadium.

Chicago Fire II vs. Crown Legacy FC (6 p.m. ET, MLS Season Pass on Apple TV)

Chicago Fire II could desperately use a home victory on Sunday, in what would be their first since March 31. 

Ludovic Talliander’s squad have struggled for results over the past two months, earning just three points form their past seven matches. Despite heading to shootouts in three of their last four matches, Fire II failed to win any of them, which is a key reason why they are in the bottom-three of the East standings. Harold Osorio has been one key bright spot for Fire II so far (three goals, one assist) and will be looking to spark an upset win over Crown Legacy FC. 

Crown Legacy FC rebounded nicely from its first loss of 2023 by fighting back to earn two points against Philadelphia Union II on Wednesday. Despite falling down 2-0 by halftime, Jose Tavares’ squad used goals from Iuri Tavares and Vinicius Mello to force a shootout. A 4-2 shootout result helped the East leaders get back on track as they remained four points in front of surging Columbus Crew 2. They will now put their 3-0-1 road record on the table this weekend.

Houston Dynamo 2 vs. Austin FC II (6 p.m. ET, MLS Season Pass on Apple TV)

Houston Dynamo 2 earned two points in a Matchday 9 shootout win over North Texas SC and now Kenny Bundy’s squad will be hoping for a full three in a Texas Derby vs. Austin FC II. 

Dynamo Dos have earned eight points from their last 12 available, defeating SKC II and Real Monarchs, while also edging North Texas SC 6-5 in a shootout. 20-year-old Diego Gonzalez has been influential in the final third for Dynamo Dos, registering three goals and two assists so far this season. Papa Ndoye and Isaiah Reid have also been among the key goalscorers as well for the Western Conference club.

Austin FC II have stumbled in recent weeks, but a road derby victory could be exactly what they need to get back on track. Back-to-back defeats to Colorado Rapids 2 and Earthquakes II dropped Austin FC II in the MLS NEXT Pro Power Rankings and has allowed other Western Conference clubs to close the gap on second place. If Austin FC II wants to get going offensively, getting Valentin Noel (four goals) in dangerous positions would be a great start.

MNUFC2 vs. Colorado Rapids 2 (6 p.m. ET, MLS Season Pass on Apple TV)

The comeback kids of MLS NEXT Pro struck again on Thursday as Colorado Rapids 2 pegged North Texas SC back three times in an eventual 4-2 shootout result.

Erik Bushey’s squad have shown zero signs of quitting through the opening months of the season, remaining as the only unbeaten team in MLS NEXT Pro. Caique, Remi Cabral, and Oliver Larraz all found the back of the net, continuing to show the depth in Rapids 2’s attack. Their 23 goals scored are tied with Crown Legacy FC for the most in the league so far.

For the first time since April 9, MNUFC2 earned a regulation victory, and now Cameron Knowles’ squad will be fighting to extend that into a new winning streak on Sunday. A comeback 3-2 home triumph over LA Galaxy snapped a five-match winless run for the Young Loons, which concluded with a Juan Mosquera winning goal in the 87th minute. Diogo Pacheco registered two assists in the result, which propelled MNUFC2 up to fifth place in the West.

New England Revolution II vs. Inter Miami II (6 p.m. ET, MLS Season Pass on Apple TV)

New England Revolution II will put their three-match winning streak on the line this Sunday against Inter Miami II. 

Clint Peay’s squad returned to Gillette Stadium on Thursday by defeating Columbus Crew 2 by a 2-0 scoreline. Jordan Adebayo-Smith and Ben Awashie both found the back of the net in Foxborough, while Nico Campuzano registered a three-save clean sheet. Revs II will head into the weekend tied with Crew 2 on 20 points apiece, but a fourth-straight win could lead them to second place by the start of June.

Inter Miami II have been shutout in each of their last two matches and will seek a first road win over Revs II to snap that streak. Federico Higuain will try to spice up his attack after back-to-back defeats against New York Red Bulls II and Orlando City B in the last week. Lucas Meek leads the team with three goals while Lorenzo D’Agostini has two of his own.

St. Louis CITY2 vs. North Texas SC (6 p.m. ET, MLS Season Pass on Apple TV)

St. Louis CITY2 have collected points in each of their last three matches and will face a tough test on Sunday against North Texas SC. 

A 2-1 road win over Timbers2 on Thursday gave CITY2 their first road victory of 2023 and their second overall in the past five matches. Bobby Murphy’s squad have only lost one of those five matches, showing a positive turnaround from a sluggish start to the season. John Klein scored his fifth goal of the campaign on Thursday as he continues to lead the team in goals.

North Texas SC coughed up leads on three different occasions in Thursday’s match with Rapids2, despite earning points for the fourth-straight match. The Texas-based club rolled past CITY2 by a 4-1 scoreline in May thanks to Jose Mulato’s brace. Mulato remains a dangerous attacking threat for NTX, with three goals and two assists in 2023.

NYCFC II vs. FC Cincinnati 2 (7 p.m. ET,

NYCFC II seeks back-to-back wins for the first time since early-April when FC Cincinnati 2 comes to Belson Stadium on Sunday. 

NYCFC II overcame a 1-0 deficit on Thursday to defeat TFC II by a 3-1 scoreline. Three different players found the back of the net, including Jonathan Jimenez who registered his first goal of 2023. Jimenez was a key attacker for Matt Pilkington’s squad in 2022 and will hope his goalscoring performance midweek will spark him to offer more in the final third. 

FC Cincinnati 2 earned their first shootout victory of 2023 on Thursday, edging ATL UTD 2 3-2 on spot kicks. Tyrone Marshall’s squad overcame an early deficit on home soil to snap a three-match winless run in league play. Arquimides Ordonez’s absence due to international duty has left a major hole in the FCC2 attack, but Ben Stitz’s first goal of the season could lead to a new scoring option for Marshall to call on.

Philadelphia Union II vs. Columbus Crew 2 (7 p.m. ET, MLS Season Pass on Apple TV)

Philadelphia Union II will be seeking a bounce-back performance after coughing up two points at home vs. Crown Legacy FC. Marlon LeBlanc’s squad used first-half goals from Stefan Stojanovic and Gino Portella, but the visitors could not hang on, eventually falling 4-2 in a shootout. Union II are one of two MLS NEXT Pro clubs that are still seeking their first home victory of 2023.

Columbus Crew 2’s four-match winning run came to an end on Thursday in Foxborough and the defending MLS NEXT Pro Champions will hope to show a short memory on Sunday in Chester. Laurent Courtois’ side were blanked for the first time since April 23 in a 2-0 road defeat to New England Revolution II.

With several young players returning from U.S. Open Cup action earlier in the week, Courtois should have his full group to choose from. Gibran Rayo, Mataeo Bunbury, and Taha Habroune have been among the in-form stars in recent weeks for Crew 2.

LA Galaxy II vs. Whitecaps FC 2 (10:30 p.m. ET,

LA Galaxy II have lost four of their five matches and will hope for a better 90-minute performance at home against Whitecaps FC 2. Despite scoring first on Wednesday against MNUFC2, Galaxy II eventually fell 3-2 on the road, continuing a rocky period for the Western Conference club. Aaron Bibout scored his fifth goal of the campaign for Galaxy II in the defeat, continuing to be Galaxy II’s top scoring threat. 

Whitecaps FC 2 made it back-to-back victories on Thursday for the first time this season, and now Ricardo Clark’s squad will be seeking a first three-match winning streak by weekend’s end. Matteo Campagna registered his first goal of the season, giving Whitecaps FC 2 their 10th player to find the back of the net. 18-year-old Max Anchor has also been important to the squad after registering a five-save clean sheet in San Jose.

Monday - 5/29

Orlando City B vs. New York Red Bulls II (7 p.m. ET,

Orlando City B earned their first road victory on Thursday since Opening Weekend and the Young Lions will return home for an Eastern Conference clash with New York Red Bulls II. 

Jack Lynn continued his strong run of form by scoring OCB’s lone goal in a 1-0 rivalry win over Inter Miami II. Lynn has three goals scored in his last two appearances for Martin Perelman’s squad, picking up where he left off in 2022. Javier Otero now has two clean sheets in 2023, both of which have come against Inter Miami II.

New York Red Bulls II will first take on Huntsville City FC on Friday before making the trip to Orlando on Monday night. Lynn’s goal scoring abilities will have Red Bulls II’s defense ready for anything at Osceola Heritage Park while AJ Marcucci could be forced to deliver several key saves. Oladayo Thomas is Red Bulls II’s top scoring threat (two goals) with Wikelman Carmona (three goals) featuring more for the first team.