The playoff race is heating up, and after Sunday's packed slate of MLS NEXT PRO matches, more teams have clinched playoffs berths. Two hat tricks, from St Louis CITY2's Faysal Bettache and Columbus Crew 2's Gibran Rayo, highlighted action in Matchday 25.
Here are the results from Matchday 25.
Inter Miami II (0) - Columbus Crew 2 (5)
A hat trick from Gibran Rayo propelled Columbus Crew 2 to a 5-0 win over Inter Miami II on Sunday afternoon. Rayo scored the first three goals of the game, with Mataeo Bunbury and Noah Fuson adding goals.
Rayo completed his first-half hat trick in the space of 36 minutes, scoring in the second, 15th and 38th minutes. Crew 2 goalkeeper Stanislas Lapkes made three saves as he earned a clean sheet.
Crew 2 has alternated wins and losses in the past four games. The team remains fourth in the Eastern Conference.
NYCFC II (2) - Philadelphia Union II (0)
Matthew Myers kept his standing in the MLS NEXT Pro Golden Boot race, and added an assist as NYCFC II picked up three points at Belson Stadium.
Myers passed into the box to find Jonathan Jimenez in the 36th minute, and Jimenez made no mistake with the finish to open scoring. Myers added a goal of his own in the 69th minute to seal the win.
NYCFC II made up three points on Union II as both teams vie for a playoff berth, and are tied at 33 points in eighth and ninth in the Eastern Conference. NYCFC II ended a three-match winless streak.
Houston Dynamo 2 (1) - St Louis CITY2 (3)
Faysal Bettache's hat trick brought St Louis CITY2 three points on the road over Houston Dynamo 2.
CITY2 opened scoring in the 11th minute, with Bettache finishing off a pass from Celio Pompeu. Pompeu found Bettache again from the left side in the 26th minute, with Bettache finishing from the center of the 18-yard box. Papa Ndoye pulled a goal back for Dynamo Dos, but Bettache completed his hat trick in the first minute of the second half.
CITY2 made it three wins in a row. Bobby Murphy's squad lies fifth in the Western Conference.
Orlando City B (3) - Crown Legacy FC (6)
Crown Legacy FC put six goals past Orlando City B in a goalfest at Osceola County Stadium. Iuri Tavares led Crown Legacy with two goals and one assist.
Tavares opened scoring in the 13th minute with an assist from Patrick Agyemang. Nicholas Scardina and Joao Guilherme scored in the first half before Agyemang scored a goal of his own in the first minute of first-half stoppage time.
OCB's Jack Lynn scored twice, but Tavares struck again in the 61st minute and Nikola Petkovic scored in the 67th minute.
Eastern Conference leaders Crown Legacy remain atop the conference table, with 58 points. Orlando City B's campaign for a home playoff game took a hit, but the club remains fifth in the Eastern Conference.
North Texas SC (2) - Colorado Rapids 2 (3)
Remi Cabral scored a stoppage-time winner to bring Western Conference leaders Colorado Rapids 2 all three points in a road trip to Choctaw Stadium. Cabral scored after Rapids 2 took off on a breakaway, slotting a shot past an onrushing North Texas goalkeeper.
North Texas' Hope Avayevu opened scoring with a penalty kick in the seventh minute, and Rapids 2's Yosuke Hanya equalized in the 20th minute. Avayevu assisted a Jose Mulato goal to put North Texas in front in the 30th minute, but Darren Yapi equalized in the 58th minute.
Rapids 2 continue to lead the Western Conference with 57 points. Sunday's win was their third in the past four games.
Earthquakes II (2) - MNUFC2 (2) (MNUFC2 wins shootout 9-8)
MNUFC2 came back from a two-goal deficit and claimed a shootout win to take two points on the road. The shootout went 10 rounds, with Geremy Rodas scoring the decisive spot kick.
Roberto Hategan and Eduardo Blancas brought Quakes II a 2-0 lead with goals in the fifth and eighth minutes. MNUFC2 equalized with a Kameron Lacey goal just before halftime. Emmanuel Iwe scored from the penalty spot to equalize in the 71st minute.
LA Galaxy II (1) - Sporting Kansas City II (5)
Four goalscorers supplied excellent finishing as Sporting Kansas City II earned a dominant away win over LA Galaxy II. Ethan Bryant notched a brace with two goals in five minutes during the second half.
Jack Coan scored from close range to open scoring in the 13th minute, and Danny Flores added another in the 31st minute. Coan assisted both of Bryant's goals in the 51st and 56th minutes. Coan added a third assist on SKC II's fifth goal, a 65th-minute strike from the center of the 18-yard box.
SKC II has won four matches in a row, and risen to third-place in the Western Conference. SKC II clinched a playoff berth with the win.
Atlanta United 2 (3) - FC Cincinnati 2 (1)
Atlanta United picked up its eighth home win of the 2023 season, putting three goals past FC Cincinnati 2 and keeping hope alive for a playoff berth in the Eastern Conference.
ATL UTD 2 took full advantage of an early man advantage following a red card in the third minute. Karim Tmimi opened scoring in the 15th minute and Ajani Fortune doubled the lead in the 30th minute. Benjamin Stitz scored to bring FCC2 within one goal, but Nick Firmino provided some insurance with a goal in the 81st minute.
Real Monarchs (1) - Whitecaps FC 2 (0)
Bobby Pierre assisted his brother Delentz Pierre with a pinpoint cross to the back post in the 69th minute to hand Real Monarchs a 1-0 win over Whitecaps FC 2.
Real Monarchs goalkeeper William Mackay made five saves to record the clean sheet. Real Monarchs locked up their first win since July 9.
Austin FC II (1) - Los Angeles Football Club 2 (1) (Austin FC II wins shootout 5-4)
Austin FC II clinched a playoff berth by picking up two points in a home match against LAFC2. Austin FC II goalkeeper Damian Las came up with yet another memorable performance, with seven saves in regulation and a save in the fifth round of the shootout.
Joe Hafferty scored for Austin FC II, knocking the ball in after a corner kick in the 13th minute. Jeremy Batioja equalized by scoring from the penalty spot in the 68th minute.
TFC II (0) - New York Red Bulls II (3)
O'Vonte Mullings scored a brace to lead New York Red Bulls II to a dominant win at York Lions Stadium on Friday. Mohammed Sofo scored the first goal of the game in the 23rd minute, and Mullings added goals in the 32nd and 35th minutes.
Red Bulls II is striving to make it a three-team race atop the Eastern Conference table, trailing leaders Crown Legacy by five points.
New England Revolution II (3) - Huntsville City FC (0)
New England Revolution II halted Huntsville City FC's outstanding recent form, holding August Coach of the Month Jack Collison's side without a goal. Revs II stretched an impressive unbeaten run to 11 games.
Malcolm Fry opened scoring in the eighth minute. Revs II added another with an own goal in the 47th minute, and Jack Panayotou converted a penalty kick in the 71st minute.