Action from Matchday 9 in MLS NEXT Pro included several debut goals and improbable comebacks, plus the Friday opening of Huntsville City FC's Joe Davis Stadium before a sellout crowd, and the action raged on with a nine-game slate on Sunday.
Here is a closer look at all the action MLS NEXT Pro Matchday 9 had to offer:
Philadelphia Union II (3) - New England Revolution II (4)
A hat trick, including a stoppage-time winner, for Esmir Bajraktarevic sent New England Revolution II ahead of Philadelphia Union II in a goalfest.
Bajraktarevic scored his first goal early in the first half with a heavily deflected free kick, then Union II's Chris Donovan slotted home an equalizer in the 16th minute. Chris Olney Jr. put Union II in the lead, and Donovan added a second goal to put Union II up 3-1 in the 51st minute.
In the 75th minute, Bajraktarevic started a sequence of three unanswered goals by Revs II with an outside-the-box effort that found the bottom right corner. Domingos Dias equalized in the 82nd minute and Union II's Maike Villero was sent off in the 85th minute, setting the table for Bajraktarevic to score from a tight angle in the first minute of stoppage time to seal the victory.
FC Cincinnati 2 (0) - Columbus Crew 2 (1)
A third-minute strike from Taha Habroune proved enough for Columbus Crew 2 to extend its winning streak to four games. Habroune scored his first goal for Crew 2 on the same day he was signed by the club.
Crew 2 goalkeeper Brady Scott made three saves to preserve the clean sheet. It was Scott and Crew 2's third shutout in a row.
Real Monarchs (0) - Los Angeles Football Club 2 (1)
LAFC2 continued a positive run, earning three points for the first time this season. Yekeson Subah struck in the 10th minute, hammering a loose ball rolling across the face of goal into the net.
Subah, a former Monarchs player who spent the 2021 and 2022 seasons in Salt Lake City, picked up the Man of the Match honor with the decisive goal, and stayed active across 90 minutes with three shots on goal.
With the loss, Real Monarchs falls to two games without scoring, and two losses in a row.
St Louis CITY2 (2) - Sporting KC II (2) (CITY2 wins shootout 5-4)
A back-and-forth match between regional rivals ended with St Louis CITY2 notching a second-half equalizer and claiming two points in a shootout win.
Sporting KC II's Ozzie Cizneros knocked in a rebound from a set piece to put SKCII up a goal in the 16th minute. SKCII doubled the lead in the 25th minute with a header goal by Cam Duke. CITY2 mounted its comeback with a goal from 16-year-old Caden Glover in the 51st minute. The goal was Glover's first MLS NEXT Pro goal.
CITY2's pressing paid off in the 63rd minute, with a goal from Akil Watts. CITY2 goalkeeper Ben Lundt was instrumental in winning the shootout, blocking Pau Vidal's attempt.
New York Red Bulls II (1) - Inter Miami II (0)
Oladayo Thomas's 20th-minute goal allowed New York Red Bulls II to claim three points against Inter Miami II at MSU Soccer Park Sunday night. Thomas scored his second goal of the season off a well-placed assist from Frank Ssebufu.
Inter Miami II applied pressure, with 65% possession and four shots on goal. Red Bulls II goalkeeper AJ Marcucci made four saves to preserve the clean sheet.
Red Bulls II are now on a two-game winning streak and have picked up 14 points from their last six games. Sunday's win puts Ibrahim Sekagya's side into the top four in the Eastern Conference.
TFC II (3) - Chicago Fire FC II (2)
Julian Altobelli starred as TFC II scored three goals, emerging from a two-goal deficit to earn three points at York Lions Stadium. Altobelli had two goals to bring TFC II level, then assisted the winning goal from Alec Diaz.
Chicago Fire FC II earned a two-goal lead just after halftime, with a first-half penalty converted by Harold Osorio and a 48th-minute goal from Michael Nesci. Altobelli passed across the field to Diaz in the 80th minute, and Diaz created enough space to send the ball off the post and in the goal to complete the comeback.
TFC II bounced back from last week's loss to Revs II, and made it two wins in the last three games for the club. The latest falter for Fire II leaves them without a win since March 31.
LA Galaxy II (2) - Timbers2 (0)
Alejandro Alcala and Ruben Ramos struck nine minutes apart to lead LA Galaxy II past Timbers2. Galaxy II burst free from a three-game losing streak with the win.
Ramos scored with a header off a long set-piece feed from Carson Klein. Alcala scored with an impressive shot from the top of the box that started with a clever dribbling move.
T2, unable to follow up last week's win over Whitecaps FC 2, remains near the bottom of the table in the Western Conference.
North Texas SC (3) - Houston Dynamo 2 (3) (Dynamo Dos wins shootout 6-5)
A six-goal thriller followed by an extra-round shootout ended with Dynamo Dos taking two points from this in-state rivalry match. Jathan Juarez emerged as the hero, scoring the decisive spot kick to bring Dynamo Dos the win in the shootout after eight rounds.
Dynamo Dos sent it to a shootout with a goal from Isaiah Reid in the final minute of stoppage time. Reid scored just eight minutes after entering as a substitute. Jacob Evans scored in the 77th minute to give Dynamo Dos a lifeline.
For North Texas, Diego Hernandez played the super sub role, scoring to put his team up 3-2 in the 82nd minute after entering the game nine minutes earlier. Hernandez' goal was a special moment, scoring first goal since returning to the field after a debilitating car accident. Hernandez made headlines three years ago as the youngest player to see the field for North Texas at 15 years old.
Whitecaps FC 2 (1) - Tacoma Defiance (0)
A beautiful strike from Kamron Habibulla brought Whitecaps FC 2 ahead of Tacoma Defiance Sunday night at Swangard Stadium. Habibulla cut inside near the top of the 18-yard box in the 57th minute and sent a shot curling into the top right corner.
Whitecaps FC 2 midfielder Giovanni Aguillar put in a standout performance, with three tackles as Defiance kept the majority of possession.
Whitecaps FC 2 handed Tacoma Defiance a loss to snap a four-game unbeaten streak. Whitecaps FC 2 has lacked consistency in recent weeks, but maintain strong home form with 12 points from their last five matches at Swangard Stadium.
Orlando City B (2) - Atlanta United 2 (2) (ATL UTD 2 wins shootout 5-4)
Atlanta United 2 broke a two-game losing streak with a competitive performance Friday night against one of the top Eastern Conference sides in Orlando City B.
Karim Tmimi scored his fourth goal of the season in the sixth minute, and Luke Brennan doubled the lead from the penalty spot. OCB, however, stormed back in the second half with two goals from Jack Lynn. ATL UTD 2 triumphed in the shootout, scoring all but one of its spot kicks.
Huntsville City FC (2) - Crown Legacy FC (1)
Huntsville City FC's opening of Wicks Family Field at Joe Davis Stadium was a night to remember, as the club brought down league leaders Crown Legacy FC, handing Crown Legacy its first loss of the season and denying them the outright MLS NEXT Pro consecutive wins record.
Azaad Liadi scored the decisive goal in the 70th minute. Huntsville City FC erased an early deficit, as Crown Legacy's Jacob Williams opened scoring in the fifth minute.
Austin FC II (0) - Earthquakes II (1)
A first-half goal from Roberto Hategan saw Earthquakes II leave Parmer Field with all three points against one of the strongest home teams in MLS NEXT Pro. Hategan capitalized on a bouncing ball just outside the box, volleying off the post and into the goal in the 33rd minute.
Earthquakes II goalkeeper Emmanuel Ochoa made four saves to preserve the shutout.