MLS NEXT Pro Monthly Awards: June

The editorial team, several league personnel, announcers, and clubs voted on the top performers across the league during June to declare a Team, Coach, Goalkeeper, Rising Star, and Player of the Month.

The voting process entailed performances taken from MLS NEXT Pro league matches from June 1 to June 30.

Here are the winners:

MLS NEXT Pro Team of the Month: St Louis CITY2


While North Texas SC and Philadelphia Union II had vied for the league lead in points until now, St Louis CITY2's huge month of June made it a three-team race. CITY2 took 12 out of 15 points in June, including a three-game clean sheet streak.

"We are honored to be recognized," CITY2 coach Bobby Murphy said. "We have had a big month not only in our results but also our players' contributions to the first team. It is a credit to the players and my staff."

Academy player MyKhi Joyner continues to impress at the professional level, bringing his scoring total this season to seven with three goals in June. The 17-year-old scored a game-winning penalty in the 83rd minute to claim three points on the road against Colorado Rapids 2 to start the month.

John Klein, who led the team in scoring in 2023, has taken some time to heat up in MLS NEXT Pro play this year, but is finding a foothold with three goals in June. Klein's role with the first team is expanding too, as he played 130 minutes for the CITY first team in June. Forward Brendan McSorley and defender Jayden Reid have also managed to break into the first team.

Center back Michael Wentzel, who recently signed a first-team deal for the club, continues to be an effective anchor for the back line. Murphy has rotated the lineup with fellow center backs Oscar Benitez, Eric Kinzner, and Gabriel Mikina gaining minutes and maintaining a high level of play no matter which partnership is starting.

MLS NEXT Pro Player of the Month: Eliot Goldthorp

Eliot Goldthorp

Whitecaps FC 2 made several statements in convincing wins in June, and Eliot Goldthorp emerged as a team leader during that time. Goldthorp scored five goals in four starts in June, including two in the team's most recent win, a surprising 3-1 victory over another surging team this month in St Louis CITY2.

Goldthorp has been on the end of many chances for Whitecaps FC 2, but he's also provided four assists in June. Whitecaps FC 2's attacking threats such as Jay Herdman and Nicolas Fleuriau Chateau have thrived by building chemistry with each other.

Goldthorp is enjoying his first MLS NEXT Pro season. He arrived alongside Fleuriau Chateau in the 2024 MLS SuperDraft. Goldthorp played two seasons at Hofstra University, in which he had 25 goals and 21 assists in 43 appearances. He began playing in his home country of England in the youth academies of Manchester United and Leeds United before featuring for Bradford City's first team.

MLS NEXT Pro Coach of the Month: Ricardo Clark

Ricardo Clark - photo credit Jon Hair Vancouver Whitecaps FC

Whitecaps FC 2 finished June undefeated, scoring 17 goals and allowing only five. That marks a vast improvement from Ricardo Clark's side, which hit a rut from late March to early May with a winless streak of five games.

However, the team is flying high into July on a six-match winning streak. Clark's 3-5-2 formation manages to get the best out of a group of in-form attackers, including some key newcomers. Goldthorp, June's Player of the Month, scored five goals and added four assists, while Fleuriau Chateau added two goals and two assists and Herdman scored three goals with one assist.

"Congratulations to Ricardo, Eliot, and the entire team for their outstanding month," Whitecaps FC 2 sporting director Axel Schuster said of the recognition this month. "MLS NEXT Pro is about developing and proving consistently that you are ready to jump to the next level. Winning awards like these is additional confirmation that you’re on the right path towards your goals.”

Clark, a former star center midfielder with extensive MLS experience and 34 United States national team caps, started his coaching career when he joined the Whitecaps' first-team staff in 2021. He was named Whitecaps FC 2 coach ahead of the 2023 season.

MLS NEXT Pro Goalkeeper of the Month: Patrick Los

Patrick Los

Patrick Los is June's Goalkeeper of the Month after leading his team to one clean sheet, a shootout win, and nine saves in the run of play. The 16-year-old is enjoying an outstanding season in which he already claimed Goalkeeper of the Month in March. He's helped Fire II challenge the top teams in the Eastern Conference, with the club sitting fourth in the conference on 27 points.

Los earned his first career clean sheet in a 4-0 win over Huntsville City FC on June 16. The club went on a five-match unbeaten streak from late May into late June.

“We are excited to see Patrick recognized as Goalkeeper of the Month for a second time as he is working extremely hard as a young player to continually improve,” said Chicago Fire FC II Head Coach Ludovic Taillandier. “He is 16-years-old and it’s very challenging for young players to be consistent, but he is very humble and very demanding with himself. This mentality helps him show a maturity beyond his years.”

Los is the latest promising goalkeeper to come out of a Fire academy which has a strong track record at the position, developing standout goalkeepers such as current starter Chris Brady and Gabriel Slonina, who transferred to Chelsea in 2022. Los has spent time with the United States U-17 national team, participating in a training camp with the team in March.

MLS NEXT Pro Rising Star of the Month: Aron John

Aron John - Crown Legacy

In a recent conversation with MLS NEXT Pro, Aron John said his soccer idols include Manchester City playmaker Kevin De Bruyne and Liverpool midfielder Alex Mac Allister.

On the field for Crown Legacy FC, John has emulated those players rather well. He's not only shined bright as an academy player in the pro ranks, he's locked down a key starting role with Crown Legacy FC. John has six goals and five assists in 899 minutes. In June, he scored two goals and added three assists in four games.

"We are pleased that AJ has been recognized for his successes on the pitch, becoming another example of growth within Crown Legacy FC and the greater Charlotte FC organization,” said Assistant General Manager Bobby Belair. “Since he joined our academy, AJ has possessed the necessary dedication and talent to excel on and off the pitch and this award is a result of his commitment to the work on the training ground day in and day out. We are proud of AJ and look forward to his continued development within our pathway and helping Crown Legacy FC contend for a title this season.”

John played just 54 minutes in MLS NEXT Pro last season. He's made a big step forward in 2024, showing off his passing ability and killer instinct in front of goal. He has already been named MLS NEXT Pro's Rising Star of Matchweek 12 and was also named Charlotte FC's Academy Player of the Year in 2023.