The MLSNEXTPro.com editorial team, several league personnel, announcers, and clubs voted on the top performers across the league during months of May 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 May 5 - May 29.
Here are the winners:
Team of the Month: Colorado Rapids 2
The MLS NEXT Pro Team of the Month for May has been awarded to Colorado Rapids 2. Their exceptional performance and outstanding record during the month have set them apart from the rest of the league.
During the month of May, Rapids 2 showcased their prowess on the field, amassing an impressive 3-0-1 record. Led by head coach Erik Bushey, the team equaled the all-time unbeaten streak in MLS NEXT Pro, reaching ten consecutive games without a loss after their victory over MNUFC2 on May 28th.
Rapids 2 demonstrated their attacking prowess by finding the back of the net 13 times while conceding a mere four goals, resulting in an impressive goal difference of +7. This offensive strength, combined with a solid defense, has made Rapids 2 a well-rounded team and played a crucial role in their success.
As a reflection of their performance, Rapids 2 finished the month of May atop the Western Conference standings, holding a comfortable six-point lead over their closest competitor.
Not only did Rapids 2 excel as a team, but several individual players also caught the attention of the first-team coaching staff. Standout performers such as Yosuke Hanya, Marlon Vargas, Daouda Amadou, and Rémi Cabral received well-deserved call-ups to the first team, highlighting their talent and the Colorado Rapids organization pro player pathway.
“We are extremely proud of the environment that has been created around this team,” said Brian Crookham, Rapids 2 General Manager. “The ability to compete at the top of the league while consistently providing support to the first team and giving an opportunity to younger players speaks volumes about the players and staff we have in the system.”
Other nominees: Crown Legacy FC, Columbus Crew 2, New England Revolution II, New York Red Bulls II, Whitecaps FC 2
Player of the Month: Iuri Tavares, Crown Legacy FC
Iuri Tavares' excellent season continued in May.
His three goals and one assist led Crown Legacy FC to a 4W-1L-0T record in the month, which firmed their grip at the top of the Eastern Conference.
The surge brings the 22-year-old Portuguese forward to six goals on the season, leading CLFC and placing him second in the MLS NEXT Pro 2023 Golden Boot race.
“Iuri is a great player that has fit in well to the culture we are building within Crown Legacy FC and Charlotte FC organization,” said Crown Legacy FC head coach Jose Tavares. “This award is a reflection of his hard work and dedication on and off the pitch to be the best footballer and teammate he can be. We are humbled to have Iuri receive this honor and hope to build on our current success.”
Tavares joined Crown Legacy in January as the club's first-ever permanent transfer. His career began in the academy ranks of Portuguese giant Benfica as a youth, and he debuted as a professional with Vitoria Guimaraes in Primera Liga play in 2021.
“I am humbled and honored to earn MLS NEXT Pro’s Player of the Month for May,” said Tavares. “I could not have the success I have without my teammates and the coaching staff supporting me every step of the way. We will continue to work and complete the goals we set out to achieve.”
Other nominees: John Klein (St Louis CITY2), Karim Tmimi (Atlanta United 2), Diogo Pacheco (MNUFC2), Julian Altobelli (Toronto FC II), Jack Lynn (Orlando City B)
Goalkeeper of the Month: Adam Beaudry – Colorado Rapids 2
Colorado Rapids Academy Goalkeeper looked like a seasoned professional in May.
Rapids 2 is still unbeaten through 10 MLS NEXT Pro Matchdays, and Beaudry's four stars (which included two clean sheets) went a long way in maintaining his club's stellar form.
Beaudry is entering his second year with the Rapids organization after a successful youth career with Real Colorado. The young goalkeeper was called into U.S. national team camp three times during the 2022 season, and most recently, traveled to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, to join the Rapids Academy U-17 team in preparation for the Concacaf Under-17 Championship.
Beaudry currently occupies a starting position on the Rapids Academy U-17 team and posted a clean sheet in eight starts in the team’s 2022-23 MLS NEXT season. The 17-year-old goalkeeper had a standout 2022 season, earning a professional debut with Rapids 2 on July 27, 2022, against Premier League 2 side Wolves U-21. Beaudry kicked off the 2023 season with the opportunity to attend preseason with the Rapids first team in Querétaro, Mexico.
“Adam has been playing beyond his years. He stepped in with big shoes to fill and has done so not only by making saves but through his presence, composure and thought,” said Rapids 2 Head Coach Erik Bushey. “For a young player to help lead the way as he has is impressive. However, this is also what is expected of him. We are proud of Adam and see the experience he is gaining as another positive step towards him achieving his personal goals.”
Other nominees: Andrew Pannenberg (Houston Dynamo 2), Brady Scott (Columbus Crew 2), AJ Marcucci (New York Red Bulls II), Jacob Jackson (New England Revolution II)
Coach of the Month: Clint Peay - New England Revolution II
New England Revolution II's head coach, Clint Peay, has been named the MLS NEXT Pro Coach of the Month for May due to his team's exceptional performance during the past month.
Although Revs II started the month with a loss against NYCFC II on the road, they quickly turned things around. Clint Peay's team displayed remarkable resilience the following week after trailing 2-0 against TFC II at halftime, ultimately securing an impressive come-from-behind 3-2 victory.
In one of the most thrilling games to date of the 2023 season, Revs II once again showcased their ability to stage comebacks, this time against Philadelphia Union II, scoring twice in the last 15 minutes of the match to earn a hard-fought 4-3 triumph.
Continuing their winning streak, New England Revolution II bested defending champion Columbus Crew 2 with a commanding 2-0 victory during Matchday 10. Wrapping up an impressive month, they secured their fourth consecutive win against Inter Miami II, triumphing with a narrow 1-0 scoreline.
Thanks to their four-game winning streak, New England Revolution II has surged to second place in the Eastern Conference.
“I’m proud of the hard work our team has put in all month and how all of our players have developed since the start of the year." said Peay. "We have more work to do as we head towards the second half of the season and we look forward to building on this strong foundation.”
Other nominees: Erik Bushey (Colorado Rapids 2), Laurent Courtois (Columbus Crew 2), Kenny Bundy (Houston Dynamo 2), Ibrahim Sekagya (New York Red Bulls II), José Tavares (Crown Legacy FC)
Rising Star of the Month: Diego Hernandez – North Texas SC
North Texas SC forward Diego Hernandez is a rising star in every sense of the term.
The 18-year-old academy standout has captivated fans on and off the field in recent weeks. In May, he registered his first-ever professional goal and registered an assist. Both were critical in keeping NTSC unbeaten in the month.
“I am extremely grateful to have won the Rising Star of the Month award. I am honored to receive this recognition." Hernandez said. "I am also thankful that I have coaches and teammates that push me to be better every day. I would also like to thank my family who are always behind me and push me to be better as well.”
He also shared the story of his journey back to the field following a horrific car accident in 2020. The FC Dallas Academy star is making the most of his return to the professional scene and looks primed to headline the cast of young stars in 2023.
Other Nominees: Ruben Ramos (LA Galaxy II), Adam Beaudry (Colorado Rapids 2), Alexander Yugadayev (NYCFC II), Chris Olney (Philadelphia Union II)