MLS NEXT Pro Power Rankings: Matchday 26

Damian Las

Matchday 26 in MLS NEXT Pro brought several shocking results, but the majority of the Power Rankings remained the same. 

Crown Legacy FC and Colorado Rapids 2 remained top of the weekly list after picking up favorable results on home soil. The Eastern and Western Conference leaders are level with 60 points apiece heading into the final two weeks of the regular season. 

New England Revolution II, Tacoma Defiance, and St. Louis CITY2 have remained consistent teams this summer, extending their current unbeaten runs this past weekend. Houston Dynamo 2’s crucial road win helped boost them back into the Top 10.

Here is a closer look at MLS NEXT Pro's Top 10 Power Rankings:

Houston Dynamo 2 jumped back into the Top 10 after snapped their three-match losing streak and earning a crucial three points on the road. Diego Gonzalez, Tate Lampman, and Isaiah LeFlore all scored in a 3-1 road triumph over Timbers2. Kenny Bundy’s side desperately needed a win and answered the call at Providence Park. Now the focus quickly shifts to a home Texas Derby vs. North Texas SC. 

Last Match: 3-1 win at Timbers2
Next Match: vs. North Texas SC on Sunday, September 17

St. Louis CITY2’s hot run of form continued on Matchday 26 following a fourth-straight league victory on Saturday night. Faysal Bettache’s fifth goal in his past three outings proved to be the winner against Whitecaps FC 2 in a 1-0 win. Bobby Murphy’s squad are still fighting to clinch a playoff spot, but are in good shape heading into a Matchday 27 showdown with already-eliminated LA Galaxy II. 

Last Match: 1-0 win at Whitecaps FC 2
Next Match: vs. LA Galaxy II on Sunday, September 17

Defending MLS NEXT Pro Champions Columbus Crew 2 suffered a shocking home loss this weekend, but stayed in the Top 10 following Matchday 26 action. Laurent Courtois’ squad lost 5-2 at home to NYCFC II, a result which handed them their third loss in the past five matches. Winnable matches against FC Cincinnati 2 and ATL UTD 2 should be good exercises for Crew 2 before their title-defense begins. 

Last Match: 5-2 loss vs. NYCFC II
Next Match: at FC Cincinnati 2 on Sunday, September 17

Sporting KC II remained No. 7 this week despite coughing up a two-goal lead at home to Chicago Fire II. Benny Feilhaber’s squad saw their four-match winning streak end on Sunday at Rock Chalk Park, but remained qualified for the playoffs and are one of the more impressive Western Conference teams of late. Two tough matches against playoff-chasing MNUFC2 and St. Louis CITY2 will be good tests for SKC II before the postseason begins. 

Last Match: 3-2 loss vs. Chicago Fire II
Next Match: at MNUFC2 on Sunday, September 17

New York Red Bulls II failed to capture a statement win on Sunday at Crown Legacy FC, but did extend their regulation unbeaten streak to five matches. A 4-2 shootout loss to the Eastern Conference leaders kept Red Bulls II in third place in the East. Ibrahim Sekagya will be pleased to have Ibrahim Kasule and Frank Ssebufu back in the squad this weekend after the duo enjoyed international duty with Uganda’s national team.

Last Match: 1-1, SOL at Crown Legacy FC
Next Match: vs. Philadelphia Union II on Sunday, September 24

A third-consecutive victory for Tacoma Defiance has helped them further their grip on the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference. Wade Webber’s squad have only lost one of their last eight matches in regulation, sitting tied with Austin FC II for the best home record in the West (9-2-2). Braudilio Rodrigues and Paul Rothrock have continued to deliver goals in recent weeks while a stingy defense has been hard for opposing teams to break down. 

Last Match: 3-2 win vs. Earthquakes II
Next Match: at Real Monarchs on Friday, September 15

Austin FC II remained in the Top Four of the weekly Power Rankings despite claiming one point in a shootout loss to MNUFC2. Brett Uttley’s men have only lost one of their last 10 matches in regulation, but will need to tighten things up on both ends of the field come playoff time. Austin FC II’s dominant home record of 9-2-2 leads the Western Conference and could come in handy for the postseason. Valentin Noel and Sebastien Pineau have combined for 12 goals this season and certainly have a few more in the tank.

Last Match: 1-1, SOL at MNUFC2
Next Match: vs. Colorado Rapids 2 on Friday, September 15

Despite falling to No. 3 in this week’s Power Rankings, New England Revolution II have continued to be one of the more consistent sides in MLS NEXT Pro this summer. Clint Peay’s squad extended their regulation unbeaten run to 12 matches after earning a 3-2 shootout win over Orlando City B. Revs II haven’t lost in regulation since mid-June which is a great trend to take into the upcoming playoffs. 

Last Match: 1-1, SOW vs. Orlando City B
Next Match: at Crown Legacy FC on Sunday, September 17

A second-consecutive win and a fourth win out of five overall for Colorado Rapids 2 helped them jump back into the No. 2 spot in the Power Rankings. Erik Bushey’s men are level with Crown Legacy FC on points (60) this season and will have the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference Playoffs. Remi Cabral’s blistering run of form has certainly helped in recent weeks (at least one goal scored in each of the last four Rapids 2 victories). 

Last Match: 2-0 win vs. Real Monarchs
Next Match: at Austin FC II on Friday, September 15

Crown Legacy FC’s quest to capture the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference became complete on Matchday 26 by earning a 4-2 shootout win over New York Red Bulls II. Jose Tavares’ men are four points clear at the top of the East with two matches remaining on their schedule. The neck-and-neck race to capture the overall No. 1 seed between Crown Legacy FC and Colorado Rapids 2 will likely continue until the final whistle of the regular season.

Last Match: 1-1, SOW vs. New York Red Bulls II
Next Match: vs New England Revolution II on Sunday, September 17