MLS NEXT Pro Power Rankings: Matchweek 2

Tacoma Defiance B

We are two weeks into the 2024 MLS NEXT Pro season and several teams are already separating themselves from the pack.

Four clubs moved to 2-0-0 this season with Ventura County FC, Philadelphia Union II, LAFC2, and Tacoma Defiance all earning victories this past weekend. A total of 12 teams have yet to suffer a regulation defeat including new boys Chattanooga FC. 

Here is a closer look at MLS NEXT Pro's Top 10 Power Rankings following Matchweek 2:

10.) Colorado Rapids 2

Colorado Rapids 2 suffered a road loss to Tacoma Defiance on Sunday, but remained in this week’s Top 10. Despite conceding four goals at Starfire Sports Complex, Erik Bushey’s men put up a valiant effort on the road. Marlon Vargas scored for the second-straight league match in the defeat. 

Last Match: 4-2 loss at Tacoma Defiance
Next Match: vs. LAFC2 on Sunday, March 31

9.) Whitecaps FC 2

Saturday marked a memorable home opener for Whitecaps FC 2. 

Lowell Wright scored twice while three additional players scored goals of their own in a 5-3 victory over Real Monarchs. Despite receiving a good fight from the visiting Monarchs, Ricardo Clark’s men grinded out three points and remained unbeaten in regulation this season. 

Last Match: 5-3 win vs. Real Monarchs
Next Match: vs. Timbers2 on Saturday, March 30

8.) Inter Miami II

Federico Higuain’s Inter Miami II squad earned one point in its trip to MSU Soccer Park on Sunday. Leo Afonso scored twice for the Young Herons before Daniel Pinter’s 97th minute equalizer forced a shootout. Despite falling 4-3 on spot kicks, Inter Miami II continue to show plenty of confidence in 2024.

Last Match: 3-3, SOL at New York Red Bulls II
Next Match: at Orlando City B on Tuesday, April 2

7.) Orlando City B

16-year-old Justin Ellis helped Orlando City B earn two points in their trip to Huntsville City FC.

Ellis was named MLS NEXT Pro’s Matchweek 2 Rising Star of the Week after notching his first league goal for OCB. The academy attacker was a major bright spot in the OCB attack while Carlos Mercado made four saves in net. With five points earned out of a possible six to start the season, things are looking bright for Manuel Goldberg’s squad.

Last Match: 1-1, SOW at Huntsville City FC
Next Match: vs. Inter Miami II on Tuesday, April 2

6.)  Chattanooga FC

MLS NEXT Pro debutants Chattanooga FC made history on Saturday by registering their first league win and shutout. Jesus Ibarra scored twice after the hour mark before Mehdi Ouamri notched an insurance goal in a 3-0 home victory over FC Cincinnati 2. Ibarra delivered an impactful substitute performance and will be one to watch as the spring schedule moves forward.

Last Match: 3-0 win vs. FC Cincinnati 2
Next Match: at NYCFC II on Wednesday, March 27

5.) Ventura County FC

A statement win over Sporting KC II helped keep Ventura County FC in the Top 10 this week.

Aaron Bibout, Jonathan Perez, and Gino Vidi all scored goals as VCFC in a 3-1 road triumph at Rock Chalk Park. VCFC are flying right now to start 2024 and certainly will be confident heading into a Matchweek 3 showdown with fellow unbeaten side, Tacoma Defiance.

Last Match: 3-1 win at Sporting KC II
Next Match: vs. Tacoma Defiance on Sunday, March 31.

4.) New York Red Bulls II

The unbeaten start to 2024 also continued for New York Red Bulls II.

Red Bulls II outlasted Inter Miami II 4-3 in a shootout after the teams played out a 3-3 regulation scoreline. Ibrahim Kasule’s impactful start to the season continued with the Ugandan attacker netting his first two league goals of the season. Julian Hall celebrated his 16th birthday by also finding the back of the net.

Last Match: 3-3, SOW vs. Inter Miami II
Next Match: at FC Cincinnati 2 on Thursday, March 28

3.) Philadelphia Union II

Marlon LeBlanc’s Philadelphia Union II squad erased a first-half deficit and rallied for three points on Sunday at Subaru Park. A Herson Barry own goal paired with Sal Olivas’ 81st minute winner proved to be the difference in a 2-1 comeback result. 14-year-old Cavan Sullivan made his pro debut for Union II, assisting on Olivas’ eventual winner. Union II are top of the East on six points because of it.

Last Match: 2-1 win vs. New England Revolution II
Next Match: at Chicago Fire II on Thursday, March 28

2.) Tacoma Defiance

Tacoma Defiance are setting the standards early in Western Conference play. 

Herve Diese’s squad made it two-consecutive wins in league play after defeating Colorado Rapids 2 by a 4-2 scoreline. Faysal Bettache scored twice for the Defiance while Georgi Minoungou and Yu Tsukanome also celebrated goals of their own. With seven goals scored in 180 minutes of play, Tacoma is hitting the ground running in 2024.

Last Match: 4-2 win vs. Colorado Rapids 2
Next Match: at Ventura County FC on Sunday, March 31

1.) LAFC2

Make it back-to-back wins for LAFC2 to start the new campaign!

Junior Gonzalez’s squad picked up three points on Sunday in a 3-2 home triumph over Houston Dynamo 2. Nathan Ordaz and Luis Muller both found the back of the net while an own goal from Dynamo 2's Isaac Mwakutuya proved to be the difference in the final scoreline. Erik Duenas and DIego Rosales also excelled in the home victory.

Last Match: 3-2 win vs. Houston Dynamo 2
Next Match: at Colorado Rapids 2 on Sunday, March 31