MLS NEXT Pro Power Rankings: Matchweek 3

NY Red Bulls II

We are three match weeks into the 2024 MLS NEXT Pro campaign and several league contenders are continuing to shine as the calendar shifts to April. 

Ventura County FC, New York Red Bulls II, and LAFC2 continue to headline the unbeaten clubs in MLS NEXT Pro after latest results this past weekend. VCFC leads the Western Conference on nine points while Red Bulls II are top of the East with eight points of their own. 

Here is a closer look at MLS NEXT Pro's Top 10 Power Rankings following Matchweek 3:

10.) Colorado Rapids 2

Colorado Rapids 2 remained in the MLS NEXT Pro Power Rankings but barely.

Erik Bushey's men earned one point in a 4-3 shootout loss to LAFC2. Rapids 2 used a tying penalty-kick goal from Marlon Vargas to force the shootout before falling in spot kicks.

Rapids 2 still have one of the league's dangerous attackers in Vargas, but will need help from others to stay competitive in the West.

Last Match: 1-1, SOL vs. LAFC2
Next Match: vs. Sporting KC II on Sunday, April 7

9.) Orlando City B

Orlando City B suffered their first regulation loss of 2024, but remains in this week's Power Rankings. A 2-0 loss to Inter Miami II snapped an unbeaten start for OCB, forcing them to rebound on Matchweek 4.

A trip to Union II won't be easy, even with a new crop of attacking players.

Last Match: 2-0 loss vs. Inter Miami II
Next Match: at Philadelphia Union II on Thursday, April 11

8.) Chattanooga FC

New boys Chattanooga FC left New York with one point last Wednesday after forcing a shootout with NYCFC II. Despite falling 4-2 on spot kicks, Chattanooga FC moved to six points out of a possible nine available. Taylor Gray’s second goal of 2024 paired with Jon Burke’s five-save performance were the key highlights from the matchup.

Last Match: 1-1, SOL at NYCFC II
Next Match: vs. Inter Miami II on Saturday, April 13

7.) Whitecaps FC 2

Whitecaps FC 2 earned one point at home on Saturday, remaining unbeaten in regulation this season.

A 3-2 shootout loss to Timbers2 featured goals from Lowell Wright and Cyprian Kachwele. Wright now has three tallies in 2024, which is among the league-leaders in MLS NEXT Pro so far. A six-match road trip begins with back-to-back matches against Ventura County FC and Tacoma Defiance, but overall Whitecaps FC 2 should be confident after a positive start to the season.

Last Match: 2-2, SOL vs. Timbers2
Next Match: at Ventura County FC on Sunday, April 7

6.) Tacoma Defiance

Tacoma Defiance dropped in this week’s rankings after suffering a heavy loss to Ventura County FC. 

Herve Diese’s squad conceded five goals in a 5-2 road loss, which snapped their unbeaten start to regular season play. Yu Tsukanome and Osaze De Rosario netted goals in the defeat and will be among the players trying to turn things around on Matchweek 4. 

Last Match: 5-2 loss at Ventura County FC
Next Match: vs. LAFC2 on Sunday, April 7

5.) Philadelphia Union II

Philadelphia Union II remained unbeaten in regulation this season after fighting back for one point at Chicago Fire II. Eddie Davis’ 71st minute equalizer helped Marlon LeBlanc’s squad move to seven points on the year. 17-year-old David and 19-year-old Sanders Ngabo were the standout performers on Thursday and will be among those to watch as the season moves forward.

Last Match: 1-1, SOL at Chicago Fire II
Next Match: vs. Orlando City B on Thursday, April 11

4.) Inter Miami II

Inter Miami II moved to seven points earned in 2024 after defeating in-state rivals Orlando City B 2-0 on Tuesday. Alejandro Flores and Bryan Destin both found the back of the net as Federico Higuain’s squad remained unbeaten in regulation this season. With eight goals scored in three matches, there is plenty to be excited about if you are an Inter Miami II fan. 

Last Match: 2-0 win at Orlando City B
Next Match: vs. Huntsville City FC on Sunday, April 7

3.) New York Red Bulls II

Another week, another win for New York Red Bulls II.

A 3-2 road triumph over FC Cincinnati 2 was led by Roald Mitchell’s brace, which included a 90th minute winner. Mitchell has been one of the leading stars for Red Bulls II so far, as well as Ibrahim Kasule and Frank Ssebufu. A Hudson River Derby clash with NYCFC II comes next week, only one week after Red Bulls II were eliminated from U.S. Open Cup play by their rivals.

Last Match: 3-2 win at FC Cincinnati 2
Next Match: at NYCFC II on Wednesday, April 10

2.) LAFC2

Another impressive win for LAFC2 helped keep them in the Top 10 Power Rankings.

LAFC2 defeated Colorado Rapids 2 by a 4-3 shootout scoreline after the teams played out a 1-1 scoreline through 90 minutes. Adrian Wibowo’s 19th minute goal paired with Erik Duenas’ game-sealing penalty kick helped LAFC2 remain unbeaten in 2024. Junior Gonzalez has confidence high in his squad, which is great heading into a Matchweek 4 showdown with Tacoma Defiance.

Last Match: 1-1, SOW vs. Rapids 2

Next Match: at Tacoma Defiance on on Sunday, April 7

1.) Ventura County FC

Ventura County FC have continued to impress in the early stages of the 2024 campaign.

A 5-2 home win over Tacoma Defiance was the latest impressive result for VCFC, who received monster performances from Ruben Ramos Jr and Gino Vivi. Both players registered braces of their own as VCFC moved to 3-0-0 in league play and 4-0-0 across all competitions. A winnable match against Whitecaps FC2 is next for VCFC on the schedule this weekend. 

Last Match: 5-2 win vs. Tacoma Defiance
Next Match: vs Whitecaps FC 2 on Sunday, April 7.