Week 19 of MLS NEXT Pro action saw some thrilling results that shook up the Top 5 rankings.
Let’s a look at what teams rose, stumbled, and joined the rankings at the end of Week 19.
Toronto FC II jumped back into the Top 5 Rankings after 22-year-old forward Paul Rothrock scored a brace on Sunday to give TFC II a 2-0 victory over Northeast Division rival New England Revolution II. With his two goals on Sunday, Rothrock, the 64th pick of the 2021 MLS Superdraft, upped his season goal total to six to go along with his four assists.
The result extended TFC II’s unbeaten streak to seven games, helping them climb into fourth place in the Eastern Conference with 26 points.
TFC II will have a chance to extend their unbeaten run this Sunday when they host Orlando City B during Week 20’s MLS NEXT Pro Game of the Week.
Previous Ranking: Not ranked
Next game: vs. Orlando City B on Sunday, August 7
After earning the extra point in a thrilling shootout victory over Inter Miami II on June 24, NYCFC II took control of the second spot in the Eastern Conference with 30 points. The Boys in Blue have won three out of their last five games and are third in the league in goal differential with +21.
This week, NYCFC II will face the enormous task of taking on a Columbus Crew 2 team that has only lost once at home this season and will be looking to bounce back after a stunning defeat at the hands of Philadelphia Union II.
Previous Ranking: 5
Next game: at Columbus Crew 2 Sunday, August 7
Although they fell in the subsequent shootout, Houston Dynamo 2 added another game to its unbeaten run of five after earning a 2-2 tie against Whitecaps 2 this past Friday.
Dynamo Dos was close to holding on to a 2-1 lead and the three points when Whitecaps FC 2 forward Emiliano Brianza all in attendance with a 94th-minute equalizer to send the game into a shootout.
After earning a point this weekend, Dynamo 2 currently holds the third spot in the Western Conference with 36 points.
Previous Ranking: 4
Next game: vs. Sporting Kansas City II on Sunday, August 7
Philadelphia Union II snapped Columbus Crew 2’s seven-game unbeaten run this past weekend after a Stefan Stojanovic stoppage time volley gave the team from Philly the 2-1 victory.
Despite the loss, Crew 2 continues to reign atop Eastern Conference with 38 points and will look to bounce back against NYCFC II, a team they defeated 1-0 on May 15.
Previous Ranking: 1
Next game: vs. NYCFC II on Sunday, August 7
Defiance jumped to first place in the rankings after a statement win at home this weekend when they dismantled St Louis CITY2 in a 5-1 victory.
Marlon Vargas continues to add to his case for being the MLS NEXT Pro Player of the Month for July after netting his 12th goal of the season against CITY2 and his fifth for the month of July.
After narrowly losing to Houston Dynamo 2 on June 26, Tacoma Defiance has reeled off four straight victories, scoring 17 goals while only giving up four.
The four consecutive wins have pushed Tacoma Defiance to the top of the league-wide standings with 40 points.
Previous Ranking: 2
Next game: at Earthquakes II on Friday, August 5