MLS NEXT Pro Top 5 Rankings: Week 20

Week 20 of MLS NEXT Pro action saw some familiar faces sneak back into the Top 5 rankings.

Let's look at what teams rose, slipped, and climbed the rankings at the end of Week 20.

CITY2 bounced back from a 5-1 defeat at the hands of Tacoma Defiance in Week 19 and defeated Chicago Fire II at home by 2-1 this past weekend. Josh Dolling scored his eigh goal of the season and his first since July 10.

The victory gave CITY2 39 points for the season, placing them in second place in the Western Conference standings.

With six games left in their season, St Louis CITY2 has enough time to continue their fight for the top spot in the conference but will need to rediscover the form they displayed in June if they wish to hang with the Western Conference elite come playoff time.

Previous Ranking: Not ranked

Next game: At Whitecaps FC 2 on Sunday, August 14

The fact that an eight-game unbeaten streak can only propel you to fourth place in the Top 5 power rankings tells you how fierce the competition currently is in MLS NEXT Pro.

During their eight-game unbeaten streak, TFC II has put the league on notice as a team firing on all cylinders, scoring 12 goals while only giving up three.

Currently in fourth place in the Eastern Conference with 29 points, Coach Gianni Cimini's side can climb to as high as second place if they can continue their unbeaten run against RNY FC this weekend.

Previous Ranking: 5

Next game: at RNY FC on Friday, August 12

Houston Dynamo 2 extended their unbeaten run to seven games after earning a 3-0 victory over SKC II last Sunday. 

Three different Dynamo 2 players scored against SKC II, one of them being Marcelo Palomino, who scored an excellent free kick right before halftime, his sixth of the campaign.

The win on Sunday gave Houston Dynamo 2 39 points for the season and a bit of breathing room in the Western Conference standings between them and fourth place North Texas SC, who have 35 points.

A win against Rapids 2, a team they defeated in May, could put Dynamo 2 in second place in the Western Conference after Week 21.

Previous Ranking: 3

Next game: vs. Colorado Rapids 2 on Sunday, August 14

Columbus Crew 2 cemented their status as the top dog in the Eastern Conference after dismantling NYCFC II by 3-0 over the weekend. 

Jacen Russell-Rowe took sole possession of the MLS NEXT Pro Golden Boot race after scoring a brace in the victory against NYCFC II to bring his season total to 15 goals.

Crew 2 currently leads the Eastern Conference with 41 points and holds an 11-point lead over second place NYCFC II. With six games left in their regular season, it'll be hard for any team to knock Crew 2 off the top spot before the playoffs.

Previous Ranking: 2

Next game: at FC Cincinnati 2 on Sunday, August 14

July's MLS NEXT Pro Team of the Month continued wreaking havoc in August, earning their fifth straight victory after defeating Earthquakes II by 2-0 last Friday.

Defiance's numbers throughout their winning streak have been jaw-dropping, with their offense notching 19 goals while their defense shined by only giving up four. 

While they currently hold the top spot in the West, Tacoma Defiance can't let off the gas just yet as only four points separate them and the second and third place in a loaded Western Conference. 

Previous Ranking: 1

Next game: at MNUFC 2 on Monday, August 15