MLS NEXT Pro Top 5 Team Rankings: Week 23

With three playoff spots already clinched across the league, teams above and below the red line in their respective conference are continuing to fight for a spot in the 2022 MLS NEXT Pro playoffs. With just three weeks left, it’s all-or-nothing for those who have not been eliminated nor clinched a playoff spot yet. 

Here’s a look at this week's Top 5 power rankings.

TFC II lost their first match since May 27 in Week 23, and coincidentally, it was the same Chicago Fire FC II opponent that handed them that loss in late May. A 10-match unbeaten streak was canceled out as Fire II claimed all three points in a 2-1 victory at SeatGeek Stadium.

With three playoff spots still up for grabs in the Eastern Conference and eight teams still in the running, it’s going to go down to the wire. Gianni Cimimi’s side has the privilege of controlling its own destiny, though. Dropping one spot in this week’s power rankings, TFC II have a difficult road ahead of them. Despite occupying the second place spot in the Eastern Conference, the Canadian side is only three points clear of fith place Inter Miami II. The good news, though, is that TFC II have a game in hand over multiple contenders for the three remaining playoff spots; only Inter Miami II is level on games played.

Previous Ranking: 4

Next Match: at Inter Miami II on Saturday, September 3

Dynamo dos earned a crucial win on the road against Western Conference playoff hopefuls MNUFC2 in Week 23, knocking the Loons off 1-0 at Allianz Field. A first-half spot-kick from Kyle Edwards was the only goal scored in the match despite a combined 31 total shots produced between the two sides.

The chippy contest saw nine yellow cards handed out between the two sides, but a defensive masterclass from Kenny Bundy’s side held off the pressing Loons to claim the important victory.

With the win, Dynamo Dos now have a nine-point gap between them and fifth-place Earthquakes II and remain at large to punch their Western Conference playoff ticket.

Previous Ranking: 5

Next Match: vs St Louis CITY2 on Saturday, September 3

Defiance dropped from the top spot in Week 22 to no. 3 in this week’s power rankings following a 1-0 loss to Real Monarchs on the road. However, the good news is that they have already clinched a spot in the 2022 MLS NEXT Pro playoffs while also clinching the Pacific Division.

With only two games remaining on their schedule and a BYE in Week 24, Wade Webber’s side will be fighting to try and earn the top overall spot in the West to end the regular season as they currently sit two points behind CITY2, having played one more game than them.

Previous Ranking: 1

Next Match: Whitecaps FC 2 on Friday, September 9

CITY2 put on an attacking clinic in Week 23, knocking off Timbers2 on the road by a 5-3 margin. The eight-goal thriller saw Joao Klauss De-Mello score a brace and see CITY2 climb back to the top of the Western Conference above Tacoma Defiance.

Having already clinched a spot in the 2022 MLS NEXT Pro playoffs, CITY2 are now looking to lock down the Frontier Division. They currently hold a five-point lead over Dynamo Dos in their division with the two sides level on games played. With three matches left, they look to hold their lead atop the Western Conference while securing the top spot in their division.

Previous Ranking: 2

Next Match: vs Houston Dynamo 2 on Saturday, September 3

Crew 2 are back to the top of the Power Rankings in Week 23, climbing back from the No. 3 spot in Week 22. A dominant 2-0 win over Eastern Conference playoff hopefuls Union II in Week 23 showed why they both sit atop the power rankings and the Eastern Conference.

Jacen Russell-Rowe scored his 16th goal of the season and officially climbed back to the front of the Golden Boot race with a one goal lead over OCB striker Jack Lynn. With three matches left in the campaign, Crew 2’s star striker and the team themselves will look to end on a high note as they have already clinched a spot in the 2022 MLS NEXT Pro Playoffs and the Central Division.

Previous Ranking: 3

Next Match: vs Chicago Fire II on Saturday, Sept. 3