The second half of the inaugural season of MLS NEXT Pro is underway as teams look to make a playoff push or solidify their positions in the standings. Let’s take a look at the teams that rose above all in this week’s MLS NEXT Pro Top 5 Team Rankings:
Earthquakes II make their debut in the MLS NEXT Pro Top 5 Team Rankings after defeating Whitecaps FC 2 Friday evening 3-2 on the road. The victory marked the third consecutive win for Quakes II which placed the team sixth in the Western Conference. An impressive run of form considering the side lost 6-1 to Tacoma Defiance to begin the month. Despite that, Quakes II showed an unshakable determination to simply win as all their victories this month have been by a one-goal margin. Is the team from Northern California the real deal? That’ll be tested when the club takes on Houston Dynamo 2 in its next match.
Previous Ranking: Not ranked
Next Match: vs Houston Dynamo 2 at PayPal Park on Friday, July 1 at 10:30 P.M. E.T.
Make that two straight shootout wins for Rochester New York FC as the team beat Eastern Conference leaders Columbus Crew 2 Friday evening 4-2 in the shootout after a scoreless draw in regulation. RNY FC, now fourth in the Eastern Conference, is still riding high on the momentum of its five game unbeaten run before its loss to FC Cincinnati 2. If not for that loss, the side would be eight games unbeaten — incredible. This week, RNY FC looks to secure all three points this time and leapfrog its New York rivals NYCFC II to move into third in the East. Will RNY FC continue to climb the standings or will the club be brought back to Earth soon? For now, a 4-1-3 record in its last eight games places RNY FC fourth on the MLS NEXT Pro Top 5 Team Rankings.
Previous Ranking: Not ranked
Next Match: vs Orlando City B at Monroe Community College on Friday, July 1 at 7:00 P.M. E.T.
Despite narrowly losing in a shootout to Rochester New York FC Friday evening, the Columbus Crew 2 remains in the top three of the MLS NEXT Pro Top 5 Team Rankings. The club still is atop the Eastern Conference with 31 points, which is the most in the league. The team fell short of a fourth consecutive win, but before the shootout loss Crew 2 scored 15 goals and conceded three times in its last three games. Crew 2 is still a formidable team but has the rest of the league figured the club out?
Previous Ranking: 1
Next Match: vs Philadelphia Union II at Historic Crew Stadium on Saturday, July 2 at 7:00 P.M. E.T.
Don’t look now but St. Louis CITY2 are on a three-game winning streak and are unbeaten in its last seven games. Not bad for the club’s first season of existence. CITY2 is now tied for first in the Western Conference and doesn't seem to be slowing down. With five players with three or more goals so far this season, can any team stop the red hot CITY2 offense?
Previous Ranking: 3
Next Match: vs Colorado Rapids 2 at Ralph Korte Stadium on Saturday, July 2 at 8:00 P.M. E.T.
North Texas SC rises to the top of the MLS NEXT Pro Top 5 Team Rankings following an impressive 4-0 win over Minnesota United FC 2. Four different goal scorers found the back of the net, including forward Bernard Kamungo who grabbed his eighth of the season. The win follows a 3-1 defeat to Whitecaps FC 2 but before that North Texas SC won four straight games. The club has been consistent all season so far and is not looking to share the throne for best team in the league in either. Can North Texas win it all? The rest of the second half of the season will tell.
Previous Ranking: 4
Next Match: vs Sporting KC at Rock Chalk Park on Saturday, July 2 at 8:00 P.M. E.T.