The sixth week of MLS NEXT Pro action kicks off on Friday, with eight matches taking place over the course of the weekend, and five clubs still seeking their first league victory of the season. Here is a closer look at where each team stands heading into their Week 6 matchups:

Friday, April 29
Real Monarchs vs. St Louis CITY2 (9 p.m. ET)

St Louis CITY 2 comes into Friday’s trip to Real Monarchs sitting seven points ahead of its opponents, but hope to avoid a second-consecutive defeat in league play. 

John Hackworth’s side were thumped 4-0 by MNUFC2 on Sunday, suffering a second-straight defeat across all competitions. STL CITY2 have been shutout in each of the past two matches and need to try Wan Kuzain among others back in form in front of goal. 

Real Monarchs has only totaled two points from its opening two matches, but comes into Friday’s home match off the back of a shootout result against Timbers2. 24-year-old forward Pedro Fonseca has scored four goals on 10 shots on goal this season, continuing to be one of the major bright spots on the roster.

Saturday, April 30
Philadelphia Union II vs. NYCFC II (4 p.m. ET)

Subaru Park plays host to an I-95 clash between two of the top offensive attacks in MLS NEXT Pro. 

Philadelphia Union II returns home after suffering a 5-4 shootout loss to Chicago Fire FC II on Sunday. Marlon LeBlanc will be pleased after Chris Donovan and Cole Turner scored their first MLS NEXT Pro goals, but overall needs a full 90-minute performance from his defense in order to shut down a high-flying NYC II attack. 

NYC II leads MLS NEXT Pro with 15 goals, 10 of which have come in the past two matches. Jonathan Jimenez has scored in each of his last two appearances, including scoring the game-winner in last Friday’s 3-2 victory over RNY FC. John Denis and Massimo Murania will also be tough for Union II’s defense to keep under control.

Whitecaps FC II vs. Earthquakes II (6 p.m. ET)

Whitecaps FC II conclude a two-match homestand at Swangard Stadium on Saturday night with struggling Earthquakes II coming to town. 

WFC II has won back-to-back matches for the first time in MLS NEXT Pro and will be riding high on confidence after a 4-1 romp over Sporting KC II. Six different players have contributed goals over this small winning streak with Simone Masi, Jay Herdman, and Filip Rakic all headlining the options for head coach Nick Dasovic. 

Earthquakes II have failed to win any of their last three matches, most recently falling 5-4 in a shootout to Tacoma Defiance on Monday night at PayPal Park. Goals have been hard to come by for Quakes II, as the Western Conference club has scored only four goals in 360 minutes in 2022. 

Ousseni Bouda scored his first-career MLS NEXT Pro brace on Sunday though and will be eager to add to his tally this weekend.

TFC II vs. FC Cincinnati 2 (6 p.m. ET)

Only three points separates TFC II and FC Cincinnati II in the Eastern Conference standings as both teams are set to square off on Saturday at BMO Field. 

FCC2’s only victory so far came against TFC II on Week 2 by a 2-1 scoreline with Arquimides Ordonez and Andrew Akindele scoring the goals on that day. Ordonez leads FCC2 with two goals from four matches while Akindele and and Avionne Flanagan have each contributed one apiece. 

A win for FCC2 would give them a first road victory in MLS NEXT Pro. 

TFC II has been up-and-down through its opening four matches, scoring three goals or more in two matches, but also being held to one goal in defeats to FCC2 and Columbus Crew 2. 17-year-old Hugo Mbongue has been at the forefront of TFC II’s attack, scoring three goals and registering two assists.

Sunday, May 1
New England Revolution II vs. Inter Miami II (1 p.m. ET)

Two of the top MLS NEXT Pro sides will square off on Sunday knowing three points for either could mean finishing the weekend top of the Eastern Conference. 

Gillette Stadium plays host to New England Revolution II’s clash with Inter Miami II as the hosts aim to end the weekend unbeaten. Revs II has yet to suffer defeat in regulation, most recently falling to Orlando City B 4-3 in a shootout on Sunday. Damian Rivera and Jack Panayotou have five combined goals between them and remain two of the top young talents in MLS NEXT Pro.

Inter Miami II rebounded from a 7-0 hammering at the hands of NYCFC II by edging FC Cincinnati 2 1-0 on Sunday. Shaynder Borgelin and Emerson Rodriguez have combined for six league goals this season, but have not scored in each of their past two appearances. Romeo Beckham has been one of the best set-up men in the league, registering four assists in four matches.

Colorado Rapids 2 vs. Timbers2 (2 p.m. ET)

A pair of winless Western Conference sides meet at the University of Denver on Sunday looking to earn their first MLS NEXT Pro victory. 

Colorado Rapids 2 welcome Timbers2 to town aiming to get out of the basement of the Western Conference. Rapids2 have only scored two goals through their opening two matches with Yosure Hanya and former Arsenal trainee Dantouma Toure finding the back of the net on separate occasions. Anthony Markanich and Michael Edwards are the leading defenders in the squad who will hope for better success this weekend than in weeks past.

Timbers2 have been held to one goal or less in three of their four matches this season, with Blake Bodily accounting for 75% of the club’s goals so far. Bodily will need help from his offensive teammates if Shannon Murray’s side wants to claim a full three points this weekend.

Tacoma Defiance vs. Houston Dynamo 2 (6 p.m. ET)

Houston Dynamo 2 remain the only perfect MLS NEXT Pro side remaining in the regular season standings, but a trip to Starfire Sports Complex could pose a tricky test for the visitors. 

Dynamo Dos have turned up the heat offensively since a pair of opening-season 1-0 wins by scoring 10 goals in the last three matches. Roberto Avila is tied with Tacoma forward Alfonso Ocampo-Chavez for the MLS NEXT Pro goal-scoring lead with five tallies apiece. Avila will be under close watch by the Defiance defense, allowing Papa Ndoye and Marcelo Palomino the chance to add to their two goals apiece.

Tacoma Defiance comes into Sunday’s showdown nine points back of Dynamo Dos in the standings and will know the great opportunity in front of them to knock off one of MLS NEXT Pro’s early title challengers. The aforementioned Ocampo-Chavez also has five goals this season, but will need help from fellow attackers Reed Baker-Whiting and Samuel Adeniran for any chance of an upset.

Sporting KC II vs. North Texas SC (8 p.m. ET)

North Texas SC hits the road on Sunday looking to keep pace with Houston Dynamo 2 at the top of the Western Conference. 

Pa Modou-Kah’s side suffered their first regulation defeat of the MLS NEXT Pro season on Saturday and now aims to rebound against eighth-place Sporting KC II. Bernard Kamungo and Hope Avayevu will be the go-to attackers for North Texas SC who has only suffered one regulation defeat through five matches.

Sporting KC II is among the lowest goal-scoring clubs in MLS NEXT Pro so far, tallying only four goals through 450 minutes of action. Defensively, Benny Feilhaber’s side will need to straighten up to avoid a rout on home soil. Spencer Glass and Alljaz Dzankic will lead SKCII’s backline after combining for 12 interceptions and eight starts so far.