MLS Next Rising Star of Matchday 27: Kage Romanshyn Jr.


The penultimate Matchday in the 2023 MLS NEXT Pro regular season produced yet another magic moment for an Academy youngster.

18-year-old Minnesota United FC midfielder Kage Romanshyn Jr. stepped up in a critical match on Sunday. His goal and assist went the longest way in MNUFC2's 3-2 win over Sporting KC II. He assisted in the game's opening goal and then notched a massive insurance goal in the 81st minute to keep his side above the playoff line against a tough SKC II side that clinched its playoff berth weeks ago.

What's more, it served as his professional account-opener.

Romanshyn becomes the second-ever MNUFC2 player to earn the Rising Star of the Matchday award, joining Leo Conneh.

The milestone moment came in Romanshyn's 10th appearance and fourth start of the season. It was his second start in a row, which was the fruit of a strong performance against Austin FC II on Matchday 26.

"I think it's so cool, you know, he's done really, really well," said MNUFC head coach Cameron Knowles. "And he's probably earned more playing time that he's got. He stepped up big he was called on at the last minute to start last week and then played really, really well. So much so that we just couldn't see a way that we could take him out of the team with the way that he had played. And he got his reward, you know, a great assist and a great goal. He did really, really well so we're pleased."

MNUFC2's Decision Day will be a real test. They head West to square off with Conference leader Colorado Rapids 2 on September 24. Rapids 2 took the last meeting 4-1 in May. If MNUFC2 can pull it off, it will mean a guaranteed playoff berth and a golden confidence booster with respect to Rapids 2's stature in the conference playoff picture. You can catch that game and several others on MLS Season Pass on Apple TV.