Three weeks of MLS NEXT Pro action are in the books, and a clear picture of the league's top teams is beginning to form. Let's take a look at which teams made the MLS NEXT Pro Top 5 Rankings this week:
Philadelphia Union II's dynamic offense was halted following a 1-0 defeat to Columbus Crew 2 at Subaru Park Sunday evening. The home side suffered its first loss of the season — dropping the team to fourth in the Eastern Conference. The defeat also marks the first time Union II failed to register a goal after scoring five goals in two weeks. Crew 2 dictated the game's pace all night as the visitors had 57% possession, denying Union II's offense any rhythm.
Previous Ranking: 1
Next Match: at Chicago Fire II on Sunday, April 24
St Louis CITY2 moved into the MLS NEXT Pro Top 5 Rankings after outlasting Tacoma Defiance in a seven-goal thriller Sunday evening at St. Louis University Hermann Stadium. The home side won 4-3 to remain undefeated, and placed third in the Western Conference standings. Defiance nearly leveled the game late after scoring twice in 10 minutes, but CITY2's backline held firm to secure all three points. The frontline also made headlines as Celio Pompeu finished with a goal and assist, and Josh Dolling grabbed two assists.
Previous Ranking: N/A
Next Match: at Sporting KC II on Saturday, April 16
After blanking in-state rivals Orlando City B 2-0 Sunday evening at DRV PNK Stadium, sits at the of the Eastern Conference standings. Inter Miami CF II kicked off last week with a three-goal performance in a comeback thriller against Union II. On Sunday, Inter Miami II proved to be too electric on counterattacks vs. Orlando City B, as their opponent struggled to get a score. Not only did the offense light up the pitch again, but the backline also bounced back after allowing three goals last week. Goalkeeper CJ dos Santos denied Orlando City B twice late in the game to maintain the clean sheet for the home side. The team from Miami's mix of high octane attack and sturdy defense could spell problems for the rest of the league.
Previous Ranking: 5
Next Match: at NYCFC II on Saturday, April 16
Despite being down 1-0 to open the game, North Texas SC battled back to win 3-1 against Colorado Rapids 2 at Choctaw Stadium Sunday afternoon. The home side scored three unanswered goals. It held Rapids 2 to minimal chances after its lone score in the first half. Forwards Hope Avayevu and Bernard Kamungo led the charge on offense as the African-born duo combined for two goals and an assist against Rapids 2. The team from Texas remained unbeaten through three games following the win and is second in the Western Conference. The win also marks the second consecutive week NTSC came back from a deficit to win, making the team a nightmare to hold the lead against.
Previous Ranking: 3
Next Match: at Earthquakes II on Sunday, April 17
Houston Dynamo 2 continues to light up MLS NEXT Pro following an emphatic 3-0 win against Sporting KC II at Rock Chalk Park Sunday evening. That makes it three wins and three clean sheets in three games for the team from Houston. That's good enough for first place in the Western Conference and the MLS NEXT Pro Top Rankings. Forward Roberto Avila grabbed headlines with his three-goal eruption in the win, and the backline continued to shut down the opposition after not conceding a goal. Dynamo Dos' high-pressing attack and impervious defense look more in sync each week, creating a juggernaut not many teams look forward to facing any time soon.
Previous Ranking: 2
Next Match: vs Timbers2 on Saturday, April 16