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MLS NEXT Oct 17, 2023

Columbus Crew 2 aiming for 2nd straight MLS NEXT Pro title

For a second straight year, Columbus Crew 2 will play host for the MLS NEXT Pro Cup when they welcome Austin FC II for the league’s championship event Sunday at Field (5 pm ET | MLS Season Pass).

Crew 2 will have a chance to defend their 2022 title after upsetting both No. 1 seed Crown Legacy FC in the Eastern Conference Semifinals and No. 2 seed New England Revolution II in the Conference Finals, with each result coming on the road.

Columbus’ Gibran Rayo played the hero role in the dramatic result in Foxborough, MA, putting a stoppage-time game-winner past New England goalkeeper Nico Campuzano to claim a 1-0 victory.

Austin FC II will also be riding the high of an upset result coming off their penalty-kick victory over a No. 1 seed Colorado Rapids 2 side that was one of the league’s most dominant teams in 2023. Austin FC II benefitted from the heroics of goalkeeper Damian Las, who made a pair of saves in the decisive shootout after a standout campaign that saw him take home the league’s MLS NEXT Pro Goalkeeper of the Year honors.

2023 MLS NEXT Pro Cup will air live via MLS Season Pass on Apple TV and will feature an enhanced broadcast. James Hadnot will provide play-by-play and will be joined by analyst Ricky Lopez-Espin in the booth. Jalil Anibaba and Michelle Montaine will provide coverage on the sidelines.

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