Matchup set for inaugural MLS NEXT Pro Cup
NEW YORK CITY – The first-ever MLS NEXT Pro Cup will take place Saturday, October 8 in Columbus, Ohio when the number one seeds from MLS NEXT Pro’s inaugural season face off.
Eastern Conference Champion Columbus Crew 2 will take on Western Conference Champion St Louis CITY2 at Lower.com Field (5:30 p.m. ET) to determine the first MLS NEXT Pro Cup Champion.
The MLS NEXT Pro Playoffs began with an eight-team field, led by top-seeded Crew 2 in the East and first place CITY2 in the West. Sunday’s Conference Finals featured the four regular season Division Champions after the higher-seeded teams all advanced from the Conference Semifinals the week prior.
Crew 2 defeated Toronto FC II, 4-3, in a thrilling Eastern Conference Final Sunday night. With his team trailing 2-1 in stoppage time, Toronto’s Themi Antonoglou (90’+3’) forced extra time to keep TFC II’s chances alive. Antonoglou then quickly put Toronto ahead with an incredible goal from midfield just four minutes into the extra session. Columbus battled back, scoring twice in the last 11 minutes, including Coleman Gannon’s game-winner in the final minute (119’).
Later Sunday night, St Louis CITY2 defeated Tacoma Defiance, 2-1, in the Western Conference Final. CITY2 led 2-0 in the second half after goals by Tomáš Ostrák (31’) and Josh Dolling (59’) before Abdoulaye Cissoko’s successful penalty kick (76’) brought Tacoma within a goal. St Louis held off the Defiance comeback attempt to capture the Western Conference title.