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2023 New England Revolution II MLS NEXT Pro Playoff Preview
Learn everything you need to know ahead of Revolution II's first-ever playoff run!
Following a successful 2023 campaign that saw Revolution II finish second in the East with 56 points on a 14-6-8 record with six shootout victories, the club prepares to embark on its first playoff run.
Unlike what we see on the Major League Soccer level, MLS NEXT Pro’s playoff structure provides a sense of excitement with a “pick your opponent” format for the first two rounds.
First-placed Crown Legacy FC will skip the Conference Quarterfinal round as second-placed Revs II and third-placed Columbus Crew 2 will choose their opponents for the opening round. With the second seed, Revolution II will select from fourth-placed New York Red Bulls II, fifth-placed Orlando City B, sixth-placed Chicago Fire II, and seventh-placed Philadelphia Union II.
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Who should Revolution II pick?
After looking at the four options, here is my ranking on who Revolution II should pick to face in the Conference Semifinal.
1.) Orlando City B
Revolution II remained unbeaten against Orlando City B in 2023 as they secured a 5-4 win on August 9th and a 1-1 draw and 3-2 shootout win on September 7th. OCB also had a rough end to the 2023 campaign as they went 2-1-2 with one shootout victory in their final five games. Orlando also possesses the worst road record amongst the four options, going only 4-7-3 with one shootout victory.
Considering Revs II’s success against them, their recent form, and road performances, Orlando City B should be atop Revolution II’s list.
2.) Philadelphia Union II
Revs II went a perfect 3-0-0 against Union II in 2023, where they outscored the Union 12-4. Yet Philly joins NYRB II as the only team with a winning record on the road. They’ve gone 6-5-3 away from Subaru Park. Union II have also concluded the season as they went 3-2-0 in their final five games and enter the playoffs on a three-game winning streak.
Despite their road record and recent form, Philadelphia Union II having no luck against Revs II in 2023 should entice Revolution II to face Philadelphia Union II.
3.) Chicago Fire II
Like Orlando and Philadelphia, Revs II remain undefeated against Chicago Fire II in 2023, yet they haven’t won either, as they picked up two draws in their two meetings this season.
While they haven’t been the best on the road, they haven’t been the worst with a 5-5-4 road record.
While a 1-1-3 record in their last five matches looks appealing, they’ve secured 9 of 15 points in that span with three shootout victories.
Despite being undefeated against Chicago, their recent run of games should deter Revolution II from selecting them.
4.) New York Red Bulls II
I want to avoid Red Bulls II at all costs. Revolution II only secured one point against New York in their three meetings. They first met on April 21st when NYRB II walked away with a 1-0 victory. Things were not as close in their June 4th meeting when NYRB netted four against Revs II and secured a 4-1 win. Revs II did secure a point in their August 6th meeting with a 1-1 draw but fell short in the shootout as New York secured a 4-3 shootout victory.
New York Red Bulls II ended the season strong with a 3-1-1 while netting 14 goals in their final five regular season matches.
With a 0-2-1 record against them and their recent form, Revolution II should not consider selecting New York Red Bulls II.
What happens next?
Once Revolution II selects their opponent, Columbus Crew 2 will choose from the remaining three teams. Once Crew 2 chooses their opponent, the two unselected teams will face each other with the higher-seeded team hosting.
If Revolution II is to advance to the Conference Semifinals, things get different as first-placed Crown Legacy enters the fray. As the first seed, they will select and host one of the three remaining teams. The two unselected teams will face each other with the higher seed hosting.
The same format will be implemented in the Western Conference as well.
Following the Conference Semifinals, the playoff returns to normal for the Conference Finals and MLS NEXT Pro Cup final.