MLS NEXT performer of MLS NEXT Pro Matchday 2: Ryder Mills 


FC Cincinnati 2 did not walk away with their second MLS NEXT Pro victory of the season Friday night, but they did receive a promising performance from one of their young academy players.

Ryder Mills scored his first MLS NEXT Pro goal in FCC2’s 2-1 road loss to Crown Legacy FC. The 18-year-old made his MLS NEXT Pro debut off the bench for Tyrone Marshall’s squad and celebrated his first goal in the process.

After coming onto the pitch in the 68th minute, Mills needed only three minutes to cut FCC2’s deficit in half. Jesus Castellano’s low-driven shot on goal forced a save in the box, and Mills pounced on the rebound to make it 2-1.

Although FCC2 could not find a tying goal, Mills walked away with an early confidence boost to take through to the rest of the season. The promising teenager finished the match with one foul drawn and one interception in his 22-minute substitute performance.

Mills previously featured in the Columbus Crew’s academy before joining the FC Cincinnati organization in 2019. He scored 10 goals in 10 appearances for the Developmental Academy during the 2019-20 season.

FCC2 will next host Huntsville City FC on April 9 (5 pm ET | MLS Season Pass) in Matchday 3 action.