MLS NEXT Pro: Top matches to watch in 2023


After an incredible inaugural season, MLS NEXT Pro returns on March 24 for its second campaign, bigger and better than ever.

The league’s second season will feature 27 clubs, including seven new ones. The 2023 schedule is available on and consists of 378 regular-season matches, with each squad playing 28 matches.

Check out the matchups everyone should mark on their calendar below!

How to watch MLS NEXT Pro in 2023:

The majority of regular season matches, plus all Decision Day, playoffs matches, and MLS NEXT Pro Cup, will be available to watch live and on-demand on MLS Season Pass on the Apple TV app. The remainder of regular season matches will stream live on MLS Season Pass is the subscription service from Apple and Major League Soccer that is home to all MLS and Leagues Cup matches and hundreds of MLS NEXT Pro and MLS NEXT matches.

Opening weekend

Austin FC II kicks off the 2023 MLS NEXT Pro Season

Austin FC II will host its first-ever match and kick off the inaugural game of the 2023 MLS NEXT Pro campaign on Friday, March 24, when they face their Frontier Division rival, Houston Dynamo 2, at Parmer Field.

Led by Head Coach Brett Uttley, ATXFC II will play at Palmer Field while training and operating alongside the Austin FC first team and Academy teams in the St. David’s Performance Center.

Meanwhile, Houston Dynamo 2 will look to build off a strong 2022 campaign where they made the MLS NEXT Pro playoffs and finished the regular season in a three-way tie for first place in the Western Conference.

Kenny Bundy’s squad also tied for the lowest number of goals given last season with 22 and were unbeaten at home, posting a record of 10-0-1. You can catch that game on MLS Season Pass on Apple TV.

Crown Legacy FC and Huntsville City FC Make History Together

Two of the newest teams to join MLS NEXT Pro will face off on opening weekend when Crown Legacy FC hosts Huntsville City FC Sunday, March 26, at the Mecklenburg County Sportsplex at Matthews. Catch that game on MLS Season Pass on Apple TV.

Led by Head Coach Jose Tavares, CLFC has brought in considerable talent to their team, like Serbian International Nikola Petković, Cape Verde International Luri Tavares, and Brazilian Youth International João Pedro to compete in their inaugural season in MLS NEXT Pro.

2022 Western Conference Final Rematch

The opening Sunday of the 2023 season will feature the rematch of the MLS NEXT PRO 2022 Western Conference Final when St. Louis CITY2 hosts Tacoma Defiance in the first-ever MLS NEXT Pro regular season match at CITYPARK.

CITY2 stopped the potent Tacoma Defiance at home last year in a thrilling conference final win that earned the team from St. Louis a ticket to the MLS NEXT Pro Cup.

Sweet Home Alabama

MLS NEXT Pro arrives in Northern Alabama

Nashville SC’s affiliate, Huntsville City FC, will join MLS NEXT Pro for the 2023 season and make their home pitch debut at Joe David Stadium on Friday, May 19, when they take on Crown Legacy FC. That match will air on MLS Season Pass on Apple TV.

Due to renovations to its stadium, Huntsville City FC will play its first seven matches on the road. Still, the wait will only make it more meaningful when the Huntsville City FC fans welcome their team when they take the pitch for the first time in May.

Nobody walks in LA

El Trafico - MLS NEXT Pro Edition

One of the biggest rivalries in sports arrives at MLS NEXT Pro this season when El Trafico takes center stage for the first time on Thursday, June 15, when Los Dos hosts LAFC 2. That match will be available on MLS Season Pass on Apple TV.

Both teams will be taking part in MLS NEXT Pro for the first time this season and will be part of the Pacific Division in the Western Conference and will face each other three times during the season.

If the past meetings between their senior teams are any indication, we can expect plenty of fireworks and thrilling moments to occur during these matchups this season. The Southern California rivalry will happen two more times on August 12 and September 9.

As cool as a capybara! Crew 2 ready for an encore

2022 Eastern Conference Final Rematch

The defending champs, Columbus Crew 2, will begin their title defense on the road when they travel to face one of the seven new MLS NEXT Pro teams joining the League in the New York Red Bulls II on March 26.

But the game all Capybaras and TFC II fans will be circling on their calendar is July 7, when the 2022 Eastern Conference Final rematch takes place where Toronto FC II will be looking to avenge last year’s loss.

The two Eastern Conference foes provided what was arguably the game of the season last year at Historic Crew Stadium in a seven-game thriller that included a stoppage-time free kick, an extra-time goal from midfield, and two last-minute goals from Crew 2 to book their ticket to the MLS NEXT Pro Cup.