MLS Next

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MLS Next
CountryUnited States
Other club(s) fromCanada
Number of teams628 (137 clubs)[1]
WebsiteMLS Next

MLS Next (stylized as MLS NEXT) is a youth soccer league in the United States and Canada, that is managed, organized, and controlled by Major League Soccer. It was introduced by the league in 2020.

It is a successor to the U.S. Soccer Development Academy. The system covers the under-13, under-14, under-15, under-16, under-17 and under-19 age groups. The league currently includes 590 teams across 133 clubs.[2]


Organized youth soccer affiliated with Major League Soccer began with various MLS academy teams playing in the Super Y-League at its foundation in 1999. In 2007, the United States Soccer Federation created an elite academy league called the U.S. Soccer Development Academy, which featured academy teams of MLS teams, along with several non-MLS academies across the United States and Canada. The intention of the USSDA was to create a top division of youth soccer in the United States and Canada.

On March 12, 2020, as a precautionary measure against the spread of COVID-19, the U.S. Soccer Development Academy suspended its operations.[3] On April 15, 2020, the league ended operations, citing financial difficulty.[4] The next day, Major League Soccer announced the formation of a “new elite youth competition platform intended to provide year-round high-level matches for MLS club academy teams and non-MLS academy teams that previously participated in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy.”[5] Major League Soccer officially announced MLS Next on September 8, 2020, encompassing 489 teams across 113 clubs and six age groups.[6] On September 11, 2020, the inaugural MLS Next matches were held at Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colorado, between the Colorado Rapids and Real Colorado's respective U-17 and U-19 age groups. [7] The league added 24 new clubs and expanded additional age groups for 16 existing clubs for the 2021–2022 season on June 11, 2021.[8]

In December 2021, Major League Soccer announced MLS Next Pro, a new professional league that will complete an integrated player pathway from MLS Next through to MLS first teams.[9] The league includes 21 teams and will play its initial season in 2022.

MLS NEXT Cup[edit]

MLS NEXT Cup Champions
U-15 U-16 U-17 U-19
2020–21[10] Real Salt Lake Weston FC Orlando City SC Chicago Fire
2021–22[11] Inter Miami D.C. United Philadelphia Union New England Revolution
2022–23[12] New York Red Bulls Atlanta United LA Galaxy New England Revolution


As of August 25, 2023

Club name Location Joined
Achilles FC Silver Spring, Maryland
AFC Lightning Peachtree City, Georgia 2021–22[8]
Albion SC Las Vegas Las Vegas, Nevada 2021–22[8]
Albion SC Merced Merced, California 2022–23[13]
Albion SC San Diego San Diego, California
Alexandria SA Alexandria, Virginia
Athletum FC Hialeah, Florida 2023–24[14]
Atlanta United FC Academy Marietta, Georgia
Atletico Santa Rosa Santa Rosa, California 2021–22[8]
Austin FC Academy Austin, Texas
Ballistic United Pleasanton, California
Baltimore Armour Ellicott City, Maryland
Barca Residency Academy Casa Grande, Arizona
Bavarian United SC Glendale, Wisconsin 2021–22[8]
Bayside FC East Providence, Rhode Island
Beachside of Connecticut Norwalk, Connecticut
Beadling Soccer Club Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 2021–22[8]
Bethesda Soccer Club North Potomac, Maryland
Blau Weiss Gottschee Middle Villages, New York
Breakers FC Aptos, California
California Odyssey Soccer Club Clovis, California 2021–22[8]
Capital City Soccer Club Austin, Texas 2023–24
Cedar Stars Academy – Bergen South Hackensack, New Jersey
Cedar Stars Academy – Monmouth Tinton Falls, New Jersey
CF Montreal Montreal, Quebec
Chargers SC Clearwater, Florida
Charlotte FC Academy Charlotte, North Carolina
Chicago FC United Glenview, Illinois
Chicago Fire FC Bridgeview, Illinois
Chula Vista FC Chula Vista, California
Cincinnati United Premier Cincinnati, Ohio
City SC Carlsbad, California
Colorado Rapids Academy Commerce City, Colorado
Columbus Crew Academy Columbus, Ohio
D.C. United Academy Washington, D.C.
De Anza Force San Jose, California
Diablo Valley Wolves Concord, California 2021–22[8]
Empire United SC Rochester, New York
FA Euro New York Brooklyn, New York 2022–23[13]
FC Bay Area San Jose, California
FC Boston Bolts Newton, Massachusetts
FC Cincinnati Academy Cincinnati, Ohio
FC Dallas Academy Frisco, Texas
FC Delco Downingtown, Pennsylvania
FC Golden State Force Jurupa Valley, California 2022–23[13]
FC Westchester Scarsdale, New York
Florida Rush SC Clermont, Florida
Hoover-Vestavia Soccer (HVS) Birmingham, Alabama 2021–22[8]
Houston Dynamo Academy Houston, Texas
Houston Rangers Houston, Texas
IdeaSport Soccer Academy Kissimmee, Florida 2021–22[8]
IMG Academy Bradenton, Florida
Indiana Fire Academy Carmel, Indiana
Inter Atlanta FC Atlanta, Georgia
Inter Miami CF Academy Fort Lauderdale, Florida
IFA of New England Newton, Massachusetts 2021–22[8]
Internationals North Royalton, Ohio
Ironbound SC Newark, New Jersey 2023–24
Kalonji SA (KSA) Norcross, Georgia 2021–22[8]
Kings Hammer Soccer Club Covington, Kentucky 2021–22[8]
Jacksonville FC Jacksonville, Florida
Javanon FC Louisville, Kentucky
LA United Futbol Academy Los Angeles, California
LA Galaxy Academy Carson, California
LA Surf La Canada Flintridge, California
Lamorinda FC Moraga, California
Lanier SC Atlanta, Georgia
Las Vegas SA Las Vegas, Nevada 2021–22[8]
Los Angeles Bulls SC Pacific Palisades, California 2023–24
Los Angeles FC Academy Los Angeles, California
Los Angeles Soccer Club West Covina, California 2023–24
Lou Fusz Athletic Earth City, Missouri 2021–22[8]
Louisiana TDP Elite Baton Rouge, Louisiana 2021–22[8]
Metropolitan Oval Brooklyn, New York
Miami Rush-Kendall SC Miami, Florida
Michigan Jaguars Novi, Michigan
Michigan Wolves Farmington Hills, Michigan
Midwest United FC Kentwood, Michigan
Minnesota United Minneapolis, Minnesota
Modesto Ajax United Modesto, California 2023–24
Murrieta Soccer Academy Murrieta, California
Napa United Napa, California
Nashville SC Academy Nashville, Tennessee
Nashville United Brentford, Tennessee 2023–24
NEFC Mendon, Massachusetts
New England Revolution Academy Foxborough, Massachusetts
NYCFC Academy Orangeburg, New York
New York Red Bulls Academy Whippany, New Jersey
New York SC Purchase, New York
Nomads San Diego, California
Oakwood SC Glastonbury, Connecticut
Orlando City SC Academy Orlando, Florida
Orlando City Soccer School South Kissimmee, Florida 2021–22[8]
Orlando City Soccer School - Seminole Sanford, Florida
PA Classics Manheim, Pennsylvania
Philadelphia Union Academy Wayne, Pennsylvania
Phoenix Rising FC Phoenix, Arizona
Players Development Academy Somerset, New Jersey
Portland Timbers Academy Portland, Oregon
Queen City Mutiny Charlotte, North Carolina 2021–22[8]
Real Colorado Centennial, Colorado
Real Jersey FC Medford, New Jersey
Real Salt Lake Academy Herriman, Utah
RSL Arizona Tempe, Arizona
RSL Arizona – Mesa Mesa, Arizona 2022–23[13]
Sacramento Republic FC Sacramento, California
Sacramento United Sacramento, California 2022–23[13]
San Antonio FC San Antonio, Texas
San Francisco Elite Academy San Francisco, California
San Francisco Glens San Francisco, California
San Francisco Seals San Francisco, California 2022–23[13]
San Jose Earthquakes Academy Santa Clara, California
Santa Barbara SC Santa Barbara, California
SC Del Sol Phoenix, Arizona
SC Wave Franklin, Wisconsin 2021–22[8]
Seacoast United Hampton, New Hampshire
Seattle Sounders FC Academy Tukwila, Washington
Shattuck-St. Mary's Faribault, Minnesota
Sheriffs Futbol Club San Ramon, California
Silicon Valley SA Palo Alto, California
SoCal Reds FC Irvine, California 2022–23[13]
Sockers FC Chicago Palatine, Illinois
Solar SC Trophy Club, Texas
South Florida FA Boca Raton, Florida
Southern Soccer Academy Atlanta, Georgia
Sporting Athletic Club Wilmington, Delaware 2023–24
Sporting Kansas City Academy Kansas City, Kansas
Springfield South County Youth Club Springfield, Virginia
Strikers FC Irvine, California 2021–22[8]
St. Louis City SC St. Louis, Missouri 2021–22[8]
St. Louis Scott Gallager Fenton, Missouri
Tampa Bay United Rowdies Tampa, Florida
Tormenta FC Statesboro, Georgia 2021–22[8]
Toronto FC Academy Toronto, Ontario
Total Futbol Academy Los Angeles, California
Total Football Club Katy, Texas
Triangle United Soccer Chapel Hill, North Carolina 2022–23[13]
TSF Academy Lincoln Park, New Jersey
Valeo Futbol Club Newton, Massachusetts
West Virginia Soccer Shepherdstown, West Virginia 2023–24
Vancouver Whitecaps FC Academy Vancouver, British Columbia
VARDAR Soccer Club Rochester Hills, Michigan
Ventura County Fusion Ventura County, California
Wake Futbol Club Holly Springs, North Carolina 2021–22[8]
West Florida Flames Apollo Beach, Florida
Weston FC Weston, Florida
Woodside Soccer Club Crush Redwood City, California 2021–22[8]


  1. ^ "2022-23 MLS NEXT schedule announced". Major League Soccer. September 8, 2023. Retrieved May 3, 2023.
  2. ^ "MLS NEXT – Youth Soccer Reimagined". Major League Soccer. Retrieved February 12, 2022.
  3. ^ "U.S. Soccer Development Academy Suspends Official Operations Through End of April and Cancels 2020 Allstate Spring Cup as Precaution Against Spread of Coronavirus". U.S. Soccer Development Academy (Press release). Chicago, IL: United States Soccer Federation. March 12, 2020. Retrieved February 12, 2022.
  4. ^ U.S. Soccer Development Academy [@ussoccer_da] (April 15, 2020). "It is with profound disappointment that U.S. Soccer has made the determination to end the operation of the Development Academy, effective immediately" (Tweet). Retrieved February 12, 2022 – via Twitter.
  5. ^ "Major League Soccer launches new elite competition for youth academies". Major League Soccer. April 16, 2020. Retrieved February 12, 2022.
  6. ^ "MLS NEXT elite youth development platform officially unveiled ahead of inaugural season". Major League Soccer. September 8, 2020. Retrieved February 12, 2022.
  7. ^ "MLS NEXT kicks off: Watch the inaugural matches between Colorado Rapids and Real Colorado". Major League Soccer. September 11, 2020. Retrieved June 12, 2023.
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x "MLS NEXT adds 24 new clubs ahead of 2021-2022 season". Major League Soccer. June 11, 2021. Retrieved May 3, 2023.
  9. ^ "MLS NEXT Pro unveils 21 clubs for inaugural season starting March 2022". Major League Soccer. December 6, 2021. Retrieved February 12, 2022.
  10. ^ "Four MLS NEXT Cup Champions crowned at inaugural tournament". Major League Soccer. July 4, 2021. Retrieved February 12, 2022.
  11. ^ "2021-22 MLS NEXT Cup Champions Crowned in Frisco |". mlssoccer. Retrieved June 19, 2023.
  12. ^ "MLS NEXT Cup: Atlanta, LA, New England & New York bring home silverware". Major League Soccer. June 25, 2023. Retrieved June 28, 2023.
  13. ^ a b c d e f g h "MLS NEXT adds 8 new clubs for 2022-23 season". Major League Soccer. May 2, 2022. Retrieved May 3, 2023.
  14. ^

External links[edit]