The Major League Soccer-run youth league now has a name.
MLS Next is slated to launch this weekend as a new platform for youth development in the United States and Canada. Featuring six age groups -- U13, U14, U15, U16, U17 and U19 -- the new league features 489 teams across 113 clubs around North America.
MLS NEXT clubs will kick off the inaugural season this weekend, Sept. 11-12, while adhering to detailed health and safety protocols. MLS NEXT competition was developed under guidance from federal, state and local government officials.
“MLS NEXT advances player development in North America, furthering Major League Soccer’s commitment to developing world-class players through an elite competitive pathway,” Fred Lipka, Vice President and Technical Director of MLS Player Development, said in a statement. “Major League Soccer is excited to begin MLS NEXT competition which will place player development at the forefront while giving players a safe and healthy environment to advance from academies to MLS first teams.”
For more information, visit MLSnext.soccer.
The opening round of fixtures this weekend can be seen.