The 2022-23 MLS NEXT regular season, the third season of play for the burgeoning youth league, kicks off on Saturday, September 10, and will feature 628 teams competing in nearly 8,000 matches over a ten-month calendar. Over 13,000 players from the country’s leading 137 clubs, including all 29 MLS academies, will play in up to six age groups: U-13, U-14, U-15, U-16, U-17, and U-19.
The 2022-23 season features top prospects from across the U.S. and Canada, in both MLS academies and Elite club academies, competing for a chance to become MLS NEXT champions at the 2023 MLS NEXT Cup Playoffs in June of 2023. Additionally, the 2022-23 MLS NEXT calendar will feature four premier events, including MLS NEXT Fest in December 2022, Generation adidas Cup in April 2023, MLS NEXT Flex – a qualifying event for the MLS NEXT Cup Playoffs – in May 2023, and the MLS NEXT All-Star Game presented by Allstate in July 2023.
“Following our most ambitious season to date with the introduction of multiple national events in addition to an expansive regular-season schedule, we are excited to kick off the 2022-23 MLS NEXT season and build off the foundation laid in our previous two years to further the development of top players in the U.S. and Canada,” said MLS Technical Director of Youth Development, Fred Lipka. “With more than 600 teams and 13,000 players competing in MLS NEXT, we are excited to continue to see the level of competition rise in our program as MLS NEXT standouts make their impact in MLS and MLS NEXT Pro, and we look forward to generating more progress this coming year.”
MLS NEXT Fest
Held at the Empire Polo Ground in Indio, Calif. from December 2-8, 2022, MLS NEXT Fest features over 300 of the top youth teams across the United States and Canada competing in the MLS NEXT Fest Showcase and Generation adidas Cup qualifiers. The seven-day event provides an opportunity for North America’s top youth talent to be seen by college, national team and professional scouts/coaches in a single location.