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MLS Next Teams: Youth Academy clubs, Tryouts, information



The MLS soccer league has improved and is currently a destination for professional soccer players worldwide.


But getting invited for these tryouts is the biggest hurdle young players face since most clubs have different ways of scouting players for their respective youth development teams.


MLS Tryouts and how to go about it


One of the ways to get an MLS Tryouts is to become a part of the MLS Superdraft or the MLS Supplemental Draft. Or, to get a chance, you should be invited to MLS Combine, a talent showcase that was last held a few years ago.


The level of the MLS over the years has been outstanding, and to further improve on the level of youth soccer development, the MLS Next League was created.


Cool facts

Can you try out for MLS teams? You can use only tryouts for MLS clubs through their respective development Academies or the MLS Tryouts.


Do MLS academy players get paid? MLS Academy players receive training compensation or solidarity payments.


What age is MLS next? The MLS Next League runs through under-13, under-14, under-15, under-16, under-17 and under-19 age groups.


About MLS Next

The MLS Next League is a soccer development league for Major League Soccer teams and other development teams across the United States and Canada.


The MLS organises it through the Youth development section. The league runs similar fashion as the Major League Soccer, dividing teams into various conferences.


How to participate

The participants of the MLS Next are players from various MLS clubs and other soccer development teams from the United States and Canada.


To be eligible, you must be a part of these teams. Players scouted and admitted into the various Soccer Academies across MLS would also participate.


To join any academies and stand a chance to participate, you must be among the players scouted by these Academies.


MLS Next Schedule

The league began in mid-year of 2020, and as such, the first season ran from September to July end.


List Academy from the MLS


  1. Atlanta United 

Atlanta United Academy is a soccer development department of MLS side Atlanta United.

Read: How to apply

  1. Charlotte FC

Charlotte FC Youth Academy is the youth development team of the following Major League Soccer outfit Charlotte FC.


  1. Chicago Fire FC

Chicago Fire Soccer Academy is the youth wing of the club competing in the MLS Next. It is one of the fastest-growing soccer development programs in the United States. Chicago Fire FC of the MLS owns it

Read: How to apply


  1. Colorado Rapids

Colorado Rapids is the Academy outfit of MLS franchise Colorado Rapids FC. The team features youth players of different age groups.

Read: How to join


  1. Columbus Crew

Columbus Crew is the Youth Academy of Columbus Crew SC of the Major League Soccer. The team features youth players from different categories.

Read: How to join

  1. D.C. United

DC United Academy is one of the best soccer development outfits in the United States. The contributions so far made by the team has also helped the club win top honours. It is owned by DC United, one of the most successful teams in the history of Major League Soccer since its formation in 1996.

Read: How to apply

  1. FC Cincinnati

FC Cincinnati Academy is the Youth team of the MLS outfit FC Cincinnati. The unit features players from different categories.


Cincinnati has so far re-recorded from its Academy over the years.

Read: How to join

  1. FC Dallas

FC Dallas Academy is the soccer development wing for developing young players for the senior team. The team is also a member of the MLS Next League.

Read: How to apply


  1. Houston Dynamo

Houston Dynamo FC Academy represents the franchise team in the MLS Next as a development department for the professional side.

Read: How to apply


  1. LA Galaxy


LA Galaxy Academy is one of the best soccer Academies in the United States. It has record gains over the years.


Players from the Academy have represented the professional side in Major League Soccer and other domestic Competitions like the US Open Cup.


Read: How to apply


Location: Carson, California.


  1. Los Angeles FC


Los Angeles FC’s performance recently could also be attributed to the gains recorded by developing young players from the Academy.


The Academy boost some of the finest in the country.


Read: How to apply


Location: Los Angeles, California.


  1. Minnesota United


Minnesota United Academy is the youth development team of Minnesota United that competes in the MLS.


Read: How to apply


Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota.


  1. CF Montreal


CF Montréal Academy is a soccer development team representing CF Montréal in the MLS Next. It is one of the few Canadian outfits in the MLS Next League.


Location: Montreal, Quebec


  1. Nashville SC


Nashville SC Academy is the youth development team of Nashville SC that competes in the MLS.


Nashville SC Academy is one of the emerging sides in youth soccer development.


Location: Nashville, Tennessee


  1. NYCFC


New York City FC Academy is the youth soccer development team of New York City FC that competes in the MLS.


The Academy stands out as one of the top soccer academies in the United States and boosts producing top talents.


The City Football Group owns it by its MLS franchise team, New York City FC.


Read: How to apply


Location: New York, New York.


  1. New England Revolution


New England Revolution Academy is the youth wing of the Revolution team.


Read: How to apply


Location: New Jersey.


  1. Inter Miami


Inter Miami CF Academy represents the professional team as an Academy or development section of the MLS franchise.


Read: How to apply


Location: Miami.


  1. Orlando City


Orlando City, SC, is the youth development academy.


It is one of the heavily funded youth development sites owned by the club primarily for scouting and developing young talents.


Read: How to apply


Location: Orlando, Florida.


  1. Philadelphia Union


Philadelphia Union Academy is the youth development team of Philadelphia Union.


The team is regarded as one of the best in the United States, ranked in the top five development Academies in the MLS.


Read: How to apply


Location: Wayne, Pennsylvania.


  1. Portland Timbers


Portland Timbers FC is the youth development section providing a pathway for young players to develop.


The Academy is one of the fastest-growing soccer development programs.


Read: Portland Academy registration


Location: Portland, Oregon.


  1. Real Salt Lake


Real Salt Lake is the Academy team of the MLS franchise team.


Read: How to apply


Location: Herriman, Utah.


  1. San Jose Earthquakes


San Jose Earthquakes Academy is the youth development team of the Earthquake.


It is one of the fastest-growing soccer development academies in the United States.


Read: How to join San Jose Earthquakes Academy: tryouts, cost, contacts, location


Location: Santa Clara, California.


  1. Seattle Sounders


Seattle Sounders FC Academy is the youth development team entirely focused on developing players for the senior team.


It is also one of the top teams in the development category.


Read: How to apply


Location: Tukwila, Washington.


  1. Sporting Kansas City


Sporting Kansas City Academy is the youth development team owned by the MLS franchise outfit.


Read: How to join Sporting Kansas City (KC) Youth Academy: tryouts 2021, location, fees, contact


Location: Kansas City, Kansas.


  1. Toronto FC


Toronto FC is the youth wing of the Toronto FC soccer club and is one of the few Canadian teams in the Major League Soccer.


Read: How to join TFC Academy


Location: Toronto, Ontario.


  1. Vancouver Whitecaps


Vancouver Whitecaps Academy is the development side of the MLS franchise team, Vancouver Whitecaps.


Read: How to apply


Location: Vancouver, British Columbia.


Other Academy in the MLS Next League


Achilles FC


Achilles FC is a soccer development club that provides an enabling environment for players to thrive and gain more exposure.


The club looks for players willing to take their careers to the highest level.


Location: Silver Spring, Maryland.


Albion SC San Diego


Albion SC is a youth soccer development team that focuses on developing young players and teaching to help them reach professional status.


The club is one of the oldest soccer development teams in San Diego.


The club prides itself as one of the most successful, having players that are now playing bigger teams


Location: San Diego, California


Albion SC Las Vegas


Location: Las Vegas, Nevada.


Alexandria SA


Location: Alexandria, Virginia.


Ballistic United


Location: Pleasanton, California.


Baltimore Armour


Location: Ellicott City, Maryland.


Barca Residency Academy


Location: Casa Grande, Arizona.


Bayside FC


Location: Providence, Rhode Island.


Beachside of Connecticut Location: Norwalk, Connecticut.


Bethesda, South Carolina Bethesda, Maryland


Black Watch Premier Albany Albany, New York


Blau Weiss Gottschee Queens, New York


Breakers FC Aptos, California


Cedar Stars Academy Bergen Carlstadt, New Jersey


Cedar Stars Academy Monmouth Aberdeen, New Jersey


Chargers SC Clearwater, Florida


Chicago FC United Northfield, Illinois


Chula Vista FC Chula Vista, California


Cincinnati United Premier Cincinnati, Ohio


City SC Carlsbad, California


De Anza Force Saratoga, California


Empire United Rochester, New York


FC Bay Area San Jose, California


FC Delco West Chester, Pennsylvania


FC Greater Boston Bolts Waban, Maine


FC Westchester Scarsdale, New York


Florida Rush Orlando, Florida


Houston Dynamo Unidos Houston, Texas


IMG Academy Bradenton, Florida


Indiana Fire Carmel, Indiana


Inter Atlanta Atlanta, Georgia


Internationals North Royalton, Ohio


Jacksonville FC Jacksonville, Florida


Java FC Louisville, Kentucky


LA Surf La Canada Flintridge, California


Lamorinda FC Mirage, California


Lanier SC Atlanta, Georgia


Las Vegas SA Las Vegas, Nevada


Metropolitan Oval Queens, New York


Miami Rush-Kendall SC Miami, Florida


Michigan Jaguars Novi, Michigan


Michigan Wolves Wixom, Michigan


Midwest United Grand Rapids, Michigan


St. Louis City SC St. Louis, Missouri


Murrieta Surf Murrieta, California


Napa United Napa, California


NEFC Holliston, Maine


New York SC Purchase, New York


Nomads La Jolla, California


Oakwood SC Glastonbury, Connecticut


PA Classics Manheim, Pennsylvania


Phoenix Rising Phoenix, Arizona


PDA Somerset, New Jersey


Real Colorado Centennial, Colorado


Real Jersey Medford, New Jersey


RGV Toros FC Edinburg, Texas


Rise SC Houston, Texas


RSL Arizona Tempe, Arizona


The Sacramento Republic Sacramento, California


Saint Louis FC St. Louis, Missouri


San Antonio FC San Antonio, Texas


Santa Barbara SC Santa Barbara, California


SC Del Sol Phoenix, Arizona


Seacoast United Hampton, NH


SF Elite San Francisco, California


San Francisco Glens San Francisco, California


Shattuck-St. Mary’s Faribault, Minnesota


Sheriffs FC Ashland, California


Silicon Valley SA Redwood City, California


Chicago Sockers Palatine, Illinois


Solar SC Dallas, Texas


South Florida FA Boca Raton, Florida


Southern SA Atlanta, Georgia


Springfield SYC Springfield, Virginia


Tampa Bay Rowdies Tampa, Florida


Total FA Los Angeles, California


Honest FC Houston, Texas


TSF Academy Wayne, New Jersey


Valeo FC Newton, Maine


Vardar Rochester Hills, Michigan


Ventura County Fusion Ventura County, California


West Florida Flames Tampa, Florida


Weston FC Weston, Florida


About Soccer development


The MLS Next League is a program initiated and controlled by the MLS League body as a section for youth development.


Over the years, the United States has continued to emphasise the development of young players.


MLS Next Format


The MLS NEXT Cup playoffs are the season-ending Championship played across the four age groups (U15, U16, U17, U19).


The MLS NEXT Cup Playoffs is a single-elimination competition played by 32 teams in each age group.


Qualification for the MLS NEXT Cup Playoffs is based on the points-per-game basis from their performance in the MLS NEXT regular season.


Three reasons why the MLS Next League is the best idea for Soccer in the United States


The MLS Next Season


The MLS Next first-ever season began in mid-2020 and is expected to end in July 2021.


The 10-month long season is expected to feature a regular season as well as playoffs to determine the overall league winners across the various age groups


Three reasons the MLS Next is the pathway to US Soccer development for the future


High level of confidence


There’s nothing better than to play against your peers consistently over a year.


This goes beyond helping the players as it helps to build up their level of confidence as they grow older.


Acquisition of new ideas and patterns


The MLS Next League is expected to help young players across various teams learn new ideas, skills and techniques from other players and coaches.


Also, players are expected to learn from Professionals.


Learn professionally


A professional body organises the league.


The players would have the opportunity to learn soccer development professionally.


MLS Next League Rules


MLS Next Rules


The MLS Next League operates on specific rules guiding participating teams and players.


These rules are directly from the league’s organiser, the MLS Next.


Here are the rules


All Clubs and MLS NEXT Participants are required to comply with the MLS NEXT Rules.


PD reserves the right to decide how to enforce the MLS NEXT Rules at its sole and absolute discretion.


Should a Club or any MLS NEXT Participant associated with that Club be found in violation of any of the MLS NEXT Rules, the Club’s standing and Membership in MLS NEXT, or the individual’s participation in MLS NEXT, may be jeopardised, as further described below.


In addition, the MLS NEXT Rules are subject to change from time to time.


Although PDev makes every effort not to modify the MLS NEXT Rules mid-season, PDev reserves the right to amend or enact new policies at any time, particularly to the extent required by applicable law, the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee, or the Center, or otherwise where PDev believes it is in the best interest of MLS NEXT and the safety of its Players.


In changing these MLS NEXT Rules, PDev will best provide Clubs with advance notice.


Subject to any applicable laws, PDev may use any information in determining disqualifications for participation in MLS NEXT at PDev’s absolute discretion.


Such information may include, without limitation, the conviction of any felony, gross misdemeanours, violation of MLS NEXT Rules, or driving offences, including, but not limited to: loss of license, reckless driving, impaired driving, or a DUI.


Any person accused of physical or sexual misconduct or otherwise violating the PDev Safety and Wellbeing Policy may be suspended or placed in an alternate position by PDev until the matter is resolved.


Regardless of criminal or civil guilt in the alleged abuse, the person’s continued presence could be detrimental to the organisation’s reputation and harmful to the participants.


An accused person but later cleared of charges may apply to be reinstated to eligibility within MLS NEXT in PDev’s sole and absolute discretion.


Reinstatement is not a right, and no guarantee is made that they will be reinstated to their former position or any other position within the MLS NEXT ecosystem.

I'm a sports enthusiast, love writing about football. I have been writing about top teams in Europe, the Premier League and La Liga.



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