Commitment to Player Development

We are focused on delivering world-class player development for the top talent in the U.S. and Canada. This requires a commitment to the central areas of player development:

Competition

The rules, regulations and format of MLS NEXT competitions are designed with the best interest of the player’s development. While team success is important and will be rewarded, the primary objective of the platform is to push individuals outside of their comfort zone, accelerate their growth and showcase their talents.

Click here for more details on the current competitions.

Environment

The daily environment is where the majority of development takes place. The eleven-month program provides more repetitions in high quality training environments than any league at any level in the U.S. and Canada.

Coaching

High quality coaching is central to the development and growth of players. MLS NEXT coaches are committed to the development of players and receive continuing education specific to the best approaches to player development. We work and collaborate with global leaders in the space, including the French Football Federation, who has provided their world class training to over 100 coaches, and that number increases every year.

While winning games will always be important, MLS NEXT coaches are measured by the growth and development of each player – becoming a better athlete, growing as a person, attending college, and/or signing a professional contract are the true benchmarks of their success.

Individual Growth

An often-overlooked segment of elite player development in youth sports is the implementation of plans for individual growth. MLS NEXT clubs are encouraged to develop holistic and individualized plans for the growth of each player, including technical, tactical, physical, mental, academic, and college placement.

Player Identification & Recruitment

MLS NEXT understands the importance of the college pathway and appreciate that participation in our platform provides a unique opportunity for talented players and college coaches to better evaluate this decision. This dynamic also applies to prospective National Team players. Therefore, we have been developing and implementing innovative approaches to address this issue, including:

  • Creation of College Coaches Committee
  • Youth National Team Advisory Committee
  • Alternative Digital Media Evaluation Platform
  • Virtual Meetings among players, families and college coaches to discuss the current landscape
  • Schedule competitions and events to showcase players

MLS NEXT will also aim to provide more opportunities to more players to broaden the pool of talent exposed to our player pathway. No cost and low-cost programs will be introduced around the country to reduce barriers for new players to pursue their dreams of playing professional soccer.

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