MLS NEXT's third season of play will begin on Saturday, Sept. 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: U13, U14, U15, U16, U17, and U19.
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: MLS NEXT Fest, Generation adidas Cup, MLS NEXT Flex, and MLS NEXT Cup Playoffs. The MLS NEXT All-Star Game presented by Allstate will be part of MLS All-Star Week in Washington, DC.
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 held at the Empire Polo Ground in Indio, Calif. from December 2-8, 2022, 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.
The 2023 Generation adidas Cup is an elite youth tournament featuring 80 MLS and professional academies from around the globe that will be held at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla. from April 1-9, 2023.
MLS NEXT Flex features 64 of the best MLS NEXT clubs from the U15, U16, U17, and U19 age groups battling for positioning in the MLS NEXT Cup Playoffs. The event will take place at the Maryland SoccerPlex in Boyds, Md., from May 12-16, 2023, and will provide the opportunity for 16 teams in each competing age division to secure a place in the season-culminating MLS NEXT Cup Playoffs. Participants in the event will qualify and be seeded based on their performance in regular season matches from August 2022 to March 2023. MLS NEXT Flex will also provide an opportunity for North America’s top youth talent to be seen by college, youth national team and professional coaches, as well as scouts and evaluators, in a singular location.
Thirty-two of the top teams from the regular season will compete to be crowned MLS NEXT champion in the four oldest age groups (U15, U16, U17, U19) from June 17-25, 2023 at the Toyota Soccer Center and MoneyGram Soccer Park in Dallas-Fort Worth. Teams who do not qualify for the MLS NEXT Cup Playoffs can participate in the MLS NEXT Cup Showcase, which will be held at the same venue.
Sixteen of the 32 teams will qualify for MLS NEXT Cup Playoffs based on their standings in their league table. League matches will be played on a regional basis from September 2022 to June 2023, featuring eight regional divisions – Florida, Frontier, Mid-America, Mid-Atlantic, Northeast, Northwest, Southeast and Southwest.
The other sixteen teams will qualify for MLS NEXT Cup Playoffs based on their performance at MLS NEXT Flex in May 2023. MLS NEXT Flex will feature the top 64 teams in each age group competing in 16 groups of four teams with the winner of each group advancing to MLS NEXT Cup Playoffs.
Sept. 10, 2022
2022-23 MLS NEXT Season Kicks Off
Dec. 2-8, 2022
MLS NEXT Fest
Empire Polo Ground; Indio, Calif.
April 1-9, 2023
Generation adidas Cup
IMG Academy; Bradenton, Fla.
May 12-16, 2023
MLS NEXT Flex
Maryland SoccerPlex; Boyds, Md.
June 17-25, 2023
MLS NEXT Cup Playoffs & Showcase
Toyota Soccer Center and MoneyGram Soccer Park in Dallas-Fort Worth