Inaugural MLS NEXT Fest to bring over 300 top youth teams together next month


MLS NEXT is holding the inaugural MLS NEXT Fest at Silver Lakes Sports Complex in Norco, Calif., Friday, Dec. 3 through Tuesday, Dec. 7. The five-day event will feature over 300 of the top youth teams across the United States and Canada.

MLS NEXT Fest Showcase

The MLS NEXT Fest Showcase features over 260 MLS NEXT teams in four age groups (U15, U16, U17 and U19). All teams will play three games in four days and are seeded in groups based on their performance in the fall portion of the 2021-22 MLS NEXT regular season.

Generation adidas Cup Qualifiers

Generation adidas Cup Qualifiers will feature 45 MLS Academies across the U15 and U17 age divisions competing for seeding in next year’s Generation adidas Cup.

About MLS NEXT Fest

MLS NEXT Fest provides an opportunity for North America’s top youth talent to be seen by college, national team and professional coaches, as well as scouts and evaluators, in a singular location.

Notable attendees include:

  • U.S. Soccer’s Director of Talent Identification, Tony Lepore, and his staff
  • Youth national team coaches
  • An assortment of college coaches
  • 14 MLS NEXT Match Evaluators – an assembled group of MLS greats such as: Sean Franklin (LA Galaxy, D.C. United, Vancouver Whitecaps FC), Raymon Gaddis (Philadelphia Union) and Dasan Robinson (Chicago Fire FC, LA Galaxy).

Virtual programming

MLS NEXT Fest will also feature a week of virtual programming for all players, parents, coaches and referees, including a kickoff webinar at 8 pm ET on Nov. 29. The webinar is designed to provide all parents and players in MLS NEXT perspectives on the state of soccer in North America from leading figures, including current MLS head coaches, general managers and players.

Also included:

  • Coaching education seminars, specifically designed for MLS NEXT coaches, featuring US men’s national team head coach Gregg Berhalter and Canadian men’s national team head coach John Herdman.
  • Dr. Sonja Robinson of Thrive Mind Solutions will lead three discussions on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion for players, parents, and coaches
  • Alan Black, PRO Head of Coaching, Education and Evaluation, will conduct a one-hour virtual educational session for referees working the event.

MLS NEXT Fest - Best Of

Players participating in the MLS NEXT Fest Showcase are also eligible for selection to the MLS NEXT Fest Best Of matches, which will feature two matches of select players from across MLS NEXT played on Saturday and Sunday nights. The Best Of matches will provide players with additional exposure to the many college, youth national team and professional coaches and scouts in attendance.