The Sporting KC Academy will compete at the second-ever MLS NEXT Fest, which will feature over 300 of the top youth teams from across the United States and Canada playing 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 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.
Sporting KC's U-19s competed at the inaugural MLS NEXT Fest a year ago, while the U-15s and U-17s partook in Generation adidas Cup Qualifiers. Dates and times for Sporting's U-13, U-14, U-15, U-17 and U-19 MLS NEXT Fest matches will be announced by MLS NEXT at a later date.
MLS NEXT Fest will mark the first showcase for new Sporting KC Academy Director Declan Jogi in his new role after being named Director ahead of the 2022-23 MLS NEXT season. Sporting KC Academy U-17 head coach Chris O’Neal, U-15 head coach Luis Pacheco and U-14 head coach Colby Childress all transitioned to older age groups while former Sporting KC midfielder and Sporting KC II captain Christian Duke joined the Academy technical staff as the new U-12 and U-13 head coach.
The quintet of coaches and the Sporting KC Academy's MLS NEXT campaign began in September and will run through the MLS NEXT Cup Playoffs from June 17-25. The third rendition of MLS NEXT includes various competitions and showcases including MLS NEXT Fest, Generation adidas Cup, MLS NEXT Flex, MLS NEXT Cup Playoffs and Showcase and the MLS NEXT All-Star Game presented by Allstate. Fans can keep up with the Sporting KC Academy by following @SKCAcademy on Twitter.
About MLS NEXT
MLS NEXT is a new paradigm for player development, launched in 2020 to transform youth soccer in North America. Founded on a collaborative approach to governance and a commitment to innovation, MLS NEXT players have access to the highest level of competition, training and personal development opportunities that will prepare them for their futures, both in soccer and in life. Membership for the 2022-23 season includes 137 clubs, 628 teams and over 13,000 players across the U.S. and Canada. For more information about MLS NEXT, visit www.mlssoccer.com/mlsnext.