The Sporting KC Academy will compete at the inaugural MLS NEXT Fest, which will feature over 300 of the top youth teams across the United States and Canada playing in the MLS NEXT Fest Showcase and Generation adidas Cup Qualifiers. The five-day event will be held at SilverLakes Sports Complex in Norco, Calif. from Dec. 3-7.
The Sporting KC Academy U-19s will participate in the MLS NEXT Fest Showcase, featuring three games in four days. Seeding in groups is based on team performances in the fall portion of the 2021-22 MLS NEXT regular season.
The Sporting KC Academy U-15s and U-17s will play Generation adidas Cup Qualifiers to determine seeding in next year’s Generation adidas Cup.
Sporting KC Academy Match Schedule
Dec. 3 at 2pm vs. Chicago Fire FC (Field 7)
Dec. 4 at 2pm vs. D.C. United (Field 8)
Dec. 6 at 10am vs. San Jose Earthquakes (Field 11)
Dec. 3 at 10am vs. Toronto FC (Field 7)
Dec. 4 at 10am vs. Real Salt Lake (Field 8)
Dec. 6 at 12pm vs. Nashville SC (Field 7)
Dec. 4 at 6pm vs. FC Cincinnati (Field 2)
Dec. 5 at 8pm vs. Nomads (Field 4)
Dec. 7 at 8am vs. FC Delco (Field 2)
For the full schedule of the week’s games and activities by age group and event, click here.
MLS NEXT Fest provides an opportunity for North America’s top youth talent to be seen by college, national team, and professional coaches, 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, as well as an assortment of college coaches. Additionally, more than a dozen MLS NEXT Match Evaluators – an assembled group of MLS greats, as well as current and former players who evaluate MLS NEXT matches to assess the quality of play and identify top talents – will be on-site in Norco. The MLS NEXT Match Evaluator Program debuted at last summer’s MLS NEXT Cup Playoffs and Showcase.
In preparation for the event, MLS NEXT will also feature a week of virtual programming for all players, parents, coaches, and referees, including a kickoff webinar at 7 p.m. CT 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
Additional programming during the virtual week will include two coaching education seminars, specifically designed for MLS NEXT coaches, featuring U.S. 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, and Alan Black, PRO Head of Coaching, Education and Evaluation, will conduct a one-hour virtual educational session for referees working the event.
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.
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 2021-22 season includes 133 clubs, 598 teams and over 12,000 players across the U.S. and Canada. Official partners of MLS NEXT include adidas and Carolina Online at the University of South Carolina. For more information about MLS NEXT, visit www.mlssoccer.com/mlsnext.