MLS Elite Youth Development Platform

Inter Miami CF Academy Among 95 Clubs to Join MLS’s New Elite Player Development Platform

More information on competition structure and timelines will be announced at a later date 


Major League Soccer today announced that 65 former U.S. Soccer Development Academy clubs will join the League’s existing club academies, including Inter Miami CF Academy, to create a partnership that will transform youth player development in the United States and Canada.

Inter Miami is one of 11 teams based in the state of Florida joining MLS’s elite player development platform, alongside three local youth soccer clubs. CLICK HERE for a full list of Founding Member clubs. More information about the competition structure as well as the platform’s official brand will be announced at a later date.

“This collaboration between MLS and teams around the country is another great step in the right direction for us as we look to deliver on our commitment to provide youth development opportunities for players in the Inter Miami CF Academy,” said COO & Sporting Director Paul McDonough. “We are working closely to determine next steps for our players and families to get our teams back on the field in a competitive environment as soon as we are able to.” 

Inter Miami launched its Academy in September 2019 with 160 youth players ages 12 to 19. These players, who are among the most talented soccer athletes from all over South Florida, were chosen to sign with the Academy and positioned to have the best opportunities to continue advancing through the highest ranks of the sport at no cost to the players and families. 

The new platform, which will include more than 8,000 players throughout the U.S. and Canada, will consist of year-round competition, as well as player identification initiatives, coaching education opportunities and additional programming to create the premier player development environment.

“There is strong positive momentum and excitement among MLS club academies and elite academy clubs to co-create a platform that will deliver an unparalleled experience for the nation’s top players and clubs,” said Fred Lipka, Vice President and Technical Director of MLS Player Development. “The development of professional and elite players requires a comprehensive and integrated approach, beyond just the competition format, and we are having daily conversations with academy clubs across the country who are committed to building that environment with us.”

Since launching the MLS club academy initiative in 2007, Major League Soccer has demonstrated unprecedented commitment to the development of top-level professional players in the United States and Canada, including an investment of more than $70 million last season alone. This investment has produced more than 250 homegrown players that have become professional and national team players.