Major League Soccer (MLS) unveiled its new youth player development platform, MLS NEXT, today ahead of this weekend’s launch of 2020 competition. The Inter Miami CF Academy presented by Baptist Health will form part of the new elite youth development platform created in collaboration with the top elite youth academies around the country, ushering in the future of soccer in North America.
The Inter Miami CF Academy U-13 to U-17s will launch their second season Saturday, Sept. 12, while adhering to detailed health and safety protocols. Four South Florida clubs will join Inter Miami in MLS NEXT competition this season, serving as regional opponents for the team. The MLS NEXT fall 2020 competition schedule will be created and announced in four-week phases in order to adjust to evolving health and safety recommendations. The first week of matches were today released, and future matches will be posted in the coming days and continue to be posted throughout the fall competition.
CLICK HERE for the first phase of the fall 2020 MLS NEXT schedule
“We’ve seen good progress through one full season with our Academy and bringing everyone back into a competitive environment with games is positive news for everyone involved,” said Inter Miami CF COO & Sporting Director Paul McDonough. “MLS NEXT expands the amount of resources we have available and gives more teams, not just those associated with MLS clubs, opportunities to develop more youth players in our country at the highest level.”
The Inter Miami CF Academy saw considerable success in its first season; notably, a handful of players received youth national team call-ups, the U-12 team won two tournaments and the U-14 team participated in the ICC Futures tournament, facing off against elite clubs from across the globe including FC Barcelona. In addition, two Academy products earned their first pro contracts signing for the Club’s USL League One team Fort Lauderdale CF this season with an additional 13 players signed to the team under Academy contracts.
MLS NEXT was unveiled yesterday exclusively to the elite youth player group, as well as young players aspiring to achieve a spot on one of the platform’s clubs. The MLS NEXT brand is an expression of the transformative movement in North America that has already begun to set new standards for world-class player development.
The MLS NEXT competition--which was developed under guidance from federal, state and local government officials, and in keeping with U.S. Soccer’s PLAY ON guidelines--incorporates more than 9,000 players in six age groups, across 113 clubs, including 30 MLS professional academies, five USL academies and 78 additional elite academies.
MLS NEXT seasons beyond the fall of 2020 will also feature regional and national competitions that engage the global soccer community to accelerate the growth of each MLS NEXT player.
For more information about MLS NEXT, visit MLSNEXT.soccer.