Major League Soccer and MLS NEXT today announced details for the 2023 Generation adidas Cup, a premier global youth tournament featuring representation from every MLS academy and renowned club academies from around the world. A record 49 different clubs from 12 countries and four continents will compete in U-17 and U-15 tournament play at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla., from April 1-9.
Twenty-eight Generation adidas games, including championship matches in both divisions, will stream live on MLS Season Pass, the subscription service from Apple and Major League Soccer on the Apple TV app. These games will be available in more than 100 countries and regions. Additional Generation adidas Cup broadcast details, including the schedule of games featured, will be announced in advance of the tournament. MLS Season Pass marks the official kickoff of the 10-year partnership between MLS and Apple, a historic first for a major professional sports league.
The future stars of MLS and international soccer will take center stage, as all 29 MLS clubs will have academy representation in both the U-17 and U-15 divisions. Additionally, Strikers FC (Irvine, Calif.) will participate in the U-17 division. 2022 saw MLS teams win both the U-17 (Seattle Sounders FC) and U-15 (Portland Timbers) divisions for the first time in competition’s 14-year history. The Sounders FC U-17 squad has also won the event each of the last two instances it was held (2022 and 2019) and look to join River Plate (2015-17) as the only clubs to do so three straight times.
12 players who appeared at previous Generation adidas Cups were on FIFA 2022 World Cup rosters, with eight on the U.S. Men’s National Team. Notable alumni include Brenden Aaronson (Philadelphia Union/Leeds United), Kellyn Acosta (FC Dallas/LAFC), Tyler Adams (New York Red Bulls/Leeds United), and Jesús Ferreira (FC Dallas). Additionally, 2022 FIFA World Cup winner and Manchester City forward Julián Álvarez was the top scorer for River Plate (Argentina) when they won the U-17 age group in 2017.
“Generation adidas Cup brings together an elite group of world-class youth talent from around the globe and provides an exceptional competitive environment for participating MLS NEXT clubs,” said MLS Vice President of Player Youth and Development Fred Lipka. “Top-tier international competition is an important catalyst in the development of talent and the 80 participating teams will provide an incredible opportunity for all involved.”
“We are excited for the 2023 Generation adidas Cup," said Skate Noftsinger, Director of Sports Marketing for adidas soccer North America. "The event is a key moment for our partnership with MLS, showcasing the pinnacle of youth soccer in North America and globally."
For the first time in the 14-year history of the Generation adidas Cup, 19 of the most prestigious international clubs will participate across the U-17 and U-15 divisions. Notable clubs who will compete in Bradenton include Arsenal FC (England), Boca Juniors (Argentina), Chelsea FC (England), Club América (Mexico), Manchester United FC (England), Palmeiras (Brazil), Real Madrid C.F. (Spain), and Remo Stars FC (Nigeria).
Ahead of the inaugural Leagues Cup 2023 kicking off on Friday, July 21, MLS and Liga MX will compete against one another in the 2023 Generation adidas cup. Five different Liga MX clubs will take part in the competition, featuring Atlas (U-17), Club América (U-15 and U-17), Club León (U-17), C.F. Monterrey (U-15), and Pumas UNAM (U-15 and U-17). In 2022, Tigres UANL became the first LIGA MX team to reach the U17 championship game, falling 2-0 to Seattle Sounders FC.
Forty teams, divided into 10 groups of four, will compete in each of the two age divisions. MLS club seeding was determined by Generation adidas Cup Qualifiers at MLS NEXT Fest in December 2022. Each team will play three group matches to determine qualification for the knockout round. Sixteen teams will qualify for the winner’s side of the draw with winning teams advancing to play in a bracket-style elimination format. All teams competing in Generation adidas Cup are guaranteed to play seven 60-minute matches, comprised of two 30-minute halves.
After the conclusion of the tournament, awards will be presented in both age groups to the Generation adidas Cup Most Valuable Player and Top Scorer, as well as the Generation adidas Cup Best Goalkeeper presented by Allstate. The Generation adidas Cup Rising XI presented by BODYARMOR Sports Drink will highlight the top performing MLS academy players from each position at the competition.
U-17 Division International Participants
Boca Juniors (Argentina)
Club América (Mexico)
Club León (Mexico)
Manchester United FC (England)
Pumas UNAM (Mexico)
Remo Stars FC (Nigeria)
River Plate (Argentina)
U-15 Division International Participants
Arsenal FC (England)
Chelsea FC (England)
Club América (Mexico)
Club Bolívar (Bolivia)
KRC Genk (Belgium)
C.F. Monterrey (Mexico)
FC Nordsjælland (Denmark)
Pumas UNAM (Mexico)
Real Madrid C.F. (Spain)
Toulouse FC (France)
Valencia CF (Spain)
MLS NEXT Match Evaluator Program
At the 2023 Generation adidas Cup, MLS NEXT is collaborating with U.S. Soccer to lead a specialized Talent ID and Scouting pilot course which will be made available through the MLS NEXT Match Evaluator Program. Upon successful completion of this pilot course, MLS NEXT Match Evaluators will be issued a Level 2 US Soccer Talent Scout License. Launched in the summer of 2023, the MLS NEXT Match Evaluator Program has hosted former and current professional players who are interested in learning more about scouting and player analysis in the MLS NEXT landscape. Match Evaluators take part in education programming and are given scouting assignments at various MLS NEXT events.
Coaching Education Opportunities at Generation adidas Cup
Major League Soccer, in conjunction with the United States Soccer Federation (USSF) Coaching Education Department, will deliver two in-person coaching education opportunities at Generation adidas Cup. The MLS Coaching Education Development Pathway, led by U.S. Soccer Director of Coaching Education Didier Chambaron, will help to further educate nearly 60 MLS academy coaches who have the intention to become USSF coaching license educators in the future.
MLS will also provide additional development opportunities to coaches in the MLS NEXT community through Continuing Professional Development (C.P.D). These educational sessions will be led by MLS Vice President of Player Development Fred Lipka, MLS Player Development consultant and former French National Technical Director Jean-Claude Giuntini, U.S. Soccer Director of Coaching Education Didier Chambaron, and several MLS academy coaches and Elite Formation Coaching License graduates.