MLS Next Cup Playoffs to be Hosted in Dallas
The inaugural MLS Next Cup Playoffs are set to be held in Frisco, Texas, this summer. The competition will be single-elimination format with teams qualifying for the tournament based on their performance in the MLS Next regular season. Youth prospects will showcase their talent at Toyota Stadium with college, professional and national team scouts in attendance.
YOUTH SOCCER NEWS: The inaugural MLS NEXT Cup Playoffs will take place from June 25–July 3 in Dallas, Texas. The top 128 teams in the nation will participate in the championship tournament that concludes the 10-month inaugural campaign. The competition will crown MLS NEXT Cup champions in four age groups (U15, U16, U17, U19).
The MLS NEXT Cup Playoffs will be a single-elimination competition with 32 teams in each age group. Teams will qualify for MLS NEXT Cup Playoffs based on their performance in the MLS NEXT regular season.
“The MLS NEXT Cup Playoffs will provide more opportunity for clubs to play important matches and our players to further showcase their abilities in front of scouts and coaches,” said Fred Lipka, MLS NEXT Technical Director. “This will be the culmination of an exciting season and serve as a celebration of everything our players, coaches, referees and staff achieved over the last year.”
“We are very excited to host the inaugural MLS NEXT Cup at our facilities,” said Luchi Gonzalez, FC Dallas head coach. “As a club, developing homegrown talent is something we have been focused on for many years and is evident in the talented players emerging from our club. MLS NEXT is an extremely valuable component as we continue to enhance the professional player pathway and we look forward to welcoming the best players in our country to Dallas in June.”
MLS NEXT Cup Playoffs and Showcase will include talent identification and technical analysis with MLS NEXT Match Evaluators, U.S. Soccer’s Director of Talent Identification Tony Lepore, youth national team coaches and college coaches. MLS NEXT Match Evaluators are former professional players and coaches that assess the quality of play and identify top talent. The MLS NEXT Match Evaluator Program will debut at the event this summer and will continue into the 2021-22 MLS NEXT regular season. In addition, each match will be filmed and analyzed. MLS NEXT will also produce a post-event technical report and analysis.
Prior to Frisco, MLS NEXT Cup Playoffs and Showcase will include a week of virtual education programming designed to prepare clubs for participation. Teams that do not qualify for the MLS NEXT Cup Playoffs have the opportunity to play in the MLS NEXT Cup Showcase, which also provides players with opportunities to compete in front of college, youth national team and professional scouts. All clubs participating in the MLS NEXT Cup Showcase will play three matches in four days. In the evenings, players will be selected to participate in the MLS NEXT Showcase Best Of matches.
Media Credit: MLS Next