MLS NEXT Fest is an exciting annual soccer showcase that brings together over 350 of the best youth soccer teams from the United States and Canada.
The event is held in a new location each year and for the 2023-24 season, it will be hosted in Phoenix, AZ. from December 5-10, 2023. The six-day event will feature nearly 600 matches and provide an opportunity for North America’s top youth talent to be scouted by 300 different colleges, national teams, and professional scouts.
This year’s showcase will feature over 350 MLS NEXT teams in four different age groups (U-15, U-16, U-17, and U-19). All teams will play three games in four days and matches are scheduled based on division, competition in past events, and competitive standings from the 2023-24 MLS NEXT regular season in order to allow clubs to play a variety of different teams from across the country.
Players participating in MLS NEXT Fest are also eligible to be selected for MLS NEXT Fest Best Of matches – three games across different age groups from Dec. 7-8 in which standout MLS NEXT players will compete against one another. This provides an opportunity for players to showcase their skills and potentially be scouted by various organizations and coaches from 192 different colleges.
**Proud Dad Moment: My son was selected for the U15 Best Of Match representing the East.**
In addition to the Best Of matches, MLS NEXT will also feature two ‘Uncommitted Matches’ on December 7. These matches will provide a unique opportunity for college coaches to evaluate some of the top players in the U-19 age group who have not yet made their collegiate decisions.
MLS NEXT Fest has rapidly become the premier scouting event for MLS clubs, college coaches, and National Team evaluators. Nine MLS NEXT Match Evaluators, a group of current and former professional players and coaches, will be evaluating matches at the event. Match Evaluators will attend various games and assess the quality of play while pinpointing top-performing players at each age group.
Overall, the event provides a platform for young soccer players to showcase their skills and potentially take the next step in their soccer careers.
I will be at the event and will recap each day and provide photos here and on Twitter.