The FC Cincinnati Academy’s U15, U17 and U19 squads travel west for the inaugural MLS NEXT Fest, which will feature over 300 of the top youth teams across the United States and Canada competing in the MLS NEXT Fest Showcase and Generation adidas Cup Qualifiers, beginning Friday, December 3 at the SilverLakes Sports Complex in Norco, Calif.
The MLS NEXT Fest Showcase will be comprised of over 260 MLS NEXT teams in four age groups (U15, U16, U17, and U19). All teams will play three games in four days and are seeded in groups based on their performance in the fall portion of the 2021-22 MLS NEXT regular season.
Select FC Cincinnati Academy matches in the U15 and U17 age divisions will also serve as Generation adidas Cup Qualifiers, which feature 45 MLS Academies competing for seeding in next year’s Generation adidas Cup.
“We are very excited to be heading to California to test ourselves against the very best MLS Clubs and elite youth clubs in the country,” said Larry Sunderland, FC Cincinnati’s director of player development. “It is always a great event when you can bring like-minded soccer people together in one location. Additionally, for the MLS Clubs this is an event for our U15 and U17 where we will be competing for seeding in the GA Cup this spring. This can put us in position to matchup against some of the best academy programs from around the world, and that’s where we want to be.”
MLS NEXT Fest provides an opportunity for North America’s top youth talent to be seen by college, national team, and professional coaches, scouts, and evaluators in a singular location. Notable attendees include U.S. Soccer’s Director of Talent Identification, Tony Lepore, and his staff, youth national team coaches, as well as an assortment of college coaches. Additionally, more than a dozen MLS NEXT Match Evaluators, an assembled group of MLS greats, as well as current and former players who evaluate MLS NEXT matches to assess the quality of play and identify top talents, will be on-site in Norco.
Players participating in the MLS NEXT Fest Showcase are also eligible for selection to the MLS NEXT Fest Best Of matches, which will feature two matches of select players from across MLS NEXT played on Saturday and Sunday nights.
The full FC Cincinnati Academy schedule is listed below (All times Pacific)
U15 Schedule (Group 13)
Fri., Dec. 3 – vs. Chicago Sockers FC – 8 a.m.
Sat., Dec. 4 – vs. LAFC – 2 p.m.
Mon., Dec. 6 – vs. New England Revolution – 10 a.m.
U17 Schedule (Group A)
Fri., Dec. 3 – vs. D.C. United – 10 a.m.
Sat., Dec. 4 – vs. LAFC – 10 a.m.
Mon., Dec. 6 – vs. Austin FC – 12 p.m.
U19 Schedule (Group 7)
Sat., Dec. 4 – vs. Sporting Kansas City – 6 p.m.
Sun., Dec. 5 – vs. FC DELCO – 8 a.m.
Tue., Dec. 7 – vs. Nomads – 10 a.m.
For the full schedule of the week’s games and activities by age group and event, please click here.
For the latest information on the FC Cincinnati Academy, follow the program on Twitter @FCCincyAcademy and visit the academy’s website at fccincinnati.com/academy.
For up-to-the-minute information about FC Cincinnati, visit the team’s official website at fccincinnati.com, or follow the team on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook at @FCCincinnati. Additionally, fans are encouraged to download the team’s official mobile app on the Apple App Store or Google Play for instant access to mobile tickets, team content and match notifications.
ABOUT MLS NEXT
MLS NEXT is a new paradigm for player development, launched in 2020 to transform youth soccer in North America. Founded on a collaborative approach to governance and a commitment to innovation, MLS NEXT players have access to the highest level of competition, training and personal development opportunities that will prepare them for their futures, both in soccer and in life. Membership for the 2021-22 season includes 133 clubs, 598 teams and over 12,000 players across the U.S. and Canada.