GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn.– Minnesota United Academy’s teams head southwest this week to the desert sun for the third-annual MLS NEXT Fest, taking place from December 5-10 in Phoenix, Arizona. All three of the Loons youth teams (U15, U17, U19) will compete in the showcase, a tournament that features some of the best youth soccer teams across the United States and Canada.
This year marks Minnesota United’s third time playing in the MLS NEXT Fest. Last year, the U15s went 2-1-0 (W-L-D) in the tournament, securing a spot in Pot 2 for Generation Adidas Cup seeding. Similarly, the U17s also saw success, not losing a single game in regular time. They finished second in the group but still earned a spot in Pot 2 for GA Cup seeding. The U19s finished the tournament with two wins and a loss, featuring six different goalscorers to earn a five-goal differential across their three matches.
With nearly 600 matches, MLS NEXT Fest provides an opportunity for North America’s top youth talent – including players within the MNUFC Academy – to be seen by 300 different college, national team, and professional scouts. 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 December 7-8 in which standout players will compete against one another.
Additionally, MLS NEXT will also feature two ‘Uncommitted Matches’ on December 7, providing 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. MNUFC Academy players could be selected to play in these matches. The ‘Uncommitted Matches’ will be held in an East vs. East and West vs. West format with 22 players per team, allowing MNUFC Academy players to be selected for these matches.
For the full schedule of the week’s games, please click HERE. Below are the MNUFC Academy schedules:
San Jose Earthquakes
New England Revolution
Chicago Fire FC