One of the major national events of the 2023-24 MLS NEXT season wrapped up last Sunday.
Over 350 of the best youth soccer teams from across the U.S. and Canada competed at the third annual MLS NEXT Fest. The six-day event featured a new location for 2023, as matches were played at the Reach 11 Sports Complex in Phoenix, Ariz. MLS NEXT Fest provided an opportunity for North America’s top youth talent to be seen by roughly 300 different college, national team, and professional scouts.
MLS NEXT Fest featured teams in four different age groups (U-15, U-16, U-17 and U-19). All teams played three games in four days and matches were 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 were 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 players competed against one another.