Taking place from Dec. 5-10, the MLS NEXT Fest Showcase gathers over 350 of the best youth soccer teams from across the U.S. and Canada.
Portland Timbers Academy's U-15 and U-17 teams travel this week to the third-annual MLS NEXT Fest at The Reach 11 Sports Complex in Phoenix, Ariz. Taking place from Dec. 5-10, the MLS NEXT Fest Showcase gathers over 350 of the best youth soccer teams from across the U.S. and Canada.
All teams will play in three games over four days and matches are scheduled based on division, competition in past events and competitive standings from the 2023-24 MLS NEXT regular season. 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 players will compete against one another.
New York City FC
New York Red Bulls
Additionally, MLS NEXT will also feature two ‘Uncommitted Matches’ on December 7, which 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. The Uncommitted Matches will be held in an East vs. East and West vs. West format with 22 players per team.
Players at MLS NEXT Fest will have the opportunity to be scouted by various organizations and coaches from 192 different colleges. Furthermore, nine MLS NEXT Match Evaluators – an assembled 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. The group will include notable current MLS players Evan Bush (Columbus Crew), Omar Gonzalez, and Jimmy Maurer (FC Dallas). Former MLS players Kofi Opare, Dillon Powers, and former Portland Timbers midfielder Amobi Okugo will also participate in the program at MLS NEXT Fest. Alumni of the program have progressed into coaching or administration roles within MLS and MLS NEXT clubs.