As the Club prepares for the 2021 Audi MLS Cup following last night’s Eastern Conference Final win, New York City Football Club (NYCFC) and Major League Soccer (MLS) today announced that the Club will join MLS NEXT Pro, the new professional league established by Major League Soccer.
The new professional league will complete an integrated player pathway from MLS NEXT through to the MLS first teams and offer young players and experienced professionals the opportunity to develop and showcase their talents while competing for an MLS NEXT Pro championship. The league will also bring professional soccer closer to fans and supporters, while providing more opportunities for players, coaches, referees, and sports business professionals throughout North America.
NYCFC Sporting Director, David Lee, said:
“This is a hugely exciting moment and another important milestone in the history of our Club. We very much support the foundation of MLS Next Pro. By participating in this new league, we will create a more structured pipeline for homegrown and young players to gain invaluable experience in a competitive and professional environment and bridge the gap between our successful youth Academy and our First Team. This will help set up our Club for continued success while staying true to one of the founding pillars on which NYCFC was formed by developing the next generation of talent. We are excited to be one of the participating clubs this inaugural season.”
NYCFC CEO, Brad Sims, continued:
“NYCFC is committed to growing soccer and MLS NEXT Pro will be a gamechanger for our country’s young talents. While there are still many details to be finalized in the coming months, which we will share with our fans as soon as possible, we know it is imperative to be involved in this inaugural season.
“As we continue to fuel passion for the world’s game and build New York City into one of the soccer capitals of the world, engaging the next generation of players with a structured pathway to MLS will be vital to accomplishing this mission. This league will play in front of supporters, providing an incredible opportunity for both NYCFC and soccer fans across New York City with an opportunity to watch the next generation of talent.”
When finalized, NYCFC will share details including branding and venue information.
MLS NEXT Pro will kick off its inaugural season in March 2022, just one month after Major League Soccer action starts, and see its season culminate in postseason action in September. The full 2022 match schedule and competition details will be announced at a later date.
For more information about MLS NEXT Pro, visit MLSNEXTpro.com.