MLS NEXT adds five clubs for 2021-22 season

MLS NEXT has added five clubs for its second season in 2021-22.

The new members -- Hoover-Vestavia Soccer, Lou Fusz Athletic, Texas United, Tormenta FC and Wake Futbol Club -- cover five different states.

Hoover-Vestavia Soccer is the first MLS NEXT club based in Alabama, which has produced three new U.S. internationals in the last year. Wake Futbol Club (top photo) is just the second club based in North Carolina. MLS NEXT's penetration is the weakest in the Mid-Atlantic (Virginia to Georgia), where most top clubs play in the ECNL Boys.

Three new clubs announced in August 2020 will begin play in 2021-22: St. Louis City Academy, the MLS expansion team's youth arm, and Albion SC Las Vegas and Las Vegas Sports Academy, both based in Nevada.

MLS NEXT launched in September 2020 with 110 clubs are fielding teams in six age groups: U-13, U-14, U-15, U-16, U-17 and U-19 age groups. Competition for teams was restricted in the fall due to COVID-19 regulations. Spring schedules include regional play into mid-June.

MLS NEXT will continue to accept applicants for the 2021-22 season. For the first season, 94 clubs were founding members, and 16 more added from a second wave of applicants.

MLS NEXT clubs (by state/province)
Hoover-Vestavia Soccer (added in 2021)


Barca Residency Academy
Phoenix Rising FC
RSL Arizona
SC Del Sol


Vancouver Whitecaps FC


Albion SC
Ballistic United
Chula Vista FC
City SC
De Anza Force
FC Bay Area
L.A. United Futbol Academy
LA Galaxy
LA Surf Soccer Club
Los Angeles FC
Lamorinda SC
Murrieta Surf SC
Napa United
Sacramento Republic
San Jose Earthquakes
Santa Barbara SC
San Francisco Elite Academy
SF Glens
Sheriffs FC
Silicon Valley SA
Total Futbol Academy
Ventura County Fusion


Colorado Rapids
Real Colorado


Beachside of Connecticut
Oakwood SC


Achilles FC
D.C. United


Chargers SC
Florida Rush SC
IMG Academy
Inter Miami CF
Jacksonville FC
Miami Rush Kendall SC
Orlando City SC
Orlando City Youth SC
South Florida Football Academy
Tampa Bay United Rowdies
West Florida Flames
Weston FC


Atlanta United
Inter Atlanta FC
Lanier Soccer Academy
Southern Soccer Academy
Tormenta FC (added in 2021)


Chicago FC United
Chicago Fire FC
Sockers FC Chicago


Indiana Fire Academy


Sporting Kansas City


Javanon FC


FC Greater Boston Bolts
New England Revolution
Valeo FC


Baltimore Armour
Bethesda SC


Michigan Jaguars
Michigan Wolves
Midwest United FC
Vardar SC


Minnesota United FC
Shattuck-St. Mary's


Lou Fusz Athletic (photo, added in 2021)
MLS St. Louis (begins in 2021)

Saint Louis FC


Albion SC Las Vegas (begins in 2021)
Las Vegas Sports Academy (begins in 2021)


Charlotte FC
Wake FC (added in 2021)


Seacoast United


Cedar Stars Academy Bergen
Cedar Stars Academy Monmouth
New York Red Bulls
Player Development Academy
Real Jersey FC
Springfield South County Youth Club
TSF Academy
Black Watch Premier Albany
Blau Weiss Gottschee
Empire United Soccer Academy
FC Westchester
Metropolitan Oval
New York City FC
New York SC


Cincinnati United Premier SC
Columbus Crew SC
FC Cincinnati

ONTARIO (Canada)

Toronto FC


Portland Timbers


FC Delco
PA Classics
Philadelphia Union

QUEBEC (Canada)

Montreal Impact


Bayside FC


Nashville SC


Austin FC
FC Dallas
Houston Dynamo
Houston Dynamo Unidos
RGV FC Toros Academy
San Antonio FC
Solar SC
Texas United
Total FC


Real Salt Lake


Alexandria Soccer Association


Seattle Sounders

3 comments about "MLS NEXT adds five clubs for 2021-22 season".
  1. humble 1, March 5, 2021 at 10:57 a.m.

    Impossible dream. MLS needs to pair back to or even U17 and have only two teams, three at most, but they cannot compute this because of greed, knowing that the register starts ticking at U12.  Think of the USL Academy design - they have just one team to each Academy.  USL Academy setup is brilliant, but it may struggle somewhat because of the existense of ECNL and MLS Next.  ECNL Boys, did not exist before 2017, now with over 100 teams, they have crushed any chance MLS Next had at density and reduced travel.  Think about this, U13 is 12 year olds, middle school boys.  Going to U12 by boys DA was the straw that broke the camels back, that was absurd, they reached back for 6th graders.  If you ever delivered you son to middle school, you know the 6th graders look like boys and the 8th graders like men, and puberty is just beginning.  Complete nonsense was that U12 implementation because you cannot ID age, there is tons of literature and studies that show this.  They must be coffee table clutter in MLS and USSF offices.  The only way forward is if ECNL boys and MLS Next play in the same league.  USSF would have to perform a leadership role, this would be counter to their recent history of dividing and interfering.  In a nutshell, in spite of the expansion reported above, the future will be the sameñ slight improvement in training possibilities through clubs, not by systematic design or quality, but by sheer volume/quantity, and, we will continue to produce good players, but always via some bespoke pathway and from a few exceptional academies that are successful inspite of, not because of, the system overseen by USSF.  Leave this to market forces and you will get a shite stew, invest some resources, form a vision, apply some leadership and you may have a chance to stear this giant ship called youth soccer.  Do it for the kids, please.   

  2. Soccer Bloke replied, March 5, 2021 at 1:48 p.m.

    There are good clubs that should be in MLS Next but are excluded because local competitors blackballed them, for commercial and competitive reasons. That should not be allowed - the the good of the game in the US is the criterion.

  3. Marty Apple, March 5, 2021 at 1:38 p.m.

    I believe you are right oh humble 1.  The rest of the world invests in academies and not leagues.  While we have a geography problem the solution is not disparate leagues for more games.  Players do not grow during games, they grow through coaching.  More games spread out so the cost is higher and higher for parents is not a sustainable solution.  We are losing more and more excellent raw talent simply because they cannot afford our 'system'. USSF must stop standing on the sidelines and become involved in shaping the landscape of clubs under any program aimed at truly affecting player development. More leagues is not an answer to developing more players consistently. Money first decision making is ruining our place in the world.  

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