Major League Soccer and MLS NEXT today announced details for the 2023 Generation adidas Cup, a premier global youth tournament featuring representation from every MLS academy and renowned club academies from around the world. A record 49 different clubs from 12 countries and four continents will compete in U-17 and U-15 tournament play at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla., from April 1-9.
Philadelphia Union Academy will compete in both tournaments with both squads drawing intriguing group stage matches against international competitors. The U15 squad will begin Group Stage play on Saturday, April 1st against Inter Miami CF. hey will follow up the contest the next day with against Sporting Kansas City before concluding group play on April 3rd against the Valencia C.F. from Spain.
The U17s squad will play during the same three day period with their Group Stage play beginning with a April 1st matchup against the Houston Dynamo. The Boys in Blue are back in action on the 2nd when they take on Minnesota United's U-17 side before wrapping up the group stage against Boca Juniors from Argentina.
Twenty-eight Generation adidas games, including championship matches in both divisions, will stream live on MLS Season Pass, the subscription service from Apple and Major League Soccer on the Apple TV app. These games will be available in more than 100 countries and regions. Additional Generation adidas Cup broadcast details, including the schedule of games featured, will be announced in advance of the tournament. MLS Season Pass marks the official kickoff of the 10-year partnership between MLS and Apple, a historic first for a major professional sports league.
The future stars of MLS and international soccer will take center stage, as all 29 MLS clubs will have academy representation in both the U-17 and U-15 divisions. Additionally, Strikers FC (Irvine, Calif.) will participate in the U-17 division. 2022 saw MLS teams win both the U-17 (Seattle Sounders FC) and U-15 (Portland Timbers) divisions for the first time in competition’s 14-year history. The Sounders FC U-17 squad has also won the event each of the last two instances it was held (2022 and 2019) and look to join River Plate (2015-17) as the only clubs to do so three straight times.
12 players who appeared at previous Generation adidas Cups were on FIFA 2022 World Cup rosters, with eight on the U.S. Men’s National Team. Notable alumni include Brenden Aaronson (Philadelphia Union/Leeds United), Kellyn Acosta (FC Dallas/LAFC), Tyler Adams (New York Red Bulls/Leeds United), and Jesús Ferreira (FC Dallas). Additionally, 2022 FIFA World Cup winner and Manchester City forward Julián Álvarez was the top scorer for River Plate (Argentina) when they won the U-17 age group in 2017.
“Generation adidas Cup brings together an elite group of world-class youth talent from around the globe and provides an exceptional competitive environment for participating MLS NEXT clubs,” said MLS Vice President of Player Youth and Development Fred Lipka. “Top-tier international competition is an important catalyst in the development of talent and the 80 participating teams will provide an incredible opportunity for all involved.”
“We are excited for the 2023 Generation adidas Cup," said Skate Noftsinger, Director of Sports Marketing for adidas soccer North America. "The event is a key moment for our partnership with MLS, showcasing the pinnacle of youth soccer in North America and globally."
For the first time in the 14-year history of the Generation adidas Cup, 19 of the most prestigious international clubs will participate across the U-17 and U-15 divisions. Notable clubs who will compete in Bradenton include Arsenal FC (England), Boca Juniors (Argentina), Chelsea FC (England), Club América (Mexico), Manchester United FC (England), Palmeiras (Brazil), Real Madrid C.F. (Spain), and Remo Stars FC (Nigeria).
Ahead of the inaugural Leagues Cup 2023 kicking off on Friday, July 21, MLS and Liga MX will compete against one another in the 2023 Generation adidas cup. Five different Liga MX clubs will take part in the competition, featuring Atlas (U-17), Club América (U-15 and U-17), Club León (U-17), C.F. Monterrey (U-15), and Pumas UNAM (U-15 and U-17). In 2022, Tigres UANL became the first LIGA MX team to reach the U17 championship game, falling 2-0 to Seattle Sounders FC.
Forty teams, divided into 10 groups of four, will compete in each of the two age divisions. MLS club seeding was determined by Generation adidas Cup Qualifiers at MLS NEXT Fest in December 2022. Each team will play three group matches to determine qualification for the knockout round. Sixteen teams will qualify for the winner’s side of the draw with winning teams advancing to play in a bracket-style elimination format. All teams competing in Generation adidas Cup are guaranteed to play seven 60-minute matches, comprised of two 30-minute halves.
After the conclusion of the tournament, awards will be presented in both age groups to the Generation adidas Cup Most Valuable Player and Top Scorer, as well as the Generation adidas Cup Best Goalkeeper presented by Allstate. The Generation adidas Cup Rising XI presented by BODYARMOR Sports Drink will highlight the top performing MLS academy players from each position at the competition.
MLS NEXT Match Evaluator Program
At the 2023 Generation adidas Cup, MLS NEXT is collaborating with U.S. Soccer to lead a specialized Talent ID and Scouting pilot course which will be made available through the MLS NEXT Match Evaluator Program. Upon successful completion of this pilot course, MLS NEXT Match Evaluators will be issued a Level 2 US Soccer Talent Scout License. Launched in the summer of 2023, the MLS NEXT Match Evaluator Program has hosted former and current professional players who are interested in learning more about scouting and player analysis in the MLS NEXT landscape. Match Evaluators take part in education programming and are given scouting assignments at various MLS NEXT events.
Coaching Education Opportunities at Generation adidas Cup
Major League Soccer, in conjunction with the United States Soccer Federation (USSF) Coaching Education Department, will deliver two in-person coaching education opportunities at Generation adidas Cup. The MLS Coaching Education Development Pathway, led by U.S. Soccer Director of Coaching Education Didier Chambaron, will help to further educate nearly 60 MLS academy coaches who have the intention to become USSF coaching license educators in the future.
MLS will also provide additional development opportunities to coaches in the MLS NEXT community through Continuing Professional Development (C.P.D). These educational sessions will be led by MLS Vice President of Player Development Fred Lipka, MLS Player Development consultant and former French National Technical Director Jean-Claude Giuntini, U.S. Soccer Director of Coaching Education Didier Chambaron, and several MLS academy coaches and Elite Formation Coaching License graduates.
Subscribing to MLS Season Pass
With an MLS Season Pass subscription, fans can enjoy all MLS and Leagues Cup matches, and hundreds of MLS NEXT Pro and MLS NEXT games, on billions of devices through the Apple TV app on Apple devices, smart TVs, streaming devices, set-top boxes, and game consoles, as well as on the web at tv.apple.com. Fans can subscribe to MLS Season Pass on the Apple TV app for $14.99 per month during the season or $99 per season, and Apple TV+ subscribers can sign up at a special price of $12.99 per month or $79 per season.1 A subscription to MLS Season Pass will be included with each MLS Club full-season ticket account. Through Family Sharing, up to six family members can share the subscription using their own Apple ID and password.
1To watch MLS Season Pass, customers must update to iOS 16.2 or later, iPadOS 16.2 or later, tvOS 16.2 or later, and macOS 13.1 or later. Fans around the world can enjoy Major League Soccer matches on MLS Season Pass in English, Spanish, or French where available, including closed captions.