Philadelphia Union Academy U16s clinch MLS NEXT Cup Playoff Spot!

MLS NEXT Flex | U16s (2)

Philadelphia Union Academy's U-16 squad completed its perfect run at MLS NEXT Flex in Maryland to secure their spot into the 2024 MLS NEXT Cup Playoffs that will take place in Nashville, Tennessee later this summer.

Head Coach Guillermo Hamdan Zaragoza's squad were the definition of unstoppable over the event, scoring eight goals and collecting back-to-back-to-back shutouts to set the tone. Using their experience gained in Europe over the past few months, the U16s began their tournament run with a 4-0 win over Tampa Bay United on Friday afternoon. 24 hours later they were back on the pitch for another victory, taking down FC Bay Area Surf by a 2-0 margin. They completed the sweep and secured their ticket to the postseason with another 2-0 win on Monday afternoon, taking down FC Westchester.

Thirty-two of the top teams from the regular season will compete to win an MLS NEXT Cup championship in four different age groups (U-15, U-16, U-17, U-19) at the Richard Siegel Soccer Complex. Teams that do not qualify for the MLS NEXT Cup Playoffs can participate in the MLS NEXT Cup Showcase, which will be held at the same venue. U-13 and U-14 age groups will also participate in the MLS NEXT Cup Showcase in 2024.

Sixteen of the 32 teams will qualify for MLS NEXT Cup Playoffs based on their standings in the league table. League matches will be played on a regional basis from September 2023 to June 2024, featuring eight divisions – Florida, Frontier, Mid-America, Mid-Atlantic, Northeast, Northwest, Southeast and Southwest. The other 16 teams will qualify for MLS NEXT Cup Playoffs based on their performance at MLS NEXT Flex in May 2024.