NEW YORK – Major League Soccer today announced the MLS NEXT Development Grant program, an initiative to recognize the significant contributions of MLS NEXT Elite Academies to the professional player pathway by continuing to invest in the youth development ecosystem.
The program provides compensation to MLS NEXT Elite Academies (non-MLS academy programs) for eligible players that progress through the professional player pathway, from MLS NEXT Elite Academy to MLS club academy to an MLS first team as a Homegrown player. The 2023-24 MLS NEXT season features more than 100 MLS NEXT Elite Academies in 30 different states.
The Development Grant program will provide additional opportunities for players across the United States and Canada to access the highest level of player development, while recognizing the considerable impact that clubs make in the early stages of an athlete’s development. The program has already compensated a total of more than $100,000 to eight different MLS NEXT Elite Academies for players that are retroactively eligible for the Development Grant. Detailed information on eligibility, funding mechanisms, notable quotes, and retroactive recipients can be found HERE.
What They Are Saying About the MLS NEXT Development Grant
“Adam Beaudry’s tenure at Real Colorado, from ages 9 to 16, embodied a journey marked by leadership and unwavering dedication. Real Colorado believes our impact extends from player development, into fostering a culture of teamwork and beyond with cohesion in our community. The club enthusiastically applauds the initiative of the Development Grant. We believe it will allow us to continue to elevate our standards as well as enrich the landscape of youth soccer, benefiting Real Colorado and the wider community alike.”- Clint Baumstark, Academy Director, Real Colorado
“Benjamin Cremaschi played an important role in securing a National Championship for Weston FC, showcasing teamwork and leadership. This achievement speaks to the winning culture in our Club. Benjamin’s legacy at the Club serves as an inspiration for all our players. He is a role model emphasizing that with grit, determination, and humility, dreams can become reality. We are very appreciative of the grant being provided to us by MLS NEXT. Weston FC provides significant financial aid to players and families in need. This grant will help to support players who otherwise would not have the opportunity to…