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MLS unveils ‘MLS Next’ brand for new academy league

Philadelphia Union Academy, FC Delco, PA Classics and Real Jersey FC have teams in the new platform

Out with the Development Academy, in with MLS Next.

MLS Commissioner Don Garber unveiled the branding of the league’s new youth development platform Monday afternoon as part of an online presentation for coaches, players and the families of those participating in the new league.

“We recognize that the future of our sport, the future of the sport of soccer in our country and really the future strength of our league really depends on the improved and growing quality of our future players, as well as our future coaches,” Garber said in the online stream Monday afternoon.

The new league has been formed out of the ashes of the Development Academy that U.S. Soccer decided to shutter back in mid-April and features many of the same clubs that were part of that now defunct platform.

Locally, the Philadelphia Union Academy, PA Classics and FC Delco were all part of the DA and South Jersey club Real Jersey FC will also be part of the new league at the U13 and U14 level.

Games are slated to kick off this weekend, but a detailed schedule has not been released yet.

The Union will be fielding a U17, U15, U14 and U13 team in the new league.