MLS NEXT Pro the next generation of soccer stars in North America.

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Yesterday (December 6, 2021) MLS NEXT Pro announced the 21 clubs that will compete in the new professional league’s inaugural 2022 season.

The new professional league will complete a player pathway from MLS NEXT through to the MLS pro-teams. The newly created league will offer youth players and some experienced professionals that opportunity to develop their talents while competing for the MLS NEXT Pro championship. 

The new league will debut in 2022 and MLS NEXT Pro state that it will bring professional soccer closer to fans and supporters, while providing more opportunities for players, technical staff and sports business professionals throughout North America.

The 21 clubs competing in MLS NEXT Pro’s inaugural season include 20 teams affiliated with MLS clubs and one non affiliated MLS club, Rochester NY FC. Rochester NY FC will serve as MLS NEXT Pro’s inaugural independent club. Rochester NY FC, founded in 1996 as the Rochester Rhinos and rebranded this September, is owned by David and Wendy Dworkin, and co-owned by Premier League striker, and former England National Team star, Jamie Vardy of Leicester City F.C. 

Eight additional MLS-affiliated teams will join MLS NEXT Pro in 2023, including: Atlanta United, Austin FC, Charlotte FC, D.C. United, LA Galaxy, LAFC, Nashville SC, and New York Red Bulls. In addition to Rochester NY FC, MLS NEXT Pro will introduce additional independent clubs to the league in 2023 and beyond.

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