MLS Launches New Professional League

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Major League Soccer (MLS) – the league body in the United States of America, has announced the introduction of a new league that will become functional in 2022.

The new league will serve as a link between Major League Soccer Next – which comprises soccer academies in the US, and the MLS first teams.

While announcing the introduction of the league, MLS President and Deputy Commissioner Mark Abbot said the league would be a pathway between soccer academies and first teams. This means that the academies will feed the new league while the new league will feed the first teams.

Before now, soccer academies in the US have 20 percent automatic slots in Major League Soccer first teams which means that every first-team must be composed of 20 percent academy products. This also means that the academy players that don’t have the chance to be promoted to the first teams automatically, can get into the teams through the new league.

Another good part of the new league is that it will expand the reach of professional soccer in America by ensuring that cities without professional clubs are brought into the chain through the new league.

Contrary to speculations that the new league would rival the MLS Next which was established in 2020, the new league will facilitate the growth of the academy products and make them professional soccer stars faster than it was before the coming of the league.

More so, it was announced that the new league will be made up of 20 clubs controlled by the MLS or affiliated with the MLS, and the addition of clubs that currently do not have any affiliation with the league body. Hence, the new league would not only serve as a pathway for academy players, but it will also open the doors to more investments and expansion.

MLS President and Deputy Commissioner Mark Abbott said: “We are excited to launch a new league to complete the professional pathway between our academies and the MLS first teams. In addition to providing more opportunities for MLS-caliber players, the new league will develop a diverse talent pool of coaches, referees, and front office executives while also attracting fans who previously were unable to support a local club in their hometown.”

This means that 2022 will be a soccer field year for soccer lovers in the United States of America because they are going to be introduced to a new league in a FIFA World Cup year. Hence, they will have the regular MLS elite league, MLS Next, FIFA World Cup, other top leagues outside the US, and then the new MLS pathway league to enjoy throughout the year.

This will launch the soccer lovers into the journey of four years in which the United States will be busy preparing to host the 2026 FIFA World Cup in partnership with Canada and Mexico.

What next after the announcement of the new league by MLS

MLS Launches New Professional League
File photo of academy players during MLS Academy Cup.

Now that the MLS has announced the introduction of a new league, the next step is the activities that will lead to the commencement of the operation of the new league.

MLS has announced that a new leader and new staff for the new league will be hired in the coming months. The league body also announced that space will be created at the MLS headquarters in New York City from which the new league will operate.

Once the team that will oversee the operation of the new league is in place, the team will plan how to start the league in late March and end it with playoffs in early December 2022.

At the time of publishing this report, MLS had not announced the name of the new league, logo, participating teams in the inaugural season, and application process for expansion clubs.