On Saturday, 15 July, the U23s will leave for their training camp in Salt Lake City. The first of three games for coach Vincent Wagner's team will follow on Tuesday (18 July). MLS NEXT Pro announced the complete schedule in a press release, which we've published excerpts of below:
“Providing an opportunity for our clubs to face international opponents has been a key focus for our League since day one. In addition to the high level of competition MLS NEXT Pro clubs face during League play week in and week out, the ability to also compete against teams from across the world can only benefit everyone involved,” said Ali Curtis, SVP of Competition and Operations for MLS NEXT Pro. “We appreciate the collaboration and partnership with Premier League 2 and Bundesliga and look forward to a terrific tournament.”
After a successful inaugural tournament in 2022, this year’s MLS NEXT Pro Invitational will again take place in the Salt Lake City area, with five matches over eight days, July 18-25. Competing from MLS NEXT Pro will be Real Monarchs, Colorado Rapids 2 and Whitecaps FC 2. They will face Crystal Palace U21 from England’s Premier League 2 and TSG Hoffenheim U23. This year marks the first time a team will compete in the Invitational from an international league other than PL2.
The full schedule for the second annual MLS NEXT Pro Invitational is as follows:
- Tuesday, July 18: TSG Hoffenheim U23 vs. Colorado Rapids 2 (10 p.m. ET/8:00 p.m. MT)
- Wednesday, July 19: Crystal Palace U21 vs. Real Monarchs (10:30 p.m. ET/8:30 p.m. MT)
- Friday, July 21: TSG Hoffenheim U23 vs. Crystal Palace (10 p.m. ET/8:00 p.m. MT)
- Monday, July 24: TSG Hoffenheim U23 vs. Real Monarchs (10 p.m. ET/8:00 p.m. MT)
- Tuesday, July 25: Crystal Palace U21 vs. Whitecaps FC 2 (10 p.m. ET/8:00 p.m. MT)
All matches will take place at the home of Real Monarchs, Zions Bank Stadium, in Herriman, Utah. Fans around the world will be able to watch the MLS NEXT Pro Invitational exclusively on mlsnextpro.com. For those interested in attending the matches, tickets are currently available at RSL.com.
''Yet another amazing Summer of Soccer in Utah continues with this very unique event, one we are proud to reprise following last year’s success,” said Real Salt Lake President John Kimball. ''First it was our U.S. Open Cup Quarterfinal and Liga MX exhibition last month, soon it will be the historic Leagues Cup and in between it all we will be closely watching the U.S. Women’s National Team at the World Cup. Now our expert staff have the opportunity to show off our exquisite facilities to entities and individuals from the U.S., Canada, England and Germany for the second-ever MLS NEXT Pro Invitational, and we could not be prouder to provide this opportunity for our fans, as well as the participant Leagues and Clubs.''
About MLS NEXT Pro
Launched in 2022 by Major League Soccer, MLS NEXT Pro is a professional men’s soccer league in the United States and Canada that completes the pro player pathway. MLS NEXT Pro continues to grow the game through innovation and diversity, bringing professional soccer to new communities and creating global opportunities both on and off the field. MLS NEXT Pro enters its second season in 2023 with 27 teams, all affiliated with MLS clubs. Seven are new to MLS NEXT Pro in 2023: Atlanta United 2, Austin FC II, Crown Legacy FC (Charlotte FC), Huntsville City FC (Nashville SC), LA Galaxy II, Los Angeles Football Club 2 and New York Red Bulls II. Additional MLS-affiliated and independent clubs will join in the years ahead, including Carolina Core FC in 2024 and Cleveland in 2025. The majority of MLS NEXT Pro matches in 2023 are available to watch live on MLS Season Pass on the Apple TV app as part of the groundbreaking partnership between Apple and MLS. For more information about MLS NEXT Pro, visit mlsnextpro.com.