The Rapids Academy’s U-15 team is set to hit the road to compete in the 2023 MLS NEXT Cup Playoffs this weekend at the Toyota Soccer Center in Dallas-Fort Worth. The 2023 MLS NEXT Cup Playoffs begin on Saturday, June 17, as the best youth teams in the United States and Canada compete to be crowned MLS NEXT Cup Champions for the 2022-23 season.
The MLS NEXT Cup Playoffs is a single-elimination competition featuring the best 128 teams across four age groups (U-15, U-16, U-17, U-19). Teams qualified for the MLS NEXT Cup Playoffs based on results from league play or by winning their respective group at MLS NEXT Flex, a qualifying event that took place from May 12-16.
The Rapids U-15 team was able to clinch a spot in the MLS NEXT Cup Playoffs based off their regular season league play. The team finished their season with a 7-5-2 record for a third place standing in the MLS NEXT West Division.
MLS NEXT Cup Playoff matches will last 80 minutes in the U-15 age group and 90 minutes in the other three age groups. If the game is tied at the end of regulation, all playoff matches will head to kicks from the penalty spot, except for the four championship matches, which will feature two five-minute periods of extra time. If the championship matches are still even after extra time, they will be decided by kicks from the penalty spot.
How to Watch
Thirty-one MLS NEXT Cup Playoff games, including all four championship matches, will stream live on MLS Season Pass, the subscription service from Apple and Major League Soccer on the Apple TV app, available in more than 100 countries and regions. Across the four age groups, 12 Round of 32 matches, six quarterfinal games, and each of the eight semifinal contests will also be available to watch on MLS Season Pass.
Rapids Academy Schedule
Saturday, June 17 @ 10:30 a.m. MT: LA United Futbol Academy vs. Colorado Rapids Academy
*This match will not be streamed
Teams that do not qualify for the MLS NEXT Cup Playoffs can also participate in the MLS NEXT Cup Showcase. The Showcase provides a premier platform for MLS NEXT players to compete in front of hundreds of collegiate, international, and professional coaches and scouts. All clubs participating in the MLS NEXT Cup Showcase will play three matches over a four-day span. Clubs who are eliminated in the first two rounds of the MLS NEXT Cup Playoffs are also eligible to participate in the Showcase.
The event will also host three MLS NEXT ‘Best Of’ matches in which top players from MLS NEXT Cup Showcase teams will compete at the U-15, U-16 and U-19 age groups. These players are selected based on their performance in league play, at MLS NEXT Fest, and at MLS NEXT Flex.
Furthermore, the MLS NEXT Club Playoffs and Showcase will incorporate another edition of the MLS Match Evaluator program as several former professional players participate in on-site training for talent identification. Match Evaluators will attend various games and assess the quality of play while pinpointing top-performing players at each age group. Alumni of the program have progressed into coaching or administration roles within MLS and MLS NEXT Clubs, including the likes of Houston Rangers SC academy director Josh Gardner.