MLS NEXT

MLS NEXT

Following the realignment of the Soccer Development Academies, the Boston Bolts have been invited to join the MLS NEXT program.

MLS NEXT is a new paradigm for player development. A platform that will transform the way players learn and grow. Building on where we’ve been, but looking ahead to the future. Taking youth soccer to the next level. The future starts here.


MLS NEXT will provide the best player development experience in North America. Founded on a collaborative approach to governance and a commitment to innovation, MLS NEXT players have access to the highest level of competition and to training and personal development opportunities that will prepare them for their futures, both in soccer and in life.

MLS NEXT Environment

MLS NEXT strives to develop world-class players by providing elite, driven youth talents with development environments. These high standard empower them to reach their full potential.

The program impacts everyday club environments by setting standards that ensure every player trains in a world-class environment and compete in more meaningful games. Clubs competing commit to uphold MLS NEXT standards and maintain the best environments to optimize player development.

For elite, motivated players, the MLS NEXT provides a pathway to develop and reach the highest level of competition.

Player Pathway

MLS NEXT competition begins at U-12 and runs through U-19. The number of teams competing in the Academy decreases as the age increases, therefore the number of player spots decreases. This ensures the most elite players continue competing against each other, which provides optimal development and more meaningful competition.

Coaching Standards

MLS NEXT believes that coaches are an integral part of creating the best environment and influence player development immensely. The best coaches are able to develop the best players and they continuously develop their own skills to be the best coach. All coaches in the DA are required to hold a minimum USSF B License.

High Performance

MLS NEXT takes a holistic approach to player development. Part of player development is learning the game and understanding the tactical strategies taught by the coach. Another aspect of player development is the physical development, which varies for each individual player. A player needs their individual needs met in their training environment for optimal learning and development.

To help identify the best physical environment for players, the MLS NEXT provides clubs the opportunity to register late-maturing players. Late-maturing players are individuals who are not as physically developed as the average player in their age group. By placing this individual in a younger age group, their development needs are met as they compete against equal competitors.

Talent Identification

MLS NEXT strives to identify the top talent of all soccer players in the nation. All players participating in the MLS NEXT have the opportunity to be seen by U.S. Soccer National Team scouts as well as college coaches and scouts at all MLS NEXT games. Hundreds of scouts attend the showcase events, providing multiple opportunities during the season for all players to be seen.

Today, the Boston Bolts remain as a top contender nation-wide in MLS NEXT competition and continue to develop and promote its players to the highest levels of collegiate, national team and professional status.  In addition, many Bolts coaches go on to coach at some of the most prestigious colleges, universities and national teams!  …. and better yet, many coaches and players return to coach at the club that gave them their foundation of success!

The Bolts have achieved the honor of providing a FULL MLS NEXT status from U12 – U19.