The 2023 MLS NEXT Cup Playoffs and Showcase 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. 32 of the top teams in each of the four different age groups (U-15, U-16, U-17, U-19) will square off at the Toyota Soccer Center in Dallas-Fort Worth for each title. Austin FC's U-17 and U-15 teams will participate.
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 event marks the culmination of the 2022-23 MLS NEXT season, which included over 9,000 matches played across all age groups.
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.
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. Additionally, the U-19 ‘Best Of’ match will be streamed on Tuesday, June 20. MLS Season Pass marks the official kickoff of the 10-year partnership between MLS and Apple, a historic first for a major professional sports league.