Following successful seasons in both age groups, the Austin FC Academy U-17 and U-15 teams have qualified for the MLS NEXT Cup Playoffs taking place later this month in Frisco, Texas. Each team has already won a major youth tournament in 2023, with the U-15s capturing the Generation adidas Cup in Florida and the U-17s winning MLS NEXT Flex in Maryland
While their MLS NEXT Flex triumph would have qualified the U-17s for the MLS NEXT Cup Playoffs on its own, the team also achieved qualification by winning the Central (South) Division in league play. The U-17s collected 22 points from 11 league matches, topping the division – which also includes Houston Dynamo FC, FC Dallas, and Sporting Kansas City – by seven points.
Midfielder and U.S. youth international Ervin Torres, goalkeeper Spencer Sanderson, center back Drake Fournier and right back Luke Haggerty have all been standout performers in recent months for the U-17s.
On the U-15 side, the team followed its impressive Generation adidas Cup win with a regular season divisional crown as well, finishing in first place in the Central (South) Division which is made up of the same teams as at the U-17 level.
Defender Gavin Wolff, midfielder Viggo Ortiz, and goalkeeper Nicolas Aristizabal all built upon strong showings at the GA Cup throughout the remainder of the season.
The MLS NEXT Cup Playoffs are set to take place from June 17-25. The tournament is formatted as a 32-team single elimination knockout bracket in both age groups. Each team is guaranteed three games, so those that lose in the Round of 32 or Round of 16 would play either one or two further matches in the tournament’s Showcase.
The full tournament schedule, as well as which matches have been selected for streaming, will be announced in the coming weeks.