MLS NEXT Cup Playoffs: ‘Caps Academy teams begin quest for the cup


It’s playoff time!

Vancouver Whitecaps FC U-17 and U-15 MLS Academy teams, part of the Whitecaps FC BMO Academy System, are both headed to the MLS NEXT Cup Playoffs in Nashville, Tennessee starting this weekend. The single-elimination knockout tournaments will be held from June 15-23 at Richard Siegel Soccer Complex in Murfreesboro, Tenn. with all four championship matches contested on Sunday, June 23 at Nashville SC’s GEODIS Park

What is it?

The 2024 MLS NEXT Cup Playoffs is the culmination of the 2023-24 MLS NEXT season, featuring 32 of the top academy teams in each of the four different age groups (U-15, U-16, U-17, U-19). All 128 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 10-14. Entering the MLS NEXT Cup Playoffs, almost 9,000 matches have been played during the 2023-24 MLS NEXT season.


MLS NEXT Cup Playoffs matches will be 80 minutes in the U-15 age group and 90 minutes in the other three age groups. If the match is tied at the end of regulation, all games will head to penalty kicks, except for the four championship matches, which will feature two five-minute periods of extra time. If the championship matches are still tied after the extra time periods, they will then head to penalty kicks to decide a winner.


The MLS NEXT Cup Playoffs are a single elimination knockout bracket. Win and advance to continue the quest for the cup.


Saturday, June 15 vs. Players Development Academy (PDA) - 5:45 p.m. PT/7:45 p.m. local time

  • The winner will face either Total Futbol Academy (TFA) or the hometown Nashville SC in the Round of 16.


Sunday, June 16 vs. Michigan Wolves - 6 p.m. PT/8 p.m. local time

  • The winner will face either CF Montreal or Players Development Academy (PDA) in the Round of 16.

Every team is guaranteed a minimum of three matches. Should a team get knocked out, they will face other eliminated teams as part of the showcase to round out their time in Nashville.

How they got here?


The U-17s have had a great season, incorporating young players throughout the campaign. While it’s a 2007-born age group, 20% of the squad are made up of 2008-born players. On the pro pathway, 50% of the squad have been involved in training or matchdays with Whitecaps FC 2 (WFC2).

The U-17s qualified for the postseason through an extremely competitive West Division in which every single team made the playoffs by either the regular season or Flex – the only division in the league to do so. Those eight teams make up a quarter of the entire playoff field!

Captain: Valter Sedin

Leading scorers:

  • Rayan Elloumi – 21 goals, 5 assists
  • Johnny Selemani – 13 goals, 3 assists


The U-15s finished with a very strong record of 20W-14L-5D across 39 MLS NEXT matches in the league, Flex, and GA Cup, scoring an impressive 84 goals!

A 4-2 win over rivals Seattle Sounders FC on the final day of the regular season saw the ‘Caps qualify for the playoffs, finishing in third in the West Division.

Captain: Liam Campagna

Leading scorers:

  • Tyler Brown – 20 goals, 7 assists
  • Ryder Sewell – 16 goals, 16 assists
  • Aiden Bejaoui – 14 goals, 5 assists

How to watch?

22 MLS NEXT Cup Playoff games, including all four championship matches, will stream live on MLS Season Pass on Apple TV, the subscription service from Apple and Major League available in more than 100 countries and regions. Across the four age groups represented in the playoffs, two round of 32 matches, two round of 16 matches, six quarterfinal games, and each of the eight semifinal contests will also be available to watch on MLS Season Pass on Apple TV.


Launched in 2020, MLS NEXT is the most elite platform for youth player development in North America. With a commitment to innovation and providing access and representation, MLS NEXT players receive the best training and coaching as they prepare for their futures, both in soccer and in life. Throughout a season, MLS NEXT hosts four marquee events across the country, including the Generation adidas Cup, which features MLS academies playing against the top international clubs. Membership for the 2023-24 season includes 29 MLS academies, 114 Elite Academies (143 total clubs), 677 teams and over 15,000 players across the U.S. and Canada. Official partners of MLS NEXT include adidas, Allstate, and DoorDash. For more information about MLS NEXT, visit