BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. (June 25, 2022) - The Chicago Fire FC U-15 and U-17 Academy teams will head to Texas for MLS NEXT Playoffs and Showcase, which will take place June 25-July 3 at Toyota Soccer Center in Frisco, Texas. The U-15’s are set to start the Academy’s participation against the Colorado Rapids’ U-15 side at 9:00 a.m. CT on Saturday, June 25, and the U-17 team will face the FC Cincinnati U-17's at 9:00 a.m. CT on Sunday, June 26.
With both the U-17’s and U-15’s winning their respective league groups, they’ve automatically qualified for MLS NEXT Playoffs. Both teams won their league group prior to participating in MLS NEXT Flex, a tournament that took place at the Maryland SoccerPlex in Boyds, Maryland in May, with 16 teams participating from each of the league’s U-15, U-16, U-17 and U-19 age groups.
After participating in MLS NEXT Flex, the U-17 team finished at the top of Group B, going undefeated in three matches with nine points defeating RSL Arizona 5-1, edging out Real Colorado 2-1 and closing out group play with a 4-2 victory against Seattle Sounders Academy. The U-15 Academy finished in third place in Group B, falling to Bethesda SC 1-0 in their first match, but bouncing back to defeat Ventura County Fusion 2-0. The U-15’s closed out group play with a 1-1 tie against Cedar Stars Academy - Bergen that resulted in a 4-5 penalty shootout loss.
Each team at the event will play three games in four days, with the first game being part of the 2022 MLS Cup Playoffs. A loss would shift a team over to the showcase portion of the event, in which they would complete their remaining two matches against MLS NEXT competition. The playoff portion of the event is single-elimination, leading to the quarterfinals of the tournament that will culminate with the 2022 MLS NEXT Cup. A schedule is available at mlssoccer.com/mlsnext/ and will be updated daily pending the results of each days’ matches. A streaming schedule is also available at https://www.mlssoccer.com/news/2022-mls-next-cup-streaming-schedule, with over 20 MLS NEXT Cup games being streamed on Twitch and YouTube.