MLS NEXT Unveils Eight Expansion Teams For 2024/25 Season

Written by Patrick Echatah

Eight new clubs will join MLS NEXT for the 2024–25 campaign; play in the expanded league will start in the autumn of 2024.

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By competing in all MLS NEXT age classes, from U13 to U19, two clubs—AC River and Hoosier Premier Academy—will also offer MLS NEXT prospects a full-player pathway.

In addition to teams from 35 states, three Canadian provinces, and the District of Columbia, MLS NEXT will now include Southern States Soccer Club (Mississippi).

Concurrently, as fully-funded academies compete in MLS NEXT, Connecticut United Football Club (U14, U16) will join the previously announced Carolina Core FC (U13, U14) as independent clubs in MLS NEXT Pro. In 2025–2026, Chattanooga FC, an independent club that began participating in MLS NEXT Pro in 2024, will become a part of MLS NEXT.

“At their core, each expansion club has their own unique commitment to player development through high-level leadership and an emphasis on the holistic growth of each player, coach and staff member,” said MLS Executive Vice President Charles Altchek.

“We are proud to add these eight clubs and grateful for the overwhelming interest we received to join MLS NEXT in 2024-25. MLS NEXT is the most elite player development program in North America and a top program globally.”

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Diego Gomez’s ankle injury versus Nashville SC has been a major blow to Inter Miami head coach Gerardo “Tata” Martino’s team.

The 21-year-old was carried off the ground in tears after suffering the injury during the first half of the game against the Coyotes. Gomez, who left Libertad of Paraguay to join Miami last summer, has had a fantastic season. Prior to the injury, he had two goals and five assists in MLS games.

“Gomez suffered a high-grade ankle sprain in the first half of Inter Miami’s win over Nashville SC on Saturday. He has begun the recovery process and is expected to be sidelined for approximately six weeks,” the club said in a release.

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