The Next Generation Series has announced its inaugural conference lineup as it prepares for its debut in August. The Southeast Conference will be split into three divisions and will feature clubs from Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, Alabama and the Carolinas. The Mid-South Conference will include clubs from Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Louisiana.
NextGen is a joint venture between USL and IMG Academy featuring a forward-looking, innovative, comprehensive, and unique development program designed to develop the complete elite youth soccer player through a defined regimen of training, competition, testing, and evaluation.
Thus far, Atlanta Fire United, Georgia Rush, Jacksonville Youth Soccer Club, Knoxville Soccer Academy and FC Nashville have been accepted for the inaugural NextGen season and will each place four teams in the ground-breaking league for 2013-14.
“We are excited about the initial list of clubs that have been accepted into the Next Generation Series, and we’re looking forward to additional announcements as preparations for the 2013-14 season begin,” NextGen Director Abe Thompson said. “The idea is to give the players an avenue to develop through challenging competition, while exposing them at a younger age to the sort of evaluation and education they will encounter as they progress beyond youth club soccer - to youth national teams, college, professional teams, and the full national team.”
The 2013 NextGen format will consist of U12 and U14 boys and girls teams participating in an eight-month season beginning in August and culminating in April that will feature two evaluation/competition events at IMG. More than just another youth soccer league, top players will be identified through the NextGen Player Tracking Program and invited to attend the NextGen ID Training Camp at IMG presenting the unique opportunity for these elite soccer players to showcase their talents and train with distinguished IMG and NextGen coaches.
The inspiration for NextGen was the repeated and consistent message received from top youth soccer clubs and coaches that they were seeking a fresh development initiative specifically geared toward younger teams and players. NextGen was launched to fill the void by providing a comprehensive platform for clubs to best prepare their young players for the challenges which await them at the next level.
The world’s largest and most advanced multi-sport training and education complex, IMG Academy hosted myriad soccer team training camps in 2012, including clubs such as the Seattle Sounders, D.C. United, Columbus Crew, Sweden’s Malmö FF, as well as the U.S. Women’s National Team preparing for the London Olympic Games and the Antigua & Barbuda Men’s National Team preparing for World Cup qualifying.
To learn more about the Next Generation Series please visit www.NGSsoccer.com.