FRISCO, Texas – Beginning this Friday, FC Dallas will host the inaugural 2021 MLS NEXT Cup Playoffs. The MLS NEXT Cup Playoffs will take place June 25 – July 3. Boys age groups U15, U16, U17, and U19 will be competing to conclude the regular season. Twenty-five matches will be streamed live, and six matches will take place on FC Dallas’ home field, Toyota Stadium.
The MLS NEXT Cup has a strong focus on talent identification and youth development, which has always been an important part of the FC Dallas ethos. MLS NEXT Match Evaluators will be watching, evaluating and assessing players during the games. Matches will also be filmed and analyzed during the event. MLS NEXT will also generate a post-event technical report and analysis.
“Player development is paramount and having eyes on our players year-round really helps to create some of the motivation for players to perform at high levels consistently,” said FC Dallas VP of Youth Soccer Chris Hayden. “It’s an area that young players, through competition and training, gain better habits day to day and perform at higher levels consistently so that they can have more opportunity in the future. We will see how our players perform in a stressful environment against good competition.”
FC Dallas is honored to be hosting this first of its kind competition. With college coaches and former professional players and coaches in attendance, it is a big opportunity for FC Dallas and Toyota Stadium. “We hope that its more than just a footnote that we hosted the inaugural tournament. We hope that FC Dallas, the city of Frisco, Toyota Stadium, and complex are all thought of as a great host and a world class facility to be able to hold an event of large stature. That we just continue to showcase that our facilities are second to none in the region and I would argue second to none in the country,” Hayden added.
FC Dallas has been looking forward to hosting the event for months. Immense amounts of planning have gone into the preparation of the inaugural event to ensure its success.
“A lot of collaboration between MLS NEXT and our complex in regards to planning of the event and logistically how all the things behind the scenes are being supported, whether that’s creation or set up,” Hayden said. “A lot of people behind the scenes are involved to support the event so that the players feel that it’s a first-rate experience and the coaches and the spectators feel like it’s an event worthy of MLS.”
After an unpredictable year, FC Dallas is excited to host an event that brings some normalcy to the conclusion of the regular season for both the players and spectators.
“For us to be able to host an event with most of the teams around the country would’ve seemed very impossible just a few months ago, we really appreciate MLS for all their work and creating this MLS Next event and thinking enough of our facilities,” Hayden said. “A normal end to what has been a very abnormal year.”