LA Bulls Joins MLS Next

Exciting news!

The LA Bulls are proud to announce that we will be representing the West LA area in the MLS NEXT for the 2023-24 season.  We look forward to building this partnership and the opportunities it presents for our greater community.

The MLS NEXT league is the highest platform for youth boys in the country.  The league will not only provide a high level competition for players but also collegiate, professional, and national exposure.

The LA Bulls BU13 (2011) and BU14 (2010) will be the first teams within the club to compete in the league for the 23-24 season with the BU12 (2012) close behind as our PRE MLS NEXT team.  The goal will be to fulfill the MLS NEXT pathway by developing 6 teams to compete in the league from U13-U19 in the near future.

Quote from co-founder and director Mele French - "We have been working very hard for an opportunity like MLS NEXT!  The league's core values are in direct alignment with what we believe in here at the Bulls.  While it is our continued goal to develop elite level players in the West LA area, our main focus will always be to provide a safe and healthy environment for our youth to grow.  We are honored to be a part of league that will always put youth development first.  We look forward to providing the same pathway for our girls soon!"

Quote from co-founder and technical director Kelly Parker - "LA Bulls SC is honored to be selected as part of the MLS NEXT expansion list for 2023-24 season. Although it's a bigger stage, our approach to the development of the holistic player will not change. We are ecstatic about having the ability to offer these invaluable life lessons/opportunities to the greater community. It will no doubt expand many worlds of possibility and open the doors to a brighter future through the game we love, soccer. Thank you MLS NEXT for recognizing our capabilities and entrusting us with this very important role in the community."

MLS NEXT Press Release:

Nine clubs are joining MLS NEXT for the 2023-24 season, positioning them to begin play next fall.

Three clubs – Athletum FC, Capital City SC, and Sporting Athletic Club – will provide a full-player pathway for MLS NEXT prospects, competing in all age groups of MLS NEXT competition ranging from U13 to U19. MLS NEXT will now have teams from two new states – Delaware and West Virginia – bringing the program's total representation to 33 different states, three Canadian provinces, and the District of Columbia.

Additionally, the newest independent MLS NEXT Pro club, Carolina Core FC, will have their U13 and U14 teams join MLS NEXT in 2024-25.

"We are excited to welcome these nine clubs to MLS NEXT as they will strengthen the top youth soccer program in North America," said MLS NEXT General Manager Justin Bokmeyer. "Each club exhibits a unique commitment to the highest quality of player development, both on and off the field, which is consistent with our goal of providing the best and most well-rounded educational environments for our young athletes."

Clubs were evaluated on several key factors – leadership and management, player development, and creating an inclusive club environment. A club's leadership was evaluated based on the implementation of a defined soccer philosophy, quality of coaching staff, and constant coaching support and education. Clubs that demonstrated a commitment to holistic player development and support emphasized the creation of performance pathways and professionalism of the daily environment.

Finally, the clubs were also assessed on their ability to offer low or no-cost options for players to participate on MLS NEXT teams, creating opportunities for a more comprehensive player pool, and promoting and embodying the diversity, equity, and inclusion values of MLS NEXT.

The nine newly-added clubs for 2023-24 are:

The nine newly-added clubs for 2023-24 are:

Athletum FC

Hialeah, Florida

Age groups: U13, U14, U15, U16, U17, U19

Located in the Miami metropolitan area, Athletum FC focuses on their commitment to promoting the growth of soccer in the South Florida community with over 1,500 kids participating in their program. The club is currently building new facilities and will participate in all age groups of MLS NEXT competition in 2023-24.

Capital City Soccer Club

Austin, Texas

Age groups: U13, U14, U15, U16, U17, U19

Capital City SC was founded in the fall of 2018 with the goal to improve soccer in Central Texas and will participate in all age groups of MLS NEXT. Located in Austin, Capital City aims to foster an environment that creates confidence and awareness for their players on and off the field. In only three years as a club, over 60% of club graduates have gone on to play college soccer.

Ironbound Soccer Club

Newark, New Jersey

Age groups: U13, U14

Ironbound Soccer Club was established to create a competitive youth soccer program for players who are striving to play soccer at the highest levels based on their performance and academic achievement. In order to accomplish those goals, the club's framework seeks to instill character, self-esteem, confidence, and sportsmanship within young athletes.

Los Angeles Bulls SC

Pacific Palisades, California

Age groups: U13, U14

Co-founders Mele French and Kelly Parker, who were both drafted by New York/New Jersey Sky Blue FC in 2009, fostered a friendship and started Force Football in 2012, a training academy dedicated to developing player technique, soccer IQ, and mentality both on and off the field. The duo's partnership and success with the academy eventually helped them launch the Los Angeles Bulls Soccer Club in 2018. The LA Bulls strive to teach essential life skills while developing intelligent, technical, and confident players to reach their highest potential.

Los Angeles Soccer Club

West Covina, California

Age groups: U13, U14

One of the oldest soccer clubs in California, Los Angeles Soccer Club launched their youth program in 2020 with over 50 boys and girls teams. The program has a strong connection to East Lost Angeles and prioritizes the commitment to reducing financial barriers in youth soccer.

Modesto Ajax United

Modesto, California

Age groups: U13, U14

With over 30 years of history, Modesto Ajax United is one of the premier soccer clubs in Northern California. The club has developed players who have played professionally both domestically and internationally, including U.S. Men's National Team player Heath Pearce and U.S. Women's National Team player Tisha Venturini. Modesto Ajax United's vision is to develop the skills and knowledge of players and coaches in a high-quality and positive environment, while growing their love and passion for soccer.

Nashville United Soccer Academy

Brentwood, Tennessee

Age groups: U13, U14

Nashville United Soccer Academy (NUSA) focuses on the personal growth and development of each player by creating a fun and positive learning environment for both the player and family regardless of socioeconomic background. NUSA has produced a consistent training curriculum, throughout the club, which is focused on long-term individual player development. Additionally, players are encouraged to participate in volunteering through the Susewind Soccer Program, collecting sponsorships and donations, as well as organizing used equipment drives to support soccer in the community.

Sporting Athletic Club

Wilmington, Delaware

Age groups: U13, U14, U15, U16, U17, U19

The first club to join MLS NEXT from Delaware, Sporting Athletic Club, formerly Sporting Delaware Soccer Club, features first-class facilities, elite coaches, nationally competitive teams, and a legacy of developing players.

West Virginia Soccer

Shepherdstown, West Virginia

Age group: U13, U14

West Virginia Soccer believes in providing upcoming players with professional soccer aspirations an opportunity to pursue their dreams while also continuing their education and remaining close to their family at home. The West Virginia Soccer Academy program is designed for the elite player, offering a year-round training model, and is focused on long-term player development and identification at the collegiate, amateur, and professional levels. The first MLS NEXT Team in West Virginia, the club will participate in the U13 and U14 age groups in 2023-24.

LA Bulls MLS Next