Major League Soccer ventures into youth recreational scene with MLS GO platform
NEW YORK – Major League Soccer (MLS) and RCX Sports announced the launch of MLS GO, a recreational soccer program designed to increase participation and access for boys and girls outside of the existing soccer ecosystem. Powered by MLS, MLS GO engages with existing community organizations and local recreation programs to provide boys and girls, ages 4 to 14 with a fun, affordable, local soccer experience.
Over the course of a season, players will feel like a pro as they learn the game, have fun, and wear MLS Club-branded uniforms while playing alongside friends in their local community league.
“MLS GO will provide an opportunity for children across the country to play soccer and create a direct connection between our MLS clubs and future soccer fans,” said Kyle Albrecht, MLS Senior Director of Properties. “We are excited to work with RCX Sports and local community organizations to provide a structured introductory soccer program, with connections to a developmental pathway that will enable greater access to the sport, regardless of age, gender, location, or talent level.”
The program will debut this fall in 18 markets: 12 MLS, three MLS NEXT, and three additional cities that will be introduced to the MLS ecosystem for the first time.
- Birmingham, Ala.
- Phoenix, Ariz.
- Los Angeles, Calif.
- Denver, Colo.
- Washington, D.C.
- Orlando, FL
- New Orleans, La.
- Foxborough, Mass.
- Detroit, Mich.
- Las Vegas, Nev.
- New York, N.Y.
- Charlotte, N.C.
- Cincinnati, Ohio
- Columbus, Ohio
- Philadelphia, Pa.
- Dallas, Texas
- Seattle, Wash. (Launching Spring 2024)
- Milwaukee, Wis.
RCX Sports, the leader in organized youth sports experiences, will serve as the program’s official operating partner to help facilitate the launch and growth of MLS GO. RCX Sports works with professional leagues, national governing bodies, sports-centric businesses, and brands to reimagine youth sports experiences and is committed to improving the accessibility and inclusivity of sports by creating opportunities for all athletes to play.
“Soccer is the most widely played sport globally, and many times, it is the first organized sport people in the United States will play as children. We’re proud to partner with MLS to improve the accessibility and inclusivity of the sport for youth athletes across the country,” said RCX Sports CEO Izell Reese. “MLS GO will expand the communal reach MLS clubs have within their market and introduce new markets to the MLS ecosystem in a fun and affordable space for children.”
MLS and MOJO, the official grassroots and coaching education partner of the league, have curated an educational program for MLS GO coaches and participants to enhance their overall playing experience and elevate their soccer skills and knowledge and provide tools for players to improve their skills in the sport. MLS GO program operators will also receive exclusive discounts on MOJO’s suite of organizational tools, streamlining operations and enhancing team management capabilities.
“For many young players and coaches, MLS GO will be their first experience playing and coaching soccer. In partnership with MOJO, we are committed to delivering fun and age-appropriate training programs that develop not only soccer skills, but also a lifelong love of the game,” said Fred Lipka, MLS Vice President of Player and Youth Development. “The MOJO app will provide coaches with a roadmap to execute their practice sessions, better supporting the coaches that are leading our MLS GO players and shaping the soccer experience at the grassroots level in a fun and easy to follow format.”
With a continued commitment to provide greater access to the sport, MLS has made a financial commitment to ensure as many players as possible have the opportunity to play in MLS GO leagues by removing financial barriers to participation.
Applications will be facilitated through the RCX Sports Foundation. Fall registration will open this month with the first games slated to kick off in August.