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National Academy League


The goal of establishing the National Academy League (NAL) was to enhance the daily environment for male student-athletes by means of a club-based development platform. By specifically emphasizing top-tier competition, robust player identification opportunities, and a national playoff structure, the National Academy League will provide a national platform that allows student-athletes to increase visibility at the NCAA level, while competing at the highest level domestically.  

  • The National Academy League provides clubs with the ability to attend a NAL National Event that coincides with the IMG Cup College Showcase in December 2023.  In addition, some teams will participate at IMG during the National Academy Championships in February 2024.

  • The National Academy League also provides a postseason structure that rewards the top teams in the nation, with the opportunity to compete for a National Academy League National Championship in June 2024.

  • Elite competition against the top clubs in the Great Lakes region, the majority of which also offer a MLS Next platform.  The clubs were evaluated with an emphasis on professionalism and development models.

  • Players are part of a competitive training environment that focuses on development.

  • Meaningful competition with the ability to compete for an NAL National Championship.

  • Increased player visibility opportunities from college coaches at the NAL showcases.

  • Schedules designed to limit the amount of travel, while maintaining high quality competitive matches.

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