Long Island Soccer Club (LISC) Joins MLS NEXT in 2024-25, Becoming First MLS NEXT Club on Long Island

May 20, 2024, Uniondale – The talent identification and skill development pathway for boys’ youth soccer on Long Island is being transformed, as Long Island Soccer Club (LISC) announced today it will join MLS NEXT in the U13 and U14 age groups beginning with the upcoming 2024-25 season.

The youth player development platform of Major League Soccer (MLS), MLS NEXT provides the most comprehensive and effective player development experience in North America. With a commitment to development, innovation and providing access and representation, MLS NEXT players receive the best training and coaching as they prepare for their futures, both in soccer and in life.

Since its introduction in 2020, MLS NEXT has experienced rapid growth and expansion in membership. The 2024-25 season will include 29 MLS Academies, 123 Elite Academies (152 total clubs), over 700 teams and more than 15,000 players across the U.S. and Canada competing in six age groups: U13, U14, U15, U16, U17 and U19. MLS NEXT players also make up a majority of the U.S. and Canadian Youth National Teams.

For the boys’ U13 and U14 teams that will be competing in MLS NEXT, LISC will host talent identification sessions in both Suffolk and Nassau Counties beginning in May. Information on the exact dates, times, locations and registration details for the talent identification sessions is available here.

The boys’ U13 and U14 programs will be overseen by LISC Technical Director, Gary Book, who has more than 35 years of coaching experience, including at the NCAA Division I and II levels, and has won numerous championships and awards. Moreover, Book is recognized worldwide for his innovation and leadership in the area of player development.

The LISC boys U13 and U14 programs are complementary to the elite-level Girls Academy LISC has operated since 2017-18, which encompasses six age categories (U13 through U19).

“LISC is tremendously proud to have been selected as the first MLS NEXT program in Nassau and Suffolk County, joining the USA’s most elite clubs in providing Long Island players with access to the highest level of player opportunity and development,” said Book.

“LISC’s selection through the exacting MLS NEXT process speaks volumes to our commitment to provide an environment that consistently reflects and delivers excellence, both on and off the field. The whole club is incredibly excited to continue our mission of developing top-level players, while further extending our positive impact and exceptional support of the Long Island soccer community.”

“There is a long history of talented soccer players from Long Island and now they will have the opportunity to compete against the best in North America,” said Kyle Albrecht, Interim General Manager of MLS NEXT. “Long Island Soccer Club will provide new and important opportunities for these top players to reach their full potential.”

Long Island has established a proud tradition of excellence and success at every level of soccer – from youth to professional. Notable players from Long Island who have gone on to success in Major League Soccer include:

  • Joe Scally (U.S. Men’s National Team and former New York City FC defender)
  • Tim Parker (2023 MLS All-Star with St. Louis City SC)
  • Dylan and Sean Nealis (New York Red Bulls defenders)
  • Tim Melia (2017 MLS Goalkeeper of the Year with Sporting Kansas City)
  • Christian McFarlane (New York City FC homegrown and U.S. and England Youth International)
Founded in 2017, the mission of LISC is to provide a comprehensive, professional learning environment for exceptionally committed, elite-level players in the Long Island area. The vision of LISC is to transform Long Island’s soccer landscape by providing a clear development pathway through the highest level of competitive soccer, accelerated by professional coaching and accessible training centers.

For more info about Long Island Soccer Club please
 contact info@longislandsc.com.