NEW YORK CITY (July 8, 2022) – MLS NEXT Pro announced today its first international competition, the inaugural MLS NEXT Pro Invitational, taking place later this month in the Salt Lake City area. MLS NEXT Pro’s Real Monarchs, Colorado Rapids 2 and Toronto FC II will play Chelsea FC Under-21s and Wolves Under-21s from England’s Premier League 2 (PL2) competition.
Matches will take place at both Real Salt Lake’s Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah, and Real Monarchs’ Zions Bank Stadium in Herriman, Utah, over the course of nine days, July 19-27.
“International competition is a priority for our league. There are a lot of benefits, both on and off the field, that we are excited about,” said Ali Curtis, SVP of Competition & Operations, MLS NEXT Pro. “This year is the start to a competition that we hope to grow in the years ahead. We look forward to welcoming both Chelsea and Wolves to the U.S. and appreciate the opportunity to collaborate with Premier League 2.”
The full schedule for the inaugural MLS NEXT Pro Invitational is as follows:
- Tuesday, July 19: Real Monarchs vs Chelsea FC Under-21s (Rio Tinto Stadium, 7:30 p.m. MT)
- Thursday, July 21: Chelsea FC Under-21s vs. Wolves Under-21s (Zions Bank Stadium, 8:15 p.m. MT)
- Saturday, July 23: Real Monarchs vs. Wolves Under-21s (Rio Tinto Stadium, 10:30 a.m. MT); Toronto FC II vs. Chelsea FC Under-21s (Zions Bank Stadium, 8:45 p.m. MT)
- Wednesday, July 27: Colorado Rapids 2 vs. Wolves Under-21s (Zions Bank Stadium, 8:00 p.m. MT)
The league with the most total points accumulated in head-to-head competition will be crowned Invitational Champion.
“The Summer of Soccer in Utah continues with this unique, unprecedented event,” said Real Salt Lake President John Kimball. “First it was our Liga MX exhibition last month, then we hosted the U.S.A. Women’s National Team last week. Now our expert staff have the opportunity to show off our exquisite facilities to entities and individuals from the U.S., Canada and England for the first-ever MLS NEXT Pro Invitational, and we could not be prouder to provide this opportunity for our fans, as well as the participant Leagues and Clubs.”