PHILADELPHIA UNION II AND LA GALAXY II TO HOST WREXHAM AFC DURING U.S. TOUR
ANNUAL MLS NEXT PRO INVITATIONAL RETURNS TO SALT LAKE CITY, FEATURING PREMIER LEAGUE 2 AND BUNDESLIGA TEAMS
NEW YORK, NEW YORK (July 11, 2023) - MLS NEXT Pro announced today that the League’s annual international competition, the** MLS NEXT Pro Invitational, will return this month and will feature teams from Premier League 2 and Bundesliga. Also in July, two MLS NEXT Pro clubs will host Wrexham AFC during the popular European club’s U.S. tour.
After a successful inaugural tournament in 2022, this year’s MLS NEXT Pro Invitational will again take place in the Salt Lake City area, with five matches over eight days, July 18-25. Competing from MLS NEXT Pro will be Real Monarchs, Colorado Rapids 2 and Whitecaps FC 2. They will face Crystal Palace U21 from England’s Premier League 2 and TSG Hoffenheim U23 from Germany’s Bundesliga. This year marks the first time a team will compete in the Invitational from an international league other than PL2.
“Providing an opportunity for our clubs to compete against international opponents is an important focus for our League,” said Ali Curtis , SVP of Competition and Operations. “We appreciate the collaboration and partnership with Premier League 2 and Bundesliga and look forward to a terrific tournament.”
The full schedule for the second annual MLS NEXT Pro Invitational is as follows:
- Tuesday, July 18: TSG Hoffenheim U23 vs. Colorado Rapids 2 (10 p.m. ET/8:00 p.m. MT)
- Wednesday, July 19: Crystal Palace U21 vs. Real Monarchs (10:30 p.m. ET/8:30 p.m. MT)
- Friday, July 21: TSG Hoffenheim U23 vs. Crystal Palace U21 (10 p.m. ET/8:00 p.m. MT)
- Monday, July 24: TSG Hoffenheim U23 vs. Real Monarchs (10 p.m. ET/8:00 p.m. MT)
- Tuesday, July 25: Crystal Palace U21 vs. Whitecaps FC 2 (10 p.m. ET/8:00 p.m. MT)
All matches will take place at the home of Real Monarchs, Zions Bank Stadium, in Herriman, Utah. Fans around the world will be able to watch the MLS NEXT Pro Invitational exclusively on mlsnextpro.com. For those interested in attending the matches, tickets are currently available at RSL.com.
“Yet another amazing Summer of Soccer in Utah continues with this very unique event, one we are proud to reprise following last year’s success,” said Real Salt Lake President John Kimball. “First it was our U.S. Open Cup Quarterfinal and Liga MX exhibition last month, soon it will be the historic Leagues Cup and in between it all we will be closely watching the U.S. Women’s National Team at the World Cup. Now our expert staff have the opportunity to show off our exquisite facilities to entities and individuals from the U.S., Canada, England and Germany for the second-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.”
In addition to the MLS NEXT Pro Invitational, two other League teams will also take part in international competitions in July. When National League champion Wrexham AFC embarks on a four match, 10-day tour of the United States, two of the four friendlies will take place against MLS NEXT Pro clubs.
LA Galaxy II will host the club made famous by the hit streaming show “Welcome to Wrexham” at Dignity Health Sports Park on Saturday, July 22. Wrexham will then close out their American summer tour in Philadelphia – hometown of celebrity co-owner Rob McElhenney - against Union II at Subaru Park on Friday, July 28.