FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – The New England Revolution Academy will field a roster of 95 players to begin the 2023-24 MLS NEXT season the fall slate, which begins on Sunday, September 3. With 52 returning players and 43 newcomers, representing all six New England states and beyond, the Revolution will once again field four teams in the Under-14, Under-15, Under-17, and Under-19 age groups, while adding a fifth team in the Under-13 division.
In addition to the new Under-13 squad, the Revolution Academy’s expanded operations include a new full-sized field. The new artificial field will be linked to the existing natural grass fields on the Revolution Training Center campus in Foxborough.
Last season, the Revolution Academy capped the year with its second consecutive MLS NEXT Cup championship in the Under-19 age division, becoming the first back-to-back champions in the tournament’s history. New England was in rare company as one of the few MLS teams to qualify all of its eligible teams for the 2023 MLS NEXT Cup Playoffs as the U-15s and U-17s joined the oldest side in postseason action. Through New England’s second team, Revolution II, academy players continue to gain professional soccer experience at an accelerated rate with the club’s MLS NEXT Pro side, where 29 Academy players have made their pro debuts since the developmental team was launched in 2020.
“Between a second consecutive national championship for our U-19s and the continued success of our pro player pathway in developing players for the professional game, our entire staff is eager to begin another MLS NEXT season in New England,” Revolution Technical Director Curt Onalfo said. “We’re proud of the progress we have made in our development system over the last few years and are especially thankful to the Kraft family for their expanded investment into our program. We’re all very excited to keep building upon this momentum as we enter the fall season.”
The Revolution Academy’s Residency Program, now in its fifth year, continues to house players in three homes owned by the program nearby the team’s state-of-the-art training center in Foxborough. The athletes continue their high school educations while training in a professional environment under the tutelage of the club’s experienced, full-time coaches. By eliminating key barriers such as transportation, the Residency Program allows players from throughout New England and beyond to benefit from the club’s fully funded, elite player development program and established professional pathway.
Additionally, the Revolution Academy continues to place players at elite NCAA Division I universities, including these seven recent graduates who will continue their careers at top men’s soccer programs: Gianluca Armellino (2005 – Plainville, Mass.) and Jack LaBelle (2005 – Peabody, Mass.) at the University of Vermont, Jack Burkhardt (2005 – Sutton, Mass.) and Marco Dos Santos (2005 – Methuen, Mass.) at Boston College, Alexi Karalis (2005 – Belmont, Mass.) at Providence College, Ezra Widman (2005 – New York, N.Y.) at Syracuse University, and Jason Zacarias (2004 – Billerica, Mass.) at Boston University. Zacarias was named the 2023 MLS NEXT Cup Player of the Tournament.
Under the direction of Technical Director Curt Onalfo and Director of Youth Development Rob Becerra, the Revolution Academy boasts an accomplished technical staff that welcomes back Brad Knighton, Michael Milazzo, T.J. Love, Jasir Charris, B.J. Noble, and Liam Connors. Noble, who has served as an assistant coach and Academy administrator since 2021, will lead the new U-13 squad.
“Our entire staff is thrilled to be kicking off another MLS NEXT season with this talented collection of players. We’re especially excited to expand our pathway to reach the Under-13 age group, further establishing that direct bridge from those youth levels to the professional ranks,” added Director of Youth Development Rob Becerra. “We are working tirelessly to build on the Revolution Academy’s recent success in MLS NEXT and developing players for the next level. We’ll continue to strive for excellence in every aspect of our program to represent the Revolution and New England with pride.”
The New England Revolution Academy is the region’s only completely free-to-play, elite youth development program with a direct pathway to the professional ranks. Competing in MLS NEXT, the nation’s premiere youth soccer platform, the Revolution Academy accepts qualified and talented players into the program regardless of their financial situation. All players’ needs and expenses related to soccer activities – training, facilities, equipment, uniforms, travel associated with competitions – are provided by the Revolution at no cost to the players or their families.
The Revolution Academy begins the 2023 fall season on Sunday, September 3 when the U-17s, U-15s, U-14s, and U-13s host Seacoast United. The U-19s will begin another year as the defending MLS NEXT Cup Champions on Saturday, September 9 vs. Oakwood Soccer Club. The complete Revolution Academy roster and coaching staff is below. For more information about the New England Revolution’s youth teams and Revolution Academy programming, visit revolutionsoccer.net/academy.