What is the National Academy League (NAL)?

The National Academy League (NAL) was founded to provide MLS NEXT Clubs with a league to improve competition, player identification, and coaching and club development platforms.

What is the difference between the NAL and other leagues?

The level of competition within the league and professional standards on game day are second to none.  Clubs provide trainers at each game.  The surface and playing condition of each facility is part of NAL being a Premier League in the country. The Michigan Wolves video most home games and Video is available to the coach and players. 

What is the level of college exposure?

NAL showcases and the other showcase organized by the club provide players with lots of opportunities to be scouted by college coaches.  As a club, we take an active role in helping young men and their families engage in the college search process. In addition to regular meetings and an annual Wolves College Night, we host an annual college combine that brings top clubs from around Michigan and coaches from a large number of universities to our indoor dome.

What should players expect from an NAL season?

Game Day Format - One of the unique things about NAL is that all matches vs. other clubs are held on the same day. Meaning our U13 and U14 teams, and the U15 through U19 teams travel together.  Moreover, most of the spring all the teams travel and host as a group.  During the Fall season the 13’s and 14’s are travel partners and play all their games on the same days vs the same teams in mostly one location. (Maybe a second location nearby.). During the Winter and Spring season the U13 through U19 are travel partners and play all their games on the same days vs the same teams in mostly one location.  (Maybe a second location nearby.)  Example - Jaycee park and Schoolcraft. Note the U13/14’s also travel or host for all the games they didn’t play in the spring. 

Number of Training – Each team trains three times per week during the fall (U13-U14), winter and spring seasons.  These 3 sessions are made up of 2 team sessions and variety of ways make up the 3rd day which include: Technical training, Functional training, small side games, futsal games, WSSL games and video analysis. 

Video analysis - Home games are recorded on the club’s Veo video platform and shared directly with players and staff. Games and individual performance can thereby be used as a tool for development.

Winter Futsal League - NAL players from various age groups are intermixed and placed on teams for weekly futsal competition in January and February. The league builds the players’ technical proficiency, enhances the club community, and breeds healthy competition.

What other clubs compete in the boys NAL?

The Mid America Conference is comprised of MLS NEXT Clubs in the Midwest.

Teams in the Mid America Conference are:

Bavarian United

Cincinnati United Premier (CUP)

FC United

Indiana Fire

Javanon FC

Lou Fusz

Michigan Jaguars

Michigan Wolves

Midwest United

SC Wave

Sockers FC


What competitions (showcases) do NAL teams attend?

The U15-U19 National Academy League teams participate in the IMG Cup (Florida) in December and an Indianapolis showcase in April. 

In addition to the NAL organized showcases all our U15-U19 teams participate in the following showcases and events:  Novi Jaguars Showcase (March),  and Michigan Wolves Showcase (TBD) 

Who are the members of the Wolves NAL staff?

Scott Duhl

  • NAL Director
  • USSF 'B' License

Ed McCarthy

  • USSF 'A' License

Ken Shingledecker

  • USSF 'C' License

Joe Zawacki

  • USSF 'C' License
Where do NAL teams train and play?

The Wolves have arguably the best facilities in the state. Our teams primarily utilize the Trinity Health Sports Dome and the lighted outdoor stadium field at Schoolcraft College.

Will there be extra opportunities for high performing players?

Club - Short answer YES, players who are high performing within their own teams will be given opportunities to train and play with different teams within their own age group or the age group above.  These decisions will be made in collaboration between the players head coach, the head coach of the proposed team and the age group director.  This decision will only be made if it is in the best interests of the players development. 


NAL Director

Scott Duhl



U13 Team - 2011 - Ken Shingledecker

U14 Team - 2010 - Joe Zawacki

U15 Team - 2009 - Scott Duhl

U16 Team - 2008 - Ken Shingledecker

U17 Team - 2007 - Scott Duhl

U19 Team - 2005/2006 - Ed McCarthy

St. Joes Sports Dome

18600 Haggerty Road, Livonia, MI 48152

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