Thursday, January 24, 2013

Good News for All

MLS, USL Pro reach deal on restructured Reserve League

It's been rumored for months, and on Wednesday afternoon MLS and USL Pro made it official: The two leagues have reached an agreement to integrate MLS Reserve League teams into the USL Pro schedule, a multi-year deal that will feature "interleague" play between MLSRL teams and the 13 USL Pro sides.

In the year ahead, that deal also includes affiliations for select teams, facilitating loans from MLS to USL Pro clubs (the third tier of the US soccer pyramid) for players who otherwise wouldn't get much playing time in the top flight. The goal is to immediately improve professional player development in the United States and Canada, providing more and better competition for young pros with big-league dreams. ...

See the whole story here, from MLS.

Kicking Back Comments: This is great news for players and referees alike. For players it is a chance to shine before getting into the big time. For referees it is a chance to see if they "have the stuff", or for that matter, even want to go on to the bigs if they get a chance.

Lower division play is not all that glamorous. In fact, it is bitter work for all involved.

It is also bitter work I would never trade away my whole life. One of these days I am going to write a book about all the crazy stuff that goes on in "the minors."

For some perspective, watch Bull Durham. It was a standard "warm up" for me before I did a D3 or A-League match somewhere.

Here is a classic clip (viewer warning on adult language):

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