Details emerge on MLS reserve integration with USL-Pro
Last month it leaked out that MLS was planning to incorporate its reserve system into the D3 USL-Pro league. MLS teams would either be affiliated with an existing USL-Pro team nearby, or they would operate a separate USL-Pro team in their own market.
Yesterday, Rochester’s WHEC reported that the Rhinos would be affiliated with a MLS team starting this year. It also came out that full details of the plan would be released within 36-hours.
The report suggested that there would be four USL-Pro teams taking part in the partnership in 2013.
The information is in line with what the respected IMSoccerNews reported last week.
In a series of Tweets, IMSsoccer revealed that 2013 would be “transition year.” MLS teams would have an option to play MLS reserve league games, or join USL-Pro.
It was expected that most MLS teams would be participating in USL-Pro fully by 2014.
Additionally, it as reported that most reserve games under the new plan would be played at MLS venues, often as part of a double-header with the senior team.
IMSsoccerNews also indicated that MLS would work with USL-Pro joint marketing efforts, with MLS providing extra technical assistance to the USL teams.
MLS made it official today. Some details from the press release --
Each club affiliation will be customized to meet the needs of the respective teams, but all will include at least four players on long-term loan from the MLS parent club to its USL PRO affiliate. Those MLS teams with formal USL PRO affiliates will not participate in the 2013 MLS Reserve League. Neither MLS nor USL PRO clubs are required to enter into an affiliation, and specific affiliations will be announced in the coming days.
Each of the 13 USL PRO teams will compete in two interleague games against MLS Reserve teams. With the exception of Antigua, which will play both of its games at MLS Reserve teams, USL PRO teams have been paired with a single MLS team to play a home and home series. All interleague games will count in both the official USL PRO and MLS Reserve League standings.
CSN contacted TFC to ask if the Reds will be participating in 2013. We will update if the club responds.
There is a press conference called for tomorrow at 11: 00 a.m. EST.
UPDATE 2: (Thanks to a CSN commentator for picking up on this) --
Although TFC has not responded to CSN's request for comment, fans have uncovered a place holder page on the TFC website for a u23 team.
It's possible that this is to do with the USL-Pro partnership.
You ca see it here.