NEW YORK – Major League Soccer and USL PRO announced today a groundbreaking, multi-year partnership that will enhance the development of professional soccer players in North America, strengthen the competition in both leagues, and establish a solid foundation for future collaboration.
For 2013, the partnership will include interleague play between USL PRO and MLS Reserve League teams, and the establishment of several exclusive team affiliations. These initial programs will immediately improve professional player development in the United States and Canada. Additional technical and commercial initiatives between the two leagues will be announced as they are finalized in the coming months.
“This partnership represents the first step in a long-term alliance between MLS and USL PRO to connect domestic professional soccer through a system that benefits player development, competition and the overall business of our sport ,” MLS Executive Vice President of Player Relations & Competition Todd Durbin said. “Over the past several years, USL PRO has made great strides in restructuring their league in a manner that serves to complement the objectives of MLS. This is a win-win for all involved, and it demonstrates our strong commitment to growing North American professional soccer at all levels.”
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. Details of the fixtures will be announced in conjunction with the forthcoming release of the official 2013 USL PRO schedule.
“USL PRO has for the past several years been the most sophisticated and competitive professional soccer league under MLS,” USL CEO Alec Papadakis said. “This new partnership with MLS will elevate and strengthen the level of competition for domestic professional soccer while simultaneously creating a more sustainable financial model for team owners. As a result, we expect this partnership will forge a seamless system for the development of players and coaches, and promote the expansion of professional soccer into new North American markets.”
MLS RESERVE LEAGUE
The MLS Reserve League provides meaningful competition for players who are not regulars in the first team’s matches such as young players, players returning from injury, and youth development products. Each of the 19 MLS clubs will field either a Reserve Team or establish an affiliation with a USL PRO club. After fielding reserve sides from 2005 through 2008, Major League Soccer re-launched its Reserve League in 2011, providing essential development opportunities to players. In 2013, the conference alignment and the schedule for the MLS Reserve League will be announced in the coming weeks.
USL PRO is the strongest, best operated and most experienced North American men’s professional soccer league below MLS, both on and off the field. Focused on franchise stability and longevity, USL PRO will feature 13 teams participating in the 2013 season, including expansion teams in Phoenix and Tampa. The league is focused on aggressive but deliberate growth by adding teams fully capable of meeting USL and US Soccer standards, which are located in markets that further promote regional league play. In addition to league play, USL PRO teams will compete in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup as well as various domestic and international exhibitions. USL PRO is the longest-standing pro league affiliate member of US Soccer.
There's still more players ready to join the FC Dallas roster. Today is the MLS Supplemental Draft (1 p.m. CT), a less glamourous but still helpful part of building an MLS roster.
So just what is the Supplemental Draft? MLSSoccer.com has put together a full explanatory piece - here's an excerpt:
The best way to think about it is like this: The Supplemental Draft is the continuation of the SuperDraft.
The Supplemental Draft consists of four rounds, which are called Rounds 1 through 4, but in many ways it is Rounds 3 through 6 of the SuperDraft.
FC Dallas has the seventh pick in each round of today's Supplemental Draft. Picks will be tweeted out via @FCDallas on Twitter as the draft happens and a full wrap-up will be on FCDallas.com.
Now that SuperDraft has concluded, it's time for those post-SuperDraft evaluations. None was kinder to FC Dallas and No. 7 pick Walker Zimmerman than a post from Pro Soccer Talk's Noah Davis.
Click to read the entire post, but here's a snippet:
Zimmerman will have to fight for time — he might not find it right away — but he’ll have a chance. And he’ll have some solid people to learn from ahead of him. In a couple years, we’ll look back and see that Zimmerman was the steal of the 2013 SuperDraft.
A final note: The other Furman players to go in the Top 10? Two, a guy named Clint Dempsey and another named Ricardo Clark. If Zimmerman can have close to the type of career those two men did, he’ll make this post sound extremely smart.
People in the Dallas area woke up to a scene more suited for the Northeast than North Texas on Tuesday morning. Most of the area received snow and some parts of the area got icy, as well. FC Dallas Stadium was no different - covered in a picturesque light layer of snow.
The following appeared in Sunday, January 13 editions of The Dallas Morning News. SportsDay columnist Kevin Sherrington wrote about Zach Loyd and Bobby Warshaw's recent trip to Connecticut for Soccer Night in Newtown.
NEW YORK – The 2013 MLS SuperDraft, presented by adidas, will be broadcast to a global audience through an innovative distribution approach featuring ESPN SportsCenter and a number of online streaming partners including ESPN3, ESPNFC, MLSsoccer.com, YouTube and FCDallas.com.
The SuperDraft will take place on Thursday, January 17 at the Indiana Convention Center in Indianapolis, Ind., in conjunction with the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) Convention. Starting at 11 a.m. CT, the first overall selection will be broadcast live on ESPN SportsCenter.
FC Dallas fans will be able to watch the official live-stream of the draft on FCDallas.com. Fans will also be able to follow along and particiapate in a live chat hosted by FCDallas.com's Mark Norris and Scott Brown, who will provide behind-the-scenes photos and updates from the draft site in Indianapolis along with all the details on FC Dallas' selections.
“We are taking a more progressive and fan-centric approach to how we’re distributing and producing the 2013 MLS SuperDraft,” said MLS Chief Marketing Officer Howard Handler. “We have a young, diverse, digitally active fan base who will watch from home, from the office, from coffee shops, or just about anywhere. Soccer is a worldwide sport and this new initiative also allows us to continue catering to MLS fans across the globe.”
“We looked at the numbers from last year and draft day is the busiest day of the year for MLSsoccer.com. We thought this would be the right opportunity to step out, innovate, and do something more forward-looking.”
Fans of MLS will also be able to watch the entire draft live on ESPN3, ESPNFC, MLSsoccer.com and YouTube. Additional online media outlets may be added to the list of broadcast partners in the coming days.
The HD broadcast will feature ESPN soccer commentators Alexi Lalas and Taylor Twellman, who will provide the thorough analysis that MLS fans have come to expect. They will be joined by members of the MLSsoccer.com editorial team and other guests.
The 2013 MLS SuperDraft will include two rounds and 38 overall selections. The first nine selections are currently held by clubs that did not qualify for the 2012 MLS Cup Playoffs, in reverse order of regular season finish. The remaining 10 positions currently belong to clubs that were eliminated in the same round of the 2012 MLS Cup Playoffs, in reverse order of regular season finish. FC Dallas has the No. 7 and No. 20 overall picks in this year's draft.
CHICAGO – U.S. U-20 Men’s National Team head coach Tab Ramos has called 20 players for a week-long training camp from Jan. 14-22 in Puebla, Mexico.
During the camp, the U.S. will face Panama twice in closed-door matches on Saturday, Jan. 19, and on Monday, Jan. 21.
Puebla is the site of the 2013 CONCACAF U-20 Championship, in which the team will be competing Feb. 18-March 3. The event serves as the qualifying tournament for the CONCACAF region and will determine the four regional berths to the 2013 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Turkey.
At the 2013 CONCACAF U-20 Championship, the U.S. will face Costa Rica and Haiti in Group A, while Canada, Nicaragua and Cuba make up Group B. Group C is comprised of Jamaica, Panama and Puerto Rico, while Mexico, El Salvador and Curaçao make up Group D.
U.S. U-20 MNT Roster By Position:
GOALKEEPERS (2): Jon Kempin (Sporting Kansas City; Overland Park, Kan.), Kendall McIntosh (Santa Clara; Santa Rosa, Calif.)
DEFENDERS (7): Mikey Ambrose (Maryland; Frisco, Texas), Eric Miller (Creighton; Woodbury, Minn.), Juan Pablo Ocegueda (Unattached; Riverside, Calif.), Boyd Okwuonu (North Carolina; Edmund, Okla.), Shane O’Neill (Colorado Rapids; Boulder, Colo.), Oscar Sorto (LA Galaxy; Los Angeles, Calif.), Javan Torre (UCLA; Santa Monica, Calif.)
MIDFIELDERS (5): Luis Gil (Real Salt Lake; Garden Grove, Calif.), Alejandro Guido (Club Tijuana; Chula Vista, Calif.), Mikey Lopez (North Carolina; Mission, Texas), Daniel Metzger (Maryland; Holmdel, N.J.), Wil Trapp (Columbus Crew; Gahanna, Ohio)
FORWARDS (6): Brandon Allen (Georgetown; Old Bridge, N.J.), Daniel Cuevas (Santos Laguna; Sacramento, Calif.), Daniel Garcia (North Carolina; Dallas, Texas), Darius Madison (Virginia; Philadelphia, Pa.), Jonathan Top (FC Dallas; Fort Worth, Texas), Jose Villarreal (LA Galaxy; Inglewood, Calif.)