Red Bulls to launch USL Pro team in 2015, MLS urging clubs to follow suit

Andy Roxburgh

Photo by Howard C. Smith/ISIphotos.com

By FRANCO PANIZO

NEW YORK – The LA Galaxy will not be the only MLS club with a team playing in USL Pro in the near future. Not if the New York Red Bulls have their way, anyway.

Red Bulls sporting director Andy Roxburgh said at the club’s Media Day on Tuesday night that his club is well on its way to fielding a second team in the United States’ third division, but that it likely will not happen until the beginning of next season. The Red Bulls had initially attempted to get a team off the ground for this season, but could not pull it off in time and are now confident of doing so ahead of the 2015 campaign.

“We’ll definitely do at the end of this year, because the league are now telling every club they need to do it so it won’t be a debate,” Roxburgh told SBI on Tuesday. “The third-division team, the (USL Pro) team, I’m sure everybody will be doing it at the end of this year and we’re certainly wanting to do that. We see it as a big, big advantage to have that rather than a Reserve Team because of the regular fixtures, we’ll own the players (and) not the league, and so on and so on, so we see it as a big, big move and a big advantage.”

Roxburgh’s comments reveals Major League Soccer’s push to have its clubs establish USL Pro teams, which would be a major step forward for player development in a league where younger players continue to struggle for playing time and opportunities to develop.

As part of that move to add a USL Pro team, the Red Bulls are currently in the process of renovating the brand new training facility that they opened last year. The club is adding locker rooms and bleachers in preparation for the arrival of the third division side, which Roxburgh said will play its home games at the facility.

The Red Bulls believe that will help them not only develop future talent, but keep it as well. Last month, Homegrown Player Amando Moreno became the latest youngster to leave the club, joining Liga MX side Club Tijuana on a free transfer after turning down the Red Bulls’ offer on his option.

The news was surprising given that Moreno had just signed his first professional contract with New York in December 2012.

“That would’ve been an enormous (help),” said Roxburgh when asked if having a USL Pro team would’ve aided the Red Bulls in keeping the 18-year-old forward. “We would’ve immediately signed him and no argument about it. That’s a special case that because we kept him (in camp with us). The trouble was, and we were stuck because of the salary cap, if he didn’t take our offer then he could move on, but it seemed crazy to me. I’m going, ‘Why?’, and discussions with his agent, they decided to that.

“Personally, I’m extremely disappointed that he wanted to do that. We were really taking care of him. Bluntly, we helped him get into the U.S. Under-20 team. We had a lot to do that. We did a lot to help him and therefore we feel really, really disappointed about what happened. We wish him all the best, a great boy, but I think he’s been badly advised in that particular case, but it was a special case and it’s not because we wanted to let him go.”

Moreno’s departure added to the stigma that the Red Bulls are a club that only focuses on the now and does not cater to the future, but New York has been in the process of creating a second team that will help them develop players for some time now.

Last month, the LA Galaxy became the first MLS club to launch a USL Pro team, an innovative move that drew critical acclaim.

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What do you think of the Red Bulls’ plans to launch a USL Pro side? Excited? Would you attend games at the training facility?

Share your thoughts below.

This entry was posted in Featured, MLS- LA Galaxy, MLS- New York Red Bulls, USL Pro. Bookmark the permalink.

75 Responses to Red Bulls to launch USL Pro team in 2015, MLS urging clubs to follow suit

  1. slowleftarm says:

    Good move and hopefully every MLS team will do this in the near future. Bridging the gap for 18-21 year old players is a big problem in our development pipeline. I think this should definitely help. It would probably require splitting USL into regional divisions but I don’t think that’s a problem.

    • arsenal says:

      Off topic, but wanted to post it where people might see. Holden damaged a ligament and will have surgery according the mirror in the UK. The fear is his career is over. Hopefully, he gets into coaching and taken to Brazil as a motivation for the team. There is no guy who has more drive and motivation than Holden.

    • David K says:

      I think there are several PDL teams that would easily make the jump to USL pro if they could compete in a more regional format. The cost of cross country travel is keeping several clubs in the PDL right now. If MLS teams start fielding USL pro sides en mass the third division will grow very quickly in the next few years.

      • RK says:

        I’ve never understood why leagues haven’t set up like that. NASL is all across the board.

    • The Imperative Voice says:

      Bridging the 18-23 gap this way is nice and something I have advocated, but if we are talking exclusive one-to-one, that is much bigger than USL currently is. It would be more like USL + NASL. Though there have been quietly some NASL loans, the MLS sales pitch has been to do development working with USL. But if everyone gets a team that’s USL expansion.

      FWIW, a current USL owner (or NASL, as we have already seen) might not be entirely welcoming of thoroughgoing MLS expansion onto their turf. One Galaxy II in an otherwise independent league is OK but I’d be concerned about my investment if MLS comes flooding in. Do they get paid or just pushed aside?

      That being said, I think this is the best long term solution to bridging the junior-senior gap, because you could separate the junior players out and get them significant playing time on a consistent team in a serious league with a full schedule, while also implementing a system of play since you control the franchise. Players could also be added or dropped in a lending manner as opposed to some fuzzy reserve team where some week maybe you’re playing idle first teamers but others it’s trainees.

      • the unmistakeable Ronaldinho says:

        I’d much rather MLS focus on the “18-23 gap” than expanding to 24 teams.

        • The Imperative Voice says:

          I think it would be less risky and more beneficial to the soccer product to hold the line on expansion and work on the product, eg, improve the talent pipeline. But it would initially cost more money for an incremental and aesthetic benefit (to a businessperson), where they may see large $$$$$$ in expansion, even if it dilutes the actual soccer.

          Some would also argue that expansion would increase the amount of player slots and provide some added first team opportunities, but those left out would still be outside looking in with a poor development system to catapult them to success.

          I’d also throw out that if the expansion risks fail then you’re back down to the original number and now the league has a weaker financial reputation.

          • Northzax says:

            Well, every expansion team creates 18 jobs for American soccer players (or those with green cards) minimum. (Assuming 25 man rosters with seven international spots per team) which then rewards those teams who develop talent (if they can’t use them, they can trade them) when nycfc and Orlando join next year, that’s 36 more Americans (or green card holders) playing first division soccer in the us. Add two more teams two years later and it begins to put serious pressure on those teams who aren’t developing talent.

  2. arsenal says:

    Its definitely a step in the right direction. It not only helps the MLS teams, but makes the USL more competitive. It would be nice if on day, not anytime soon, we had a promotion and relegation system. Probably would never happen, but a man can dream.

    • Don the Jewler says:

      Promotion and relegation.. yea if only NASL and MLS agreed to merge in some type of Joint Venture, but I don’t see that happening anytime soon.

    • Sean says:

      Promotion-relegation could work… IF, and only if, the second division infrastructure is in place. You can’t promote a team in a market with a 7,000 seat stadium, which is selling 5,000 tickets on average. That would be bad for television, bad for MLS.

      So, be patient and talk up the sport.

      Another option could be that MLS expands so far that they initiate it themselves and absorb the NASL at some point to complete it. Then, you have a major and minor league.

      • Mark says:

        Right now there is no reason to invest in lower division soccer. There is no reason to put money into a team or stadium. You simply will not get it back. Teams need a pathway to the first division before you will see a flood of money into the 2nd division. Think of all the cities being mentioned for MLS expansion. All have seen great community support as a result. Fans go to the games with the hope that one day they will be in MLS. Pro/rel would do this for every lower division team. Not many people will invest in lower division soccer knowing they will consistently lose money and have no chance of getting to MLS, especially after MLS caps expansion. We have it backwards. Investment will come after the pyramid is open, not before. There is simply no reason to invest now.

        • David K says:

          So why is the NASL and USLpro expanding so fast right now? MLS has proven (Seattle, Portland, Vancouver, Orlando) that a solid organization in the lower leagues can gain promotion to MLS as an expansion team. The lower leagues are getting record levels of interest right now.

          • Steve says:

            The old A-League use to add teams all the time. Many of them later folded. Adding teams doesn’t mean much. We are already hearing bad things about Virginia, Oklahoma, and Jacksonville in the NASL.

            • Paul says:

              I’m calling you out on saying you’ve heard bad things about Jacksonville. What have you heard? I know that Oklahoma and Virginia have had their issues, but the Jacksonville franchise is solid.

        • RK says:

          That’s probably the best reason I’ve heard for pro/rel, except that you inevitable get into a Portsmouth situation, where owners gamble everything to get promoted, go bankrupt, and lose everything — which is what the MLS single-entity has prevented.

      • Brett says:

        Soccer specific stadia being built in larger markets are only supporting 15-25k fans. That’s comparable to most 2nd division markets in foreign leagues. Even a city like mine could probably muster 10-15k if we had a professional team. The problem is that people know when they are getting a low quality product, and if there’s no incentive to support that product, they spend their wealth elsewhere.

        I honestly thought that the college system might work out for us, with all the passion people have for their football and their basketball, but I’ve since realized that it’s more about spectacle than sport. Even in MLS now we see that being played up by the clubs with bigger support groups.

    • The Imperative Voice says:

      I’m not sure you’re going to get heavy interest in a system where one year you have a first division product to sell and the next season you have to depend on second division opposition to sell tickets and jerseys. You can already see what it does to a team like Columbus or Chivas when they are either competitive or not. Now magnify that by telling people OKC and some has been are now coming to town instead of Kaka and Orlando City or Keane and LA.

      You can do it in Britain because they tolerate a certain amount of broken eggs (Pompey, Gretna, Rangers) to make their omlette. It’s a capitalist approach with capitalist realities, ie, sometimes teams overextend and fold after their drop.

      It thus matters to me that soccer here is barely achieving profitability and significant interest. When you are barely nearing that point is not the time to test solvency and the durability of the fan base by introducing potential drops to lower divisions. You finally got Dallas fans showing up but now they got dropped and don’t care anymore. The budget dries up, red ink increases, franchise can no longer afford to compete, fans care even less, self-fulfilling spiral. In a nutshell, Chivas.

      Also, I don’t think the site quality and fan interest is broadly there enough to assume promoted teams are ready. If we’re already not sure if Miami, Minnesota, SD, SA, etc. are ready for prime time, you’re going to automatically promote them into a league we’re not sure they have the attendance or finances for, to let them voluntarily join?

      I think we’re a few decades from having deep enough a pool of teams with finances and fan bases to even consider it. I think a tiered system with occasional expansion better reflects emerging realities. I also think that the system you are selling is not necessarily what the average owner, government (who might be lending money to teams to fund stadia that would need to be repaid even if the team drops), or fan wants right now.

      • slowleftarm says:

        “I’m not sure you’re going to get heavy interest in a system where one year you have a first division product to sell and the next season you have to depend on second division opposition to sell tickets and jerseys.”

        Except that system works pretty much everywhere else in the world. So why not here? Maybe not today but a little bit down the line?

        • The Imperative Voice says:

          Works? Well, in the EPL they give you a parachute payment on the way down, and they still lose a few teams a decade from England and Scotland. Gretna closed, Rangers had to be reborn, and several other teams went through reorganization, including Pompey. It’s a fairly Darwinian process and I’m not sure what American soccer needs at this stage is a process that rewards success but also can destroy at least some of the relegated teams. I think it’s more valuable right now to reward ownership investment in the team with league security.

          I think when we get to the point that 30-40 cities can support first division soccer, and will even show up to watch OKC or Jacksonville come to town within a reasonable range of attendance for LA or NY, then we could consider yoyo processes. But right now I think most of the “good” choices are in division one and most of the cities in the minors have something to prove. While I like the idea of “II” teams I also think there is some value to MLS in letting other leagues “try out” potential expansion cities without them running the risk, and choosing entrants based on a portfolio of considerations as opposed to just having to accept whoever won division two even if they’re not ready. Maybe we don’t need 3 NYC teams. Maybe Atlanta’s not ready. Maybe the best promotion prospect in terms of first division potential is the last team in the fall standings….San Antonio.

          I also see some value in letting a team like Chivas that has been up and down right itself and do so without losing division one status. If Chivas had been relegated they would probably be well on the road to folding. Potential buyers and sponsors and players would be less interested in a lower division reclamation project than a team securely in the first division but merely in need of rebranding and winning fans back.

    • twosevenstreet says:

      The best hope for Promotion relegation will be if it takes place in the minor league

      MLS wont go for it but if MLS can buy out all of the minor leagues they can then do pro/reg in the minors

    • Northzax says:

      We’re talking about youth development. How does pro-rel help? Do tell. If you’re in fourth to last place, staring regulation in the face, you have two choices at the transfer window: play your 17 year old future national team striker who is possibly good for 3 goals this year, but ten next year, or sell him and buy a 25 year old journeyman good for 8 goals? Remember, you get relegated, you get fired. You risking developing talent? Or overpaying for talent that might keep you up and save your job?

  3. Matt says:

    The beginning of farm teams in soccer. I like it.

    • Mark says:

      That’s fine, but don’t pretend they are their own clubs. Keep them the Red Bull II. I hate the idea of setting up fake clubs around the country to compete with other independent clubs. I think it would be disasterous for US soccer if the Red Bull would put a team in say Buffalo and call them the Buffalo Red Bull. It would immediately kill any supporters group/ passionate support in Buffalo for that team. How many die hards are there for minor league baseball teams? Clearly the Red Bull are not doing this but I do not want other teams to do it.

      • Sean says:

        I never thought I’d say it but I don’t mind a third division soccer club being named after an energy drink. But, please let’s not have iron division I.

      • Sean says:

        Oh, but I agree. Taking over an existing club and rebranding them RB would be disastrous. It doesn’t sound like that’s what’s happening. They’ll be based out of, and play, at their nj training facility.

      • Drew11 says:

        I think RBII would use MLS infrastructure and play in NJ. That leaves other areas like Buffalo open if a local group wants to form a grassroots D2 club. It’s a great idea for strengthening the pyramid and much more practical than these pro/rel day dreams.

      • The Imperative Voice says:

        Spain and Germany mix “II” teams in with independent sides.

        You do have to keep the “II” team solvent, so it would depend whether the fans cared. In baseball minors the higher level teams usually have their own identity while the rookie league teams don’t. So I don’t think there is any set approach. I would think it would be a matter of taste.

        Baseball deals with the solvency issue by making the minors more of a joint venture, the teams are often independently owned in the upper divisions but with significant funding and involvement from the parent. If a town isn’t a good site anymore the affiliation gets dropped, someone else can pick up the town, you go hook up with an existing team or start a new one.

  4. Brett says:

    I’d rather we embrace a tiered system where a lower division team can rise up the ranks. Having this farm system approach will only ensure that those lower teams stay where they are and the quality of football will stagnate.

    We need more Seattles and Portlands, and a tiered structure can make that happen. A team like Charleston Battery will never earn an MLS expansion because of their market, but in a tiered system they could have a Cinderella story rise to the top flight and support would be there with them. I want a system where that becomes a possibility, not one where a team on that level will always be nothing more than a place for lower quality players to earn wages alongside placeholders for MLS clubs to pluck out at their whim.

    • Mark says:

      Totally agree. There would be no real support for teams who are just placeholders for another club, who can be moved in and out at any time. It would only attract the picnic crowd. If the recent growth in US soccer has shown anything, it is that supporters groups and culture is what is driving the game right now. You just don’t get that with minor league teams. How many Lansing Lugnut supporters do you know? How many of them support that team as much as a MLB team. My guess is none.

    • Ded says:

      Really? So the Charleston Battery, who don’t had the stadium and money to be in MLS, should be in MLS because….that is the problem. Pro/rel fanatics only can see the fantasy and ignore the reality. Supporters groups don’t mean anything when you don’t have any infrastructure. MLS isn’t the EPL which can throw tons of money at low level clubs so they can compete and hang around in the EPL for a year or two. Never mind why anyone would bother to pay $70 mil to join MLS when they could buy a team for nothing, win a bunch of meaningless low level games, and then be promoted. Or have their $200 mil MLS investment rel into crappy leagues. Teams would be folding left and right. This isn’t how American sports work. And MLS is in North American.

      • Drew11 says:

        Hammer, meet nail. The Battery will never be MLS quality but immediately becomes a much more attractive D3 club if they are playing a bunch of games against RBII, DCII, etc. Sell more tickets, lower travel costs, better player development, etc. Win, win deal for everybody.

      • PH says:

        Why are we worried about whether the $200 million investment an MLS ownership group makes pans out or not? If they are inept or incapable they should suffer the consequences for their poor management. An open pyramid is how those with capacity, competence, and the ability to turn investment into revenue rise to the top. This American sports canard is ridiculous. Open competition was the very essence of the American experiment, but now average Joe endorses crony capitalism because it is dressed up in a soccer kit!?

        • the unmistakeable Ronaldinho says:

          If investments start failing, you won’t see many investments in the future. People with that kind of money can get much better return in areas other than soccer.

        • Ded says:

          Another guy with his head in the clouds. That is not how it works in the NFL, NBA, NHL, and MLB. We don’t let someone put $200 million into their team and then expect it to survive playing D2 in front of 3,000 fans with no media attention and TV. That isn’t the American way and not how American sports operate. If the team fails, it folds, moves, or gets bought out like CUSA. Any questions?

      • Mark says:

        I never said they should be in MLS. I just said they should have the opportunity. I am also saying they would lose support if they became a minor league affiliate and no longer signed their own players and had control of their own club.

    • Drew11 says:

      The pyramid is still developing. Any rigid system would stunt it. MLS putting resources into an independent D2 league will allow for organic growth from clubs like Orlando . Smaller markets will thrive much more easily if the league infrastructure is solid and broad. This pretty much kills NASL as a serious league.

  5. sb11 says:

    I’m curious how the future of the US leagues is going to shape up with MLS sort of teaming up with USL. Since I’m a NASL supporter, I hope that we don’t get squeezed out. It’s hard enough to compete with MLS without them propping up and supporting the USL. Obviously the best case scenario is that we can keep and support all the different levels but I’m definitely concerned about the NASL.

    • Tyler says:

      I think any NASL fan has every reason to be concerned. Especially with MLS likely poaching the Minnesota and San Antonio markets in the coming years.

      • Steve says:

        NASL fans should be fans of their team and not the league. Especially since the NASL commish seems a little unhinged. If the NASL folds, there will be something to replace it. Maybe a MLS2 or a revamped USL D2.

  6. dabes2 says:

    MLS draft/allocation/salary cap system about the need a total re-write (or just be abandoned all together).

  7. TomG says:

    This is great news for US player development. I don’t understand the Moreno issue at all. What the heck is Roxburgh talking about? Didn’t NYRB DECLINE his option? How much more was his option? So they would have accepted his option if they had the USL pro team? Why? Would his salary have counted towards the USL team instead of NYRB? How will that work? Is it a way of circumventing the cap? Will USL teams have a cap? I’m glad NYRB is getting a USL team but this makes it seem like they, yet again, have dropped the ball a bit. If it really is such a huge advantage, They should have had their team up and running this season like the Galaxy, and they wouldn’t have lost Moreno.

    • Yevgeniy says:

      Yea, I am not getting this either. Another huge point is that as HG his salary should not count towards the cap unless I am missing something. So, if he was getting paid $40k and optional year was let’s say $80k, the additional $40k is just money, not salary cap money. He seems to indicate that if it was just money (i.e. not a hit to the cap), they would sign him to the USL team. So, I am very confused. Perhaps, they thought they he had no leverage and why pay him $80k if he would accept $40k and they miscalculated and now the are just trying to save face.

      • Brain Guy says:

        It may also be that if RBNY had a USL affiliate, Moreno would have actually played a lot during his time with the organization, so that (1) he could develop as a pro, (2) the club could better gauge his real potential, and (3) they could decide whether and how much to pay him based on real-game information and not just training.

    • Vic says:

      It wasn’t the amount. It was because of restrictive MLS rules. Homegrown players must be paid the league minimum not to count against the cap. Each team is allowed 2 or 3 homegrown players that get above the minimum that don’t count against the cap. Red Bulls already had Santiago Castano, Matt Miazga and Connor Ladde that were homegrown players being paid above the cap. Red Bulls declined Moreno’s option which and offered him the minimum.

      • TomG says:

        Thanks Vic.

      • Yevgeniy says:

        Thanks for the clarification!

      • Northzax says:

        Sorry, this isn’t the case. A team can have two players per year on homegrown contracts, which are comparable to genad deals, some people make $35 (Moreno) some make $150 (Zardes) what could moreno’s new salary have been? 40k? 45k? Red bulls need to win now, Henry has a year, maybe two tops left, they dont have time to invest in the future on their senior roster.

      • fischy says:

        I’m pretty sure you’ve pulled those “rules” out of your posterior. When the homegrown rule was first installed, there was a 2 player per year limit. There is no limit now — and there was never a reference to their salary.

        What appears to have happened is that Moreno signed a deal last year that kept him off the cap because it was his Homegrown deal — his first pro contract. The team wanted to pick up his option. He wanted more money than that, and maybe more playing time. To give him more money, the team would have had to offer him a new contract. The 2nd deal ends the Homegrown status of the player — thus, he would have no longer been under the cap.

    • slowleftarm says:

      I also think Moreno may have been more willing to stay if he were getting actual competitive games.

  8. Brain Guy says:

    A note on pro/rel and big-club reserve teams — in the only European league where I have bothered to look (Norway), first-division clubs can have a “B” or “2” team play in a lower league, but they can’t rise too high in the structure. I think they may be limited to the third tier.

    • RK says:

      That holds true anywhere — you can’t have Barcelona and Barcelona B playing in La Liga.

    • The Imperative Voice says:

      That’s the way it is in Germany and Spain. I think Germany limits second sides to the third division and I think Spain lets them rise to the second.

      I think Mexico is similar. They also have B sides which I don’t think can be promoted to the top division.

    • t says:

      In France it is the same. There are many many “II” teams in the pyramid, even “III” teams, and they stay in lower divisions. The lower the more regional, where reserve teams act as feeders to the local “big” clubs who like to poach outstanding players.. It is good business and there is no point for the reserve clubs to change leagues.

  9. Jacknut says:

    I’m hoping DC United launches a MLS team to complement the USL Pro side they had last year. /snark

    seriously, more of these arrangements are good things.

  10. WiscFan says:

    Well if MLS does force the hand of it’s clubs to get a USL PRO team, then there would be a total 35 teams in USL PRO in a few short years. This is including 2015 expansion teams in MLS and USL PRO (36 with Miami). I’m indifferent to promotion & regulation, but it could work within the USL PRO because all clubs abide by the same parameters. Probably just a crazy idea.

    • Steve says:

      Barcelona B cannot be promoted so none of these MLS2 teams would be either.

      • WiscFan says:

        I wasn’t implying the would go up to NASL or even MLS. USL PRO would be divided into “2 leagues”; USL PRO A (or I) & USL PRO B (or II). Both would still be considered Division 3. The cap and stadium guidelines would be the same for all clubs. It’s just an idea, and probably will never happen.

    • Drew11 says:

      It wouldn’t be a league with pro/rel. There would be several regional leagues/divisions to save on travel time, costs, etc.

      • WiscFan says:

        This is probably what will happen. I think this was even stated by their league commissioner.

        • Brain Guy says:

          True enough. Lower leagues in other countries are often split into regional divisions to save on travel, etc. Makes even more sense in a huge country like the US.

  11. Jon C says:

    I’m surprised and glad they announced this so soon. Here’s my analysis of a NY USL team from a few weeks ago. Any feedback is awesome. Thanks guys. link to wp.me

    • Vic says:

      Great article. I would disagree thought that a reserve team will require 26 players. I’m thinking it will be a mix of homegrown players, existing players that don’t get playing time (like Rafinha and Markus Obekop) and players that only get maybe a 30 minutes a game for the MLS side.

  12. Ted K says:

    The training facility in Hanover is not exactly designed for fans to come watch the USL games. It has 3 fields and about 100 parking spots, guess the games will be closed to public

    • Vic says:

      Current reserve games are open to the public. I’m sure the future ones will be also. Its possible that the parking lot may get full or be closed to the public. There’s some corporations around, not sure if those parking lots could be used by fans.

    • slowleftarm says:

      I wouldn’t anticipate huge crowds for these games. That’s not really the point.

    • SonicDeathMonkey says:

      If you had actually bothered to read the post, you would have seen where the RedBulls are going to renovate the facility to handle that.

  13. Arrow15 says:

    This is what was needed. These clubs will produce much better players than the USL affiliated clubs or NASL loans. Most minor league soccer clubs play college kick ball soccer with terrible managers and staff. And the emphasis is on winning. MLS clubs should not hand their young players to them. But these clubs will just be about development. Players won’t have to play a system, but will develop skills. The goal will be to teach. 18-21 is already too late, but it will save a number of players and increase the level of MLS. Every MLS teams needs this.

  14. Vic says:

    Interesing:

    The squad of LA Galaxy II will be composed of an unrestricted number of first-team players on loan to the reserve team, players signed by Galaxy II, and LA Galaxy Academy players. Academy players who appear in matches with LA Galaxy II will retain their college eligibility

  15. ben says:

    From a development standpoint, every team having a lower level squad is great, but who is going to pay for it? Notice that it is the money teams (LA & NY) leading this charge. I’m not sure where MLS expects teams who can’t/won’t spend DP money to suddenly have the funds to field a whole second team. Especially a minor league squad that will require resources from the parent team. This isn’t MLB (or even the NBDL). I’ll be VERY curious to see how this pans out.

  16. fischy says:

    This would be an interesting development, if the league allows some sort of developmental roster. Right now, teams can sign Homegrowns — and hold them off-budget (but not off-roster) for as long as that contract lasts. NYRB are talking about this as holding onto players themselves, rather than under MLS contracts. So, these players would not be MLS-eligible and not on the 30-man roster. Essentially, this seems an extension of the Academy, but they’ll be paying theses guys, I assume? If so, the question then becomes how the Homegrown rule is tweaked to accommodate this — and possibly acquisition rules. Will these players be able to join the MLS team later on Homegrown, off-budget deals? If not, will there be a separate mechanism that allows the teams to maintain control over these players, rather than risking losing them to other teams?

  17. John says:

    Does NYRB still have a team in the NPSL?

  18. Scott A says:

    Compare it to Union’s joke “academy” system.

  19. Ed of Ct.. says:

    Good idea, the New England Revolution and Philly union-MLS need to follow suit. The Revolution having Five players on the Rochester club is a Joke in plain English. You need a full roster reserve club as the LA Galaxy and New Jersey red Bulls are clearly doing. Every MLS club should be required by the MLS to have one full roster USL-Pro and a couple of PDL club affiliation. Most euro and Latin America clubs have a full reserve team and a under 21 amateur side affiliated and directly supported by them. The MLS should follow their lead as the Red Bulls and LA Galaxy are doing.