Major League Soccer is apparently about to bring back an old friend. Reports came yesterday that the league was set to announce the revival of its reserve league, which has been extinct since 2014. The reserve league could begin as early as next year.
The old version of the reserve league didn’t work, mainly because MLS didn’t pump enough resources into it and the teams didn’t really care about the league, trotting out lineups that very few would consider competitive. Still, with the resources and the commitment, a reserve league could be beneficial for the teams in developing players and keeping guys in peak fitness and sharpness if they’re not getting minutes with the first team.
At the other end of this is the USL Championship and USL League One, which all of the MLS II teams currently play. Integrating MLS reserve teams into the USL has been done since the 2011 season, and has created a partnership between MLS and the USL. However, there’s a distinct gap between most of the independent teams and the MLS II teams in terms of competitiveness. The USL, by pushing the MLS II teams into the reserve league, could use this as an opportunity to stand on their own two feet and pursue markets in the United States to bolster the Championship and League One with more independent clubs.
So, the Community Corner question this week: will the reboot of the MLS reserve league work? What needs to happen for it to be successful, and should MLS require all teams to put their reserve teams into the league? Hit the comments and discuss!