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MLS Reserve League Possibility of Integration into America’s Lower Divisions; Continuing the Discussion

2012 February 22
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by Brian Quarstad

MLS Reserve League Possibility of Integration into America’s Lower Divisions, Continuing the Discussion

Since IMS published its 2 part series on Integrating MLS Reserve League into America’s Lower Divisions (Part-1 & Part-2) there have been several interesting podcasts furthering the discussion.

Friends to IMS Uncle Ed (Serrano) and Pieter Brown from the Miami Ultras interview NASL Commissioner David Downs about several subjects including expansion. But they also spend a few minutes talking about the topic of the possible integration of MLS Reserve League into the NASL. As always, the Ultras Alive Podcast is a good listen.

Brett Corbit and Derek Richey at the Red Card Blog over at Big Soccer spend almost a full 30 minutes on this topic. It’s broken down into two parts and you can go here to listen to Part-1 and Part-2. The second part of this discussion gets quite spirited and there were a few statements that got my hair standing on end. No matter what, their podcast leads to some good discussion and dialog which is always important. Thanks to both Brett and Derek for taking time to discuss this subject.

16 Responses
  1. yankiboy permalink
    February 22, 2012

    Leave it to BQ to be the catalyst for some real, thought-provoking soccer discussion regarding lower division soccer here in the US and Canada. With the potential inclusion of the Islanders, the discussion also has to affect soccer in Puerto Rico, as well.

    Well done, Sir!

  2. Strikers Return permalink
    February 22, 2012

    Just got to listen to the Ultras Alive podcast yesterday. And besides the great discussion about the MLS reserve integration possibilities, other interesting topics including expansion discussed with the commissioner, and the announcement of their best guest on the show to date next week, South Florida’s own beloved Ray Hudson (shame on anyone that’s not lsitening next Monday at 10 PM EST!!!), there was another sneaky highlight to the show. IMS’s own yankiboy slipped in under the radar and beat all the Striker Likers to the punch in calling in to grab the 2012 NASL scarf!!!

  3. February 22, 2012

    Yes, I did hear the recently absent and missing Jay Yankiboy Long call in. I was sort of surprised Peiter and Ed didn’t figure out who it was. Cudos for Yanki for bringing it to the Ultra show all they way from Maryland.

  4. February 22, 2012

    Sure, I post about Yanki being missing and then I see he was the first to comment on this post. 😉

  5. February 22, 2012

    Yankiboy has serious game …. no surprise that he claimed the scarf.

    Supreme kudos to BQ for initiating this discussion on MLS and its possible involvement in lower division soccer in North America. The amount of work done by BQ in scheduling and doing interviews from diverse sources, transcribing them and putting together coherent articles that stir discussion is amazing. It is a LOT of work.

    What’s especially cool about all this is that we know the leaders of the various leagues and USSF read IMSoccer News because of the fairness and integrity that BQ has established on his site. They see our comments, getting a fan’s input on what we are thinking. One feels that eventually good things are going to happen regarding the involvement of MLS with the lower division leagues, whatever form it takes, that will benefit the development of our sport in our region, and that the discussion on IMS will have contributed to that process.

    Seriously, USSF should give BQ a grant to do this full time….I don’t know how he does it.

  6. February 22, 2012

    That’s how me and my posse roll. 🙂 Thanks guys, I do appreciate that you appreciate the time I put into these pieces. Yes Gerry, I do wish I had the time to do more of this sort of thing. I love it but it is very time consuming and trying to fit it in with a full time job and running/editing/writing the site is not always easy. A challenge to say the least.

  7. yankiboy permalink
    February 22, 2012

    @Strikers Return: My call was all about the question, Playah. I still haven’t heard back from Tio and Pieter about the scarf. If the islanders’ Foreign Legion Commander who mentioned his interest in the scarf was just kidding and I do end of getting it, I’d be more than happy to forward it to one of the biggest Striker Likers that I know. 😀

    @Gerry: I got ZERO game. Zilch. Nada. It’s just that Miaimi Ultras Aive is currently my SECOND favorite podcast covering the NASL so I have them on speed dial. I’ve beceome a HUGE fan of the show.

    Last year, they finished strong with the AD–Mr. Aaron Davidson–, Traffic strong man and a key architect of the current NASL and Ft. Lauderdale Strikers. Last Monday, they had D2, Mr David Downs on last week and this week they are going to be featuring Mr. Ray Hudson, a man whose very pores ooze enthusiasm for the game–I’ll probably be trying to call in next week, too!

  8. Strikers Return permalink
    February 22, 2012

    It’s easy to see BQ (and contributors!) have set yourselves apart when it comes to the lower levels of pro soccer. Those of us with vested interest in these teams and leagues know IMS is THE place to come for not just news and notes, but also for the kind of stuff like this article that really gets you thinking about the future of our game, something we all care about, even Bart in some strange twisted way. LOL

    I think the league would be doing itself a great service by posting links on its site to the IMS NASL podcasts. (This also would pretty much commit you guys to keeping it a regular thing throughout the season which would be awesome! LOL) As Gerry pointed out, IMS is fair and unbiased in its reporting, which is what gives it integrity. I know we’re all glad that BQ has such a passion for the game, espeically at our level, and that he puts so much blood sweat and tears into making sure we all have a place to come read and discuss the things we want to know.

    @yankiboy – You did weigh in with a good question for the commish, but then that’s exactly what we’d expect from you! Definitely call in next week as I’m sure Ray will be in form as only Ray can be! I normally don’t get the chance to catch the show live, but I’m making sure I’m parked in front of my computer Monday night at 10!!! Now that it looks like Tim is running the whole show down here (someone please correct me if I’m wrong! LOL) they club has GOT to do something about retiring Ray’s number this year!

  9. WSW permalink
    February 22, 2012

    Great blog and I liked the interview with David Downs:

    15-20 teams in NASL in 10 years. I like that idea.

  10. Armando Diaz permalink
    February 23, 2012

    Jay if you don’t get your scarf soon then I’d be happy to send you mine. That is if I could get the one I’ve ordered before you do!

  11. Footy76 permalink
    February 23, 2012

    Here a good ideal for Integrating MLS Reserve League into America’s Lower Divisions. Each MLS teams Fields a second team with a different name. For example Seattle Sounders field a second team name Emerald City FC and they play in their same stadium as the first team and play regionally. That way the Sounders control their own team and it would be in the same city and NASL would not competing with the Sounders cause the Sounders get the money out of the ticket sells and the NASL won’t look like a reserves league. The In return the MLS shares its FOX Soccer Channel Television rights and adidas partnership. The NASL would benefit by being in the same city as the MLS and is corporate affiliation and the MLS would get a playing time for their player and half if not all the traveling cost paid.

    What your honest opinion on this ideal

  12. bullsear permalink
    February 23, 2012

    BQ, I’ve always appreciated the way your articles spur discussion and the way that you encourage it in the comments. I’ve heard better thought out and more diverse opinions in the these comments than I’ve found in most message board communities, so thanks to all the consistent commentors, too!
    To be honest, I think that most of the people who comment here are much better informed–about this particular issue and about soccer more generally–than Derek and Brett are on anything they talk about.
    As far as I’m concerned, you’re doing the absolute best sports journalism in the country when it comes to the lower divisions of soccer.

  13. February 23, 2012

    Thanks, bullsear. Very kind of you.

  14. Strikers Return permalink
    February 23, 2012

    @Footy76 – I have a slight alteration to your idea. I think a good way to approach it at first might be some kind of “pilot” program if you will. Open it up to allow MLS teams to choose to field a reserve team in the NASL if they want to. I think you’d see at least a few of teams, Vancouver and Montreal almost certainly, give it a shot right off the bat. By making it optional, you don’t force any teams that don’t want to or maybe are unsure about the idea at first. But if you see the White Caps and Impact seeing value and return on getting the extra, more competitive playing time for their reserve players, then other migth be inclined to give it a shot. Pro sports teams are usually copycats. When something works well for one team, others always try and duplicate it.

    If, and that’s a big if, just like anything in lower level soccer, it starts growing, then you can do some things to build on it that are of more benefit to the entire league itself, like bigger sponsorships, maybe even tv, who knows. In the end I do think it’s important that there be autonomous D2 teams in the league as well though. Once MLS stops expanding, markets who want pro soccer should still be able to have it, and D2 will be the highest level possible when MLS stops expansion.

  15. BrazilYinzer permalink
    February 23, 2012

    Question, for all the talk of ongoing discussions and open issues in integrating the leagues, has there been any suggestions of a short but concerted exhibition schedule between the various leagues to test out potential formats? I’m thinking of something along the lines of the Big Ten/ACC challenge college hoops has been running for years. All teams participate, everybody plays 3-4 games tops with no groups or playoffs or anything; maybe you put up some dinky trophy based on points won just for kicks, but nothing too serious. You could answer alot of the unknowns (is mid-week or weekend preferrable; are the reserve teams getting tangible benefit; does this help in scouting NASL and USL players; does the allure of MLS branded reserve teams entice out-of-market fans, etc.). Impromptu exhibitions are set up all the time, with great difficulty this could be done in 2012, though 2013+ is much more realistic.

    Great series of articles, do keep the discussion going!

  16. yankiboy permalink
    February 24, 2012

    @Armando Diaz: Thanks for the generous offer regarding the scarf. PB left me a message last night.

    By the way–love the coverage that you have provided about what’s going on down there, Playah.

Comments are closed.