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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old October 19th, 2012, 00:05 Thread Starter
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MLS/NASL/USL Pro Relations

US 2nd flight set for postseason after banner year

The rising tide of North American soccer has lifted all boats, as the old saying goes. We see it every week with sold out MLS stadiums, new stars - foreign and domestic - and a level of passion in the fanbase that rivals any league in the world.

There's been a palpable knock-on effect, experienced by both the US and Canadian national teams as well as the second and third flights of professional soccer on these shores. With that in mind, we at are expanding our coverage of the lower tiers, beginning with this piece on the eve of the NASL's postseason.

The North American Soccer League’s second regular season has come to a close, and the playoffs are set to begin. There have been plenty of talking points around the NASL this year, ranging from the groundbreaking of a new, Toyota-sponsored stadium in San Antonio to an icon of American soccer injecting life into a confidence-starved Atlanta side.

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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old October 19th, 2012, 00:16 Thread Starter
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The Throw-In:
MLS, NASL closer to working partnership

If you’re an MLS fan, you probably have some casual knowledge of the second-division NASL.

You know there are eight teams in major and midsize markets, some that were absorbed from the USL, like the Puerto Rico Islanders and Carolina RailHawks. You probably know some took on names from the past, like the Tampa Bay Rowdies, the Fort Lauderdale Strikers and, next year, the New York Cosmos.

You may even know the remarkable story of the first-year San Antonio Scorpions, who have been nearly filling an 11,000-seat football stadium while they build a soccer-specific stadium of their own, and finished with the best record in the league thanks to a roster full of familiar names like Ryan Cochrane, Jeff Cunningham, Kevin Harmse and 2012 Golden Boot winner Pablo Campos.

There’s a lot going on in the level just below MLS, from continuing expansion that continues in Ottawa and with the Cosmos, to an ambitious plan to shift to a split schedule in 2013 that mirrors Latin America’s Apertura/Clausura set-up.
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old April 21st, 2013, 00:58 Thread Starter
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Major League Soccer introduces
intra-league loan system for first time in league history

NEW YORK — For the first time in league history, Major League Soccer has implemented a rule that permits loans between its clubs, and it's quietly been in place since the beginning of the 2013 season.

The existence of the trade mechanism since the very start of the league in 1996 meant that loans were initially deemed unnecessary within the MLS structure.

But times have changed. With the proliferation of MLS academies, the expansion of rosters and the increase in squad depth — especially the signing of more accomplished and talented young players — means there's more flexibility. And now, more opportunities for those young players
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old September 18th, 2013, 01:40 Thread Starter
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USL PRO and NASL paving the way for young MLS talent as on-loan players thrive


One of the greatest player development challenges MLS faces, according to Agoos, is finding competitive matches for players who have finished up their time at club academies, but are not quite ready to play in MLS for their club’s first-team. There are Reserve League games, but for players like Dwyer who’ve come through the college rank, those matches, without much on the line, do not push a player to improve in the same way a game in USL PRO, or the NASL, might.

To that end, this season 39 MLS players have been loaned out to the 14 different USL and NASL teams. The mission is simple: to give young players competitive games.
“The Reserve League, guys are competitors and they want to win,” says Dwyer. “But after the game, a lot of guys shrug their shoulders. In the USL, guys want to win every game. It’s the be-all and end-all for most of the guys. That’s how Orlando made me feel, and they made me hungry for it, too. I felt like a part of their team. I wanted to win for them and their fans.”
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old September 25th, 2013, 03:07 Thread Starter
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Loan Stars Making An Impact

Several North American Soccer League clubs are benefiting from the presence of Major League Soccer talent on their rosters as teams send young players to the likes of Minnesota United, FC Edmonton and the Fort Lauderdale Strikers and everyone prospers from the relationships.

Corey Hertzog (pictured) has been a boon for Edmonton, as his Vancouver Whitecaps teammate Carlyle Mitchell was during the spring season. Minnesota likes what it's getting from Montreal's Callum Mallace. FC Dallas' Richard Sanchez has Fort Lauderdale's staff giddy, and the Carolina RailHawks are getting plenty from Real Salt Lake's Enzo Martinez and the Los Angeles Galaxy's Kenney Walker.

They're among a dozen players MLS clubs have loaned to teams this year; eight of them still toiling in the NASL, looking for meaningful game time, new perspectives and quickened progression in their development.

The benefits for NASL clubs are simple: They improve their roster at no cost and build relationships -- or further longstanding relationships -- with MLS clubs and coaches, who recognize that the high level of competition in the NASL can be a valuable aid in developing top talent.
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