MLS Reserve League

The MLS Reserve League was a soccer league for the reserve teams of Major League Soccer with teams in both the United States and Canada.

MLS Reserve League
Founded2005
Folded2014
CountryUnited States
Canada
Last championsChicago Fire Reserves

It was inaugurated on April 9, 2005, with the first official reserve game being a 2–0 victory by Chivas USA over the host San Jose Earthquakes. The reserve division disbanded after the 2008 season, but returned in 2011 with 18 clubs split into East, Central, and West divisions.[1] Each club played ten games consisting of home-and-away matches versus each of its five divisional opponents.

In 2013, the schedule of the MLS Reserve League was integrated with the schedule of the USL Pro, with teams from each league playing each other.[2]

Format

2005–2008

  • Each MLS franchise fielded a reserve division team and played a 12-game schedule (six home, six away). All teams played a minimum of seven opposing reserve division teams at least once throughout the year. The reserve division standings consisted of a single table with the team that finished in first place at the end of the regular season earning the title of reserve division champions and a $20,000 team bonus.
  • A total of 20 eligible players for the home team and 20 players for the visiting team could be placed on a club's game roster for any Reserve Division game with each team permitted to make up to six substitutions.
  • Suspensions attributable to yellow and red cards issued in Reserve Division games would only be imposed for future Reserve Division matches and not for games during the MLS regular season. Similarly, suspensions attributable to yellow and red cards issued during MLS regular season games would not apply to Reserve Division matches.
  • Any player who received four yellow cards during the Reserve Division season would be suspended from the next Reserve Division game in which he could appear.
  • No player could play more than 120 minutes in a Reserve Team match and any preceding match(es) that occur within a 60-hour period. Injury time is not considered a part of a player's maximum number of minutes played (e.g., if a player enters a game at halftime and the referee adds 2 minutes of stoppage time to the end of the second half, the player will be considered to have played 45 minutes since the 2 minutes of stoppage time is essentially added to make up for 'lost' time).
  • A Reserve Division call-up or "Guest Player" with an MLS team could be eligible to appear in an MLS Reserve Division Game provided that he is properly registered with U.S. Soccer.

201112

  • Teams face all but two conference opponents once at home and once away. The two matches with a USL Pro side count towards the 14 match season, therefore removing two games with MLS reserve sides.
  • Teams may at their discretion schedule additional exhibition games for their reserve squads against non-MLS opponents.
  • At the conclusion of the Reserve League season, the team with the most points out of all three conferences will be determined the Reserve League Champion.
  • All players appearing on an MLS club's roster may represent their team in MLS Reserve League play; however, no player may play more than 120 minutes in a reserve team match and any preceding matches that occur within a sixty-hour period. Further, no player may play more than a combined total of 90 minutes in a Reserve Team Match and any preceding matches that occurred within 36 hours prior to such reserve team match.
  • Clubs may also use up to five academy players per reserve game.
  • A Reserve League call-up or "Trialist Player" with a club may appear in reserve league games provided that he is properly registered with US Soccer. A representative from the MLS Club must also certify that the trialist is a bona fide professional soccer player. Trialists may participate in a maximum of two games per club per season.
  • Clubs may play up to a maximum of five non-MLS Roster players per Reserve League Game. Within the five non-MLS roster player limit, only three players may be trialist players.

2013

In early 2013, USL and MLS reached an agreement to integrate USL league competition with MLS Reserves to increase the amount of exposure to real game situations by MLS team members who do not get much time in MLS competitions or provide a USL team at which future MLS players can develop. This multi-year deal is expected to lead to more games for both MLS Reserves and USL Pro teams.[2]

MLS Reserve teams compiled a 6 Win, 9 Tie and 11 Loss record against USL Pro Teams in 2013.[3][4]

2014

2014 was the final Reserve League season. Starting in 2015, MLS clubs must either affiliate with a USL Pro club or create their own team in the USL Pro. The LA Galaxy Reserve Team joined USL Pro as the LA Galaxy II in 2014 and finished third.

MLS Reserve teams compiled a 9 Win, 5 Tie and 14 Loss record against USL Pro teams in 2014.

Past Winners

Season Winners Runners-up
2005 D.C. United Reserves MetroStars Reserves
2006 Colorado Rapids Reserves Kansas City Reserves
2007 Colorado Rapids Reserves Chivas USA Reserves
2008 Houston Dynamo Reserves Kansas City Reserves
2009–2010
Reserve League on hiatus
2011 Columbus Crew Reserves Seattle Sounders Reserves
2012 Columbus Crew Reserves Montreal Impact Reserves
2013 No Championship game, Houston (East)
& LA Galaxy (West) won their divisions.
2014 Chicago Fire Reserves Seattle Sounders Reserves

Winners table

Team Titles
Colorado Rapids 2
Columbus Crew 2
D.C. United 1
Houston Dynamo 1
Chicago Fire Reserves 1

Final standings by year

2005

Pos Club Pld W L T GF GA GD Pts
1 D.C. United Reserves (C) 12 8 4 0 26 21 +5 24
2 MetroStars Reserves 12 5 3 4 16 12 +4 19
2 New England Revolution Reserves 12 5 3 4 20 18 +2 19
2 FC Dallas Reserves 12 6 5 1 24 24 0 19
5 Colorado Rapids Reserves 12 5 4 3 29 22 +7 18
5 Chicago Fire Reserves 12 5 4 3 24 20 +4 18
5 San Jose Earthquakes Reserves 12 5 4 3 23 20 +3 18
5 Kansas City Wizards Reserves 12 5 4 3 19 17 +2 18
9 Los Angeles Galaxy Reserves 12 4 5 3 20 28 −8 15
10 Real Salt Lake Reserves 12 4 6 2 29 34 −5 14
11 Columbus Crew Reserves 12 4 7 1 19 25 −6 13
12 Chivas USA Reserves 12 2 9 1 15 23 −8 7

2006

Pos Club Pld W L T GF GA GD Pts
1 Colorado Rapids Reserves (C) 12 9 3 0 24 14 +10 27
2 Kansas City Wizards Reserves 12 7 3 2 25 16 +9 23
3 Houston Dynamo Reserves 12 7 5 0 24 17 +7 21
3 Real Salt Lake Reserves 12 6 3 3 23 20 +3 21
5 D.C. United Reserves 12 6 5 1 22 11 +11 19
6 FC Dallas Reserves 12 4 3 5 20 13 +7 17
7 New York Red Bulls Reserves 12 5 6 1 15 25 −10 16
8 Chivas USA Reserves 12 4 5 3 18 23 −5 15
9 Los Angeles Galaxy Reserves 12 4 6 2 20 19 +1 14
9 Chicago Fire Reserves 11 4 5 2 16 18 −2 14
11 Columbus Crew Reserves 12 3 8 1 14 23 −9 10
12 New England Revolution Reserves 11 0 7 4 9 31 −22 4

2007

Pos Club Pld W L T GF GA GD Pts
1 Colorado Rapids Reserves (C) 10 7 0 3 22 8 +14 24
2 Chivas USA Reserves 11 6 3 2 25 23 +2 20
2 New England Revolution Reserves 12 6 4 2 20 14 +6 20
4 Kansas City Wizards Reserves 12 6 5 1 22 19 +3 19
5 D.C. United Reserves 12 4 3 5 16 12 +4 17
6 FC Dallas Reserves 12 4 4 4 17 18 −1 16
7 Columbus Crew Reserves 11 4 4 3 17 14 +3 15
7 New York Red Bulls Reserves 9 5 4 0 14 15 −1 15
7 Real Salt Lake Reserves 11 5 6 0 19 17 +2 15
10 Toronto FC Reserves 12 3 5 4 14 19 −5 13
11 Houston Dynamo Reserves 12 3 6 3 16 21 −5 12
12 Chicago Fire Reserves 11 2 6 3 12 19 −7 9
13 Los Angeles Galaxy Reserves 11 2 7 2 14 29 −15 8

2008

Pos Club Pld W L T GF GA GD Pts
1 Houston Dynamo Reserves (C) 12 9 1 2 33 15 +18 26
2 Kansas City Wizards Reserves 11 8 1 2 31 13 +18 26
3 Real Salt Lake Reserves 12 7 3 2 31 24 +7 23
4 Chicago Fire Reserves 12 5 5 2 25 22 +3 17
5 D.C. United Reserves 10 5 4 1 19 21 −2 16
5 Toronto FC Reserves 10 5 4 1 12 19 −7 16
7 Chivas USA Reserves 12 4 5 3 19 21 −2 15
7 San Jose Earthquakes Reserves 12 4 5 3 18 22 −4 15
7 FC Dallas Reserves 12 4 5 3 19 24 −5 15
10 Columbus Crew Reserves 11 4 5 2 13 13 0 14
11 Colorado Rapids Reserves 12 4 6 2 16 21 −5 14
12 New York Red Bulls Reserves 12 3 7 2 16 23 −7 11
13 New England Revolution Reserves 10 2 6 2 11 16 −5 8
14 Los Angeles Galaxy Reserves 12 1 8 3 15 23 −8 6

2011

Eastern

Pos Club Pld W L T GF GA GD Pts
1Columbus Crew Reserves (C) 109102910+1927
2D.C. United Reserves 105142114+719
3New England Revolution Reserves 104511422−813
4New York Red Bulls Reserves 92521020−109
5Toronto FC Reserves 9252151508
6Philadelphia Union Reserves 10271917−87

Central/Mountain

Pos Club Pld W L T GF GA GD Pts
1Chicago Fire Reserves (C) 107211910+922
2Houston Dynamo Reserves 10640115+618
2FC Dallas Reserves 106401821−318
4Sporting K.C. Reserves 103521114−311
5Colorado Rapids Reserves 103611211+110
6Real Salt Lake Reserves 10370101009

Western

Pos Club Pld W L T GF GA GD Pts
1Seattle Sounders Reserves (C) 108112111+1025
2Portland Timbers Reserves 106222416+820
3Chivas USA Reserves 103341821−313
4San Jose Earthquakes Reserves 93511112−110
5Vancouver Whitecaps Reserves 102621014−58
6Los Angeles Galaxy Reserves 91621120−95

2012

Eastern

Pos Club Pld W L T GF GA GD Pts
1Columbus Crew Reserves (C) 10721219+1222
2Montreal Impact Reserves 107211910+922
3Philadelphia Union Reserves 104422020014
4New York Red Bulls Reserves 103521416−211
5D.C. United Reserves 9351919-1010
6New England Revolution Reserves 10253915−69
7Toronto FC Reserves 92521316−38

Central/Mountain

Pos Club Pld W L T GF GA GD Pts
1Houston Dynamo Reserves (C) 106221911+820
2FC Dallas Reserves 106311711+618
3Colorado Rapids Reserves 105411210+216
4Chicago Fire Reserves 104601215−312
5Real Salt Lake Reserves 103521017−711
6Sporting K.C. Reserves 10262816−88

Western

Pos Club Pld W L T GF GA GD Pts
1Los Angeles Galaxy Reserves (C) 106312211+1119
2San Jose Earthquakes Reserves 105321512+317
3Seattle Sounders Reserves 104511819-113
3Portland Timbers Reserves 104511718-113
5Chivas USA Reserves 103432121012
6Vancouver Whitecaps Reserves 103521122−1111

2013

East

Pos Club GP W L T GF GA GD Pts PPG
1Houston Dynamo Reserves (C) 95401216-4151.67
2Columbus Crew Reserves 146622826+2201.43
3New York Red Bulls Reserves 125522419+5171.42
4Montreal Impact Reserves 114431613+3151.36
5Toronto FC Reserves 83411512+3101.25
6FC Dallas Reserves 135712126-5161.23
7Chicago Fire Reserves 135712430-6161.23

West

Pos Club Pld W L T GF GA GD Pts PPG
1LA Galaxy Reserves (C) 10514169+7191.90
2Vancouver Whitecaps Reserves 104242115+6161.60
3Real Salt Lake Reserves 146441413+1221.57
4Chivas USA Reserves 125612324-1161.33
5San Jose Earthquakes Reserves 104511812+6131.30
6Colorado Rapids Reserves 145721620-4171.21
7Seattle Sounders FC Reserves 124621721-4141.17
8Portland Timbers Reserves 144731623-7151.07

USL Pro

Beginning in 2013, MLS teams could elect to affiliate with a USL Pro team rather than fielding an MLS Reserve League team.

MLS ClubUSL Pro Affiliate
1D.C. UnitedRichmond Kickers
2New England RevolutionRochester Rhinos
3Philadelphia UnionHarrisburg City Islanders
4Sporting Kansas CityOrlando City

2014

Pos Club GP W L T GF GA GD Pts PPG
1Chicago Fire Reserves (C) 9612169+7202.22
2Seattle Sounders Reserves 7313116+5121.71
3FC Dallas Reserves 844011110121.50
4Montreal Impact Reserves 8341880101.25
5Colorado Rapids Reserves 6123911-261.00
6Real Salt Lake Reserves 7124810-271.00
7New York Red Bulls Reserves 8251915-670.88
8Chivas USA Reserves 7151912-340.57

USL Pro

In 2014, the number of MLS teams electing to affiliate with USL Pro teams (rather than fielding an MLS Reserve League team) increased and the LA Galaxy moved their reserve team to compete directly in the USL Pro league.

MLS ClubUSL Pro Affiliate
1Columbus CrewDayton Dutch Lions
2D.C. UnitedRichmond Kickers
3Houston DynamoPittsburgh Riverhounds
4LA GalaxyLA Galaxy II
5New England RevolutionRochester Rhinos
6Philadelphia UnionHarrisburg City Islanders
7Portland TimbersSacramento Republic
8San Jose EarthquakesSacramento Republic
9Sporting Kansas CityOklahoma City Energy
Orlando City SC
10Toronto FCWilmington Hammerheads
11Vancouver Whitecaps FCCharleston Battery

References

  1. Commissioner reveals details of Reserve Division
  2. "MLS, USL Pro reach deal on restructured Reserve League". www.mlssoccer.com. January 23, 2013. Retrieved January 27, 2013.
  3. "USL Pro 2013 Schedule". United Soccer Leagues (USL). September 8, 2013. Retrieved October 21, 2013.
  4. "2014 Reserve League Schedule". www.mlssoccer.com. March 8, 2014. Retrieved March 8, 2014.
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