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Picturing 2014: LA Galaxy fielding USL-Pro team

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There is yet to be an official release on the topic of the LA Galaxy fielding a USL-Pro team, but tonight we've gotten our first piece of evidence since Bruce Arena told Adam Serrano that the possibility was being explored.

Al Messerschmidt

There is yet to be an official release on the topic of the LA Galaxy fielding a USL-Pro team, but tonight we've gotten our first piece of evidence since Bruce Arena told Adam Serrano that the possibility was being explored. The story is on Reckless Challenge, where a staffer accidentally published a picture showing what the 2014 table will look like.

The setup of USL-PRO is going to see 15 teams playing a 28 game regular season schedule. That's much more comparable to an MLS slate than the reserve league. Features 15 teams playing random numbers of games with standings organised by points per match. For example the Galaxy reserves won the West this season with five wins in ten games, but they weren't the top point getter. It's more in line with the US Development Academy system, and only giving reserves ten games is not enough for players to gain the experience to make the senior squad.

In 2013 affiliations with USL-Pro clubs were the development tool du jour, with some teams sending reserves to USL-Pro teams on loan deals. There's always been an informal system of sending players on loan to the lower leagues for development purposes, LA did it this year without a formal affiliation, but the new arrangement made it much easier.

A few MLS teams have used the USL-Developemnt League for their U-23 sides, but this would be MLS' first foray into fielding full USL-Pro sides. If the leak is to be believed, LA will be joined by FC Dallas in putting B-sides in the league. LA would also have California competition in the LA Blues and the new Sacramento side.

Keep in mind that Orlando City is prepared to make the jump from USL-Pro to MLS and pre-NASL the USL was the place where cities like Portland, Seattle, Montreal, and Vancouver got their start. MLS has had a long relationship with the lower leagues, and it looks like it's only going to get more interconnected, despite no promotion/regulation in the US soccer pyramid.