Major League Soccer are bringing back the reserve league in an official capacity again this season, and released the schedule today. Giving players who don't see much first team action time to play reserve minutes on a somewhat-regular basis is a smart move by the league, and with rosters stretching to 30 players or more, there is a demand to keep fringe players in game shape.
Although the schedule is set, that doesn't mean there won't be changes and possibly informal agreements between clubs to hold scrimmages outside of the official schedule over the course of the season, although the league stipulates that clubs can only hold scrimmages with non-MLS teams beyond the reserve league. Since these aren't officially competitive fixtures, you can bring in trialists, youth academy team members, and even assistant coaches, all categories of players Chivas USA used in the Reserve League last season. While teams keep track of records, and a "champion" is named based on points accumulation, there's no playoff system or anything like that, so the entire league is rather flexible in its dealings.
The Goats are in the Western Division, one of three in the league (the others being the Eastern and, you guessed it, the Central). Unsurprisingly, the other teams in the division are the LA Galaxy, Portland Timbers, San Jose Earthquakes, Seattle Sounders, and Vancouver Whitecaps.Here's the announced schedule for Chivas USA (remember, all dates, times and locations are subject to change):
March 12: LA Galaxy vs. Chivas USA, Training or University Field, 11 am
April 23: Chivas USA vs. Seattle Sounders, Home Depot Center, 11 am
May 14: San Jose Earthquakes vs. Chivas USA, Nutrilite Training Facility, 11 am
June 8: Chivas USA vs. San Jose Earthquakes, HDC, 11 am
June 18: Chivas USA vs. Portland Timbers, HDC, 11 am
June 25: Chivas USA vs. Vancouver Whitecaps, HDC, 11 am
July 10: Chivas USA vs. LA Galaxy, HDC, 11 am
July 23: Vancouver Whitecaps vs. Chivas USA, University of British Columbia, 11 am
July 29: Portland Timbers vs. Chivas USA, Jeld-wen Field, 2 pm
September 9: Seattle Sounders vs. Chivas USA, Starfire Sports Complex, 11 am
You'll notice a lack of regularity with this scheduling, with a game each in March, April and May, and then eventually three in July, and none at all in August. But again, it's the reserve league, so what's the big deal?
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