MLS announced the full MLS Reserve League slate for the 2014 season Monday. In year two of the partnership between MLS and USL, the Reserve League will feature a similar set-up to the schedule last year, except for one key difference: Chivas USA are finally going to play USL PRO sides in the Reserve League. Last year, they were the only team in the league that did not participate in the partnership with USL in any capacity, only playing games in the Reserve League against other MLS teams. This year, they've dipped their toe in the partnership waters.
There are three ways MLS teams can participate in the MLS-USL partnership in 2014:
- Play USL PRO teams as part of the Reserve League. Eight teams, including Chivas, will do this in 2014.
- Enter official partnership agreements with one or more USL PRO team, and will therefore not participate in the MLS Reserve League. 10 teams are exercising this option.
- Create a USL team. The LA Galaxy have done this with LA Galaxy II, playing in USL PRO.
Here's the full Reserve League schedule for the Goats in 2014:
|March 23||FC Dallas||Away||9:30 am|
|April 7||Sacramento Republic||Home||11 am|
|April 20||Seattle Sounders||Home||11 am|
|April 29||Real Salt Lake||Away||10 am|
|May 12||Colorado Rapids||Away||10 am|
|May 24||Phoenix FC Wolves||Away||7:10 pm|
|June 21||Orange County Blues||Away||7 pm|
|July 6||Montreal Impact||Home||11 am|
|October 6||Real Salt Lake||Home||11 am|
|October 12||Colorado Rapids||Home||11 am|
Obviously, the schedule confirms the earlier news that Chivas' reserves will be playing three USL PRO teams this season: Sacramento Republic, coached by former Chivas coach Preki and featuring former Goats Rodrigo Lopez and Justin Braun; Phoenix FC Wolves, and Orange County Blues, which features former Goat Chris Cortez.
My only real qualm with this slate is why the schedule is staggered once again. Last year, Chivas barely played a Reserve League game in the first half of the season. This year, it's the reverse. I guess having the games stacked in the first half of the year is better, but really, why couldn't it have been evenly parceled out during the season? Reserves can use a run out all season, after all.
At any rate, that's the schedule, though it's worth noting the league disclaimer that games can be changed/added/canceled and times changed at any time. You can find the latest here on the team's website.
What do you think? Leave a comment below!