It's Time for MLS and USL to Work it Out

The Best Eleven posted a graph showing all the CURRENT USL1 PLAYERS WHO HAVE MLS EXPERIENCE including those with fewer than 10 appearances.

I don't know whether it signifies something that RSL has more former players in USL1 than any other team, but it would seem surprising given the fact that RSL hasn't been around all that long.

The whole USL1/MLS relationship became of interest this week when, shortly after Dallas #2 keeper Ray Burse Jr. was loaned to the Portland Timbers in order to get him more games than he was likely to see if he stayed with Burn FC, 17 year old draftee keeper Josh Lambo took a serious whack to the face that did enough damage that he'll be taking nutrition through a straw for the nest few weeks.

Many of us assumed that the loan would be canceled, but apparently Burse will be DOING A BUNCH OF COMMUTING at least for the time being.

On the heels of all this came the report today that NYRB has loaned backup GK Danny Cepero TO HARRISBURG OF USL2.

Maybe this is a trend of sorts - the keeper loaning, not the face-whacking - maybe not; for one thing, keepers have always been handled differently than field players, and it's harder for them to develop without significant game experience. And it sure beats calling up Ivan Gazidis and asking to have the MLS Designated Backup Keeper du jour come hang around your locker room for a few weeks hoping that your #1 gets carried off the field in a body bag..

Either way, this is just another example of how MLS and USL could and should be working together for everyone's benefit. Yes the Reserve Player system removed some of the difficulties of trying to develop young players, but Reserve Matches are nothing much more than dressy scrimmages, hardly the same as a real game.

Ever since the MLS-USL agreement was allowed to die several years ago, the two leagues have been warily eying each other over what seems at times to be a Berlin Wall. MLS hasn't wanted to spend the money it would take to keep USL happy, and USL doesn't have much interest in being a player day care center without getting some compensation.

With all the constant chatter about "Promotion/Relegation" which is about as likely as Hugo Chavez being elected Senator from Nebraska, it seems to me that we ought to be looking at other ways for the two leagues to complement each other.

It's in everybody's best interests for both leagues to thrive, and for both of them to pretend that the other barely exists doesn't do anybody much good.

Speaking of Dallas, I'm as big a fan of lame April Fools stuff as the next guy, as I proved yesterday. But not even yours truly is willing to try and pass of this TECHNICAL DIRECTOR ANNOUNCEMENT that the indispensible Buzz Carrick cooked up yesterday.

Somebody, anybody but Clark Hunt, maybe: tell me Mike Segroves or Mamadou Diallo or Chuck Blazer, fine. You might get me.

But Clark Hunt is a ridiculously wealthy fiancier who lives most of the time in a beach house on St. Thomas manipulating a financial and real estate portfolio worth untold bazillions while watching the dolphins play outside his living room window.

Maybe you and I think that riding a bus 11 hours into the Andes to see some 17 year old kick a bal on a mud patch sounds like a great way to spend your time, but Clark? I don't think so.