So Let's Suppose....

....just for the sake of argument, that you're an American kid who's been drafted by an MLS side but before you go ahead and sign on you think you'll go over to England and see if you can get a coach's attention.

What do you suppose, in your wildest dreams, would be the most auspicious start to your trial?

Well, if you're Mike Grella, late of Duke University and recent Toronto FC draft pick, it goes something like this:

Head on over to Old Blighty and spend a few days working out for Leeds United, whereupon the team gets permission at the last minute (Tuesday afternoon) to use you in a reserves match.

So you promptly trot out and - not having played a real game since November - HIT A HAT TRICK in a 4-0 win over Barnsley's reserve side.

Maybe I'm easily impressed but, gosh, it seems like it's going pretty well so far.

If it's the week after the MLS draft, then it must be time for THE ANNUAL USL PRESS RELEASE telling everyone about how playing in one or another of their leagues is the best and true path to professional soccer success.

Jeez Louise, don't they ever get tired of this? Yes, most top notch American college players spend June and July playing in the PDL. It's a league designed to allow summering players with NCAA eligibility remaining to get out and play some games.

And it's just great. Not a complaint at all. But USL works year round at pimping the myth that these kids got drafted because of all the wonderful training and coaching and development work they do in PDL.

Yeah, right.

I bet a larger percentage of them played High School soccer. I'll bet an even larger percentage played for a USYSA sanctioned club. I'll bet virtually all of them attended soccer camp. I'll bet the vast majority spent some time kicking a ball off the side of their Dad's garage.

I'm not saying for a minute that USL has no role or is worthless. Far from it.

But PDL providing a summertime playing opportunity isn't exactly the same thing as PDL turning them into beasts.

Maybe the main problem here is that Dad's garage needs a better PR guy.