Minor League Soccer is a lot different than the minor leagues of many other professional sports. For instance, in Major League Baseball, the minor league system is expansive and very well organized. In the National Basketball Association (NBA), the Developmental League, or D-League, has grown to 15 teams and is also well organized and does a good job placing minor league players in the NBA. Minor league soccer is somewhat different. The Major League Soccer (MLS) does not have an affiliated minor league system. There has been much talk amongst the owners and players of creating a minor league system but nothing has come to fruition so far.
MLS is fairly popular in the United States but does not enjoy the widespread popularity of the other professional sports. In order to fund a minor league system there must be a lot of money and capital invested. Major League Soccer does not have the funds available, as a young league, to be able to invest in a complete minor league soccer. The MLS must rely on college and other professional organizations in the Americas and Europe to help develop major league talent.
There is, however, the United Soccer Leagues. These leagues are split into 2 leagues. These leagues are located in the United States, Canada and the Bahamas. These two leagues are independent of the Major League Soccer but provide many ex-college players with valuable experience that could allow them to make the tryouts of major league soccer. In Europe, the same condition exists with their professional league Union of European Football Association, or UEFA for short. UEFA does not have a minor league system but their Union is broken down into teams based on their skill and competition level. By doing this, they accomplish some of the goals that a good minor league system would accomplish. It allows teams or clubs the ability to compete based on performance so that everyone is fairly equal in talent. When a team begins to do better they can move up to a higher level of competition and another team or club is moved down to take their place.← Back