Major League Soccer announced the Reserve League schedule this morning. With Chivas USA the only club to not participate in the MLS/USL-Pro partnership this season, the Reserve League will presumably be the only outlet for the Goats down the depth chart to get a chance to play actual games. The only clubs not participating in the MLS Reserve League this season will be D.C. United, the Philadelphia Union, the New England Revolution and Sporting Kansas City, because they will all be formally affiliated with USL-Pro teams.
Here is the schedule as announced today for the Goats (they do note that the schedule is subject to change):
|May 20||11 am||Real Salt Lake||Home|
|June 2||11 am||Seattle Sounders||Home|
|July 22||11 am||LA Galaxy||Home|
|July 29||7 pm||Seattle Sounders||Away|
|August 12||11 am||Colorado Rapids||Home|
|August 27||10 am||Colorado Rapids||Away|
|September 2||11 am||Vancouver Whitecaps||Away|
|September 15||11 am||Portland Timbers||Home|
|September 24||11 am||Real Salt Lake||Away|
|September 30||11 am||San Jose Earthquakes||Home|
|October 7||7 pm||LA Galaxy||"Away"|
|October 15||11 am||San Jose Earthquakes||Away|
Two questions come out of this. First, why doesn't Chivas have a reserve game until the middle of May? The Reserve League itself got underway on Monday. I have no idea if this was a quirk of the schedule or Chivas had a hand in determining the schedule, but it seems pretty strange that the team has to wait a full 2.5 months in order to play a reserve game. That is especially true of a team with an almost entirely new roster, where getting game minutes as a group would seem to be pretty useful early in the season. Of course, the team may choose to play non-official reserve games against non-MLS opposition in the meantime, but we'll have to wait and see on that.
The second question is whether fans will be allowed at Reserve League games or not. Last season, the league claimed fans were unequivocally not allowed at Reserve League matches, reversing the custom at many clubs, but I do recall hearing of a few teams that had fans at their matches last year. The press release of the schedule does not make mention of this aspect.
What do you think? Leave a comment below!