This is a fascinating read on the rebirth of a MLS Reserve League that should roll out in 2011. Not only does it provide a great picture of what they want the league to look like, it also shows you what the reserve league use to be. My favorite line from the link:
We’re getting rid of guest players. In previous years you were allowed to sign Tom, Dick, and Harry in your local bar to fill out your roster on the weekend for a reserve game and that’s no longer going to be the case. You’re going to have to use players within your own system and you can use guest players but they have to be bona fide players who are making a living at the game of soccer.
If that doesn't show you how much the MLS has changed, I'm not sure what will. Imagine a MLB team looking at their farm system as a 'burden' and contacting a softball league to get some players only so the Savannah Sand Gnats don't have to forfeit. In just a couple of years teams have gone from disbanding the joke of a league to clamoring for such a league where they can get some of their guys some extra playing time. We have been talking a lot about Corben Bone the past couple of days and the reserve league would have been perfect for him. Peter Lowry could have been working on his skills instead of missing the bench on a regular basis. Bratislav Ristic could have been used as a guest player and that might have helped the Fire realize he should be starting on the club team sooner. The front office might have kept Jon Busch if we knew we could test out Sean Johnson or Andrew Dykstra in a reserve league. So many different what ifs to play with here.
More thoughts and links after the jump
The Chicago Fire have guest fan bloggers all week long to celebrate the Anniversary Week of the Club. Don't forget about October 8th my friends... To kick things off we have an entry from Benjamin Kumming. My favorite line from the link:
One thing that does it, for me and I suspect large numbers of others is that the Fire can give supporters something no other sports team in the city can - a true community. Because the MLS is still relatively small, we as supporters are able to have a greater stake in the club. We can be more than just paying customers.
Benjamin is dead on for one of the top reasons I love the club so much. It's more than just a team, it's a club, an experience, a community. Be sure to read the whole thing. It really does get at what the Chicago Fire are about. I look forward to the rest of the bloggers they have this week.
The last link I wanted to share is for the website Early and Often. It is not a soccer link but it is a Chicago link. They warn us over at SB Nation HQ to stay away from politics and I agree. However, this next mayoral election is the first open seat in over 60 years and the folks over at Early and Often are going to cover it like no other. Chicago has a famous tradition of writers like Mike Royko, Studs Terkel, and Irv Kupcinet and the writers of Early and Often like Dan Mihalopoulous, Mick Dumke, and Daniel Libit could end up in the same breath if they keep up what they are doing for years to come. It is ambitious collaboration they are working on, I suggest taking a look. Let's avoid talking about candidates themselves but if you have a good Chicago writer story, by all means share it.