The new Major League Soccer “Elite Player Development Platform” is looking a lot like the now-defunct US Soccer Development Academy, at least in terms of the clubs involved.
MLS announced 65 former DA clubs are joining the new youth developmental league. In Illinois, Sockers FC and FC United are both set to join the Chicago Fire Academy in the league.
The league will have more than 8,000 players across the U.S. and Canada, and the idea remains the same as it did with the DA—to let the best players face each other year round.
On the girls side, many of the former DA girls clubs shifted over to join the already strong Elite Clubs National League. The ECNL has also picked up a number of boys clubs in recent weeks.
It’s unclear how the competition structure will work for the new MLS-run league, but a two-tier setup has been rumored for a long time, with the MLS clubs facing one another at the top. MLS said those details will be released at a later date.
In other Chicago soccer news...
Robert Berić and Jonathan Bornstein are set to appear on the latest edition “By the Fireside,” Chicago Fire FC’s weekly show for season ticket holders. The show is hosted by Tyler Terens, the club’s new play-by-play voice. It’s scheduled to run this Saturday, May 16, at 2:30 p.m. CT
Finally, the Chicago Red Stars are debuting the club’s new merchandise line in an online fashion show next Wednesday, May 20 at 8:30 p.m. CT. The club said goalkeepers Alyssa Naeher and Emily Boyd are taking part in the event, along with Head Coach Rory Dames. The club is donating 10 percent all of merchandise sales from the evening to Prevent Child Abuse America.