Tuesday, November 16, 2010

MLS Expanding Rosters To 30 In 2011; Reviving Reserve Division

In a conference call as part of events leading to Sunday's MLS Cup final between the Eastern Conference champion Colorado Rapids and the Western Conference champion FC Dallas at BMO Field in Toronto, Major League Soccer commissioner Don Garber announced Tuesday league rosters would grow in the 2011 season from 26 to 30 plalyers and MLS will revive the Reserve Division after it was shut down following the 2008 season.

Of the 30 roster spots available on every team next season, six slots are strictly reserved for signing players under the age of 24 and the salaries of those players will not count against each team's expected salary cap in 2011 of $2.67 million.

The Reserve Division, which operated from the 2005 to 2008 seasons, allowed teams with untested and underdeveloped players a chance to earn playing experience against their peers, while still being able to train with their franchises' senior team.

There will be 18 teams in the 2010 Reserve Division, split itto three six-team regional divisions, with each team playing ten games. Teams can compete against opponents from USL PRO or the North American Soccer League, with the top eight players, regardless of division, in the league earning playoff berths en route to a champion being crowned.

Reserve Division games will be played either in the midweek or on the day after a senior level game.

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