This news came out yesterday, but I wanted to just touch on it real quick because I like the ideas being brought forth, especially one in particular. Earlier this week, MLS executive VP, Todd Durbin talked about some potential rule changes that could be coming to MLS soon. The biggest one to me was the potential return of the reserve league. This is something I've harped on a little bit on here, but more so on the podcast. The lack of the reserve league hurts the developing players in the league, it hurt the Michael Kraus' and Rauwshan McKenzie's of the league and it could hurt the Graham Zusi's of this league from developing. Having the Swope Park Rangers playing regular games with some competitiveness to them is greatly needed. Even if that's just putting the reserves into the PDL or something (NCAA rules allow college kids to play against pros and keep their eligibility). Basically the reserve league needs to return in some form, whether it's in it's previous form, set up a more regionalized league, similar to the MLB farm team structure, or a different design where multiple teams contribute to 1 reserve team. Personally I'm for the more regional approach. Whether that's setting reserve teams up in PDL divisions or making some sort of a regional reserve league agreement with the NASL/USL. There needs to be a place to get real games for the young players, especially with all the new rules for home grown players, not all are going to come in and become starters in their first season like Bill Hamid.
The league is also looking at potentially changing their loan rules that they have. Previously loans were only allowed if there was a future potential for MLS clubs to buy the player. That's since been relaxed to only season long loans, but even that may be relaxed to try and get more young Europeans to come over to MLS in the January window and improve in the league and still getting back to their parent club for the start of the new European season.
Finally, Durbin also talked about the fact that teams ARE allowed to pay transfer fees for designated players. So if the Wizards wanted to go after a player currently under contract, they could pay a transfer fee to get them out of their contact at their current club. Unlike the Red Bulls the Wizards don't have transfer fee money hanging around from a previous transfer out of the club like the Red Bulls do with the Jozy Altidore transfer money.
We'll see how the potential reserve league and loan rule changes play out, but I for one hope we see some sort of return to help the league to continue to develop.