Major League Soccer announced early Monday morning that they are launching a new professional soccer league in 2022 that will be affiliated with the MLS. The league will be designed to create a better player development pathway to the league, along with helping bring the sport to new markets.
“We are excited to launch a new league to complete the professional pathway between our academies and the MLS first teams,” said MLS President and Deputy Commissioner Mark Abbott in a league release. “In addition to providing more opportunities for MLS-caliber players, the new league will develop a diverse talent pool of coaches, referees and front office executives while also attracting fans who previously were unable to support a local club in their hometown.”
There has been no word yet on what this means for affiliated clubs that are currently playing in the USL such as the Tacoma Defiance. However, rumor is that the Tacoma and other teams with a “parent” club would more than likely make the transition to this new league. MLS did announce that they plan on establishing 20 teams for the inaugural season but did not name locations or any other details on the matter.
The plan is for the league to begin in March of 2022, with playoffs in the fall and a final championship in December. This is very similar time table to the MLS who started this season in April and will have their playoffs begin in late November.
Full press release via mlssoccer.com: HERE