The American Soccer League officially announced that they would be starting a developmental league that will begin play this summer named ASL2. The league will feature players that are NCAA eligible and later on move on to their respected pro teams.
"I believe ASL2 will be a pivotal component of ASL's business and player development models," said ASL CEO, Matt Driver in a press release. "We believe it's important for us, as a league, to facilitate the transition from youth-team and collegiate levels to the professional ranks for American players."
ASL2 will feature five teams that already play in the main ASL league: Philadelphia Fury, AC Crusaders, Rhode Island Oceaneers, Mass United FC, and Evergreen Diplomats. Also included will be expansion sides Lancaster Lions, New Hampshire, and Long Island.
Fury midfielder Scott McCoubrey will be serving as an assistant coach to the Fury ASL2 team and sees the league as great for player development.
"ASL 2 is not only a good thing for the league and its development, it is another positive step for the development of youth soccer in America in general," said McCoubrey. "The league will give players the chance to perform and train in the eyes of their pro teams and others before the start of the 2015 fall ASL season. For college / high school players it will provide them with a competitive schedule and training over the summer in preparation for their season in the fall."
ASL2 will form a sort of academy structure for ASL top level teams to develop players using the same coaching styles used when coaching first team players.
"Our long-term vision is to have clubs provide players a vertically-integrated model encompassing youth-level, amateur, and professional teams," said ASL Commissioner Dan Trainor. "ASL2 will also allow our ASL teams to create a pool of players that they can train and monitor their progression."
The other notable announcement in the release was that the ASL will be using ASL2 to expand into the Midwest. The announced teams are the Milwaukee Torrent, FC Fargo, and a team yet to be name from St. Paul, MN, which will begin play in 2016.
"The ASL and ASL2's model and my experience working with Dan [Trainor] and Matt [Driver] were what attracted us to the league," said Milwaukee Torrent Owner and ASL2 Midwest Manager, Andreas Davi. "The Midwest has so many teams with the ambition to play pro soccer but there is no cost-effective league available. There is a gap for pro soccer and we are one step closer to filling the gap with the launch of ASL2 in the Midwest."