List of MLS players now on loan to USL PRO

List of MLS players now on loan to USL PRO

While I’m waiting for some news to drop (and no, it’s unlikely to be dropping this late), here’s an interesting list from Nicholas Murray, USL PRO’s communications coordinator. It’s the names of every player who is currently (officially) on loan from MLS to USL PRO.

I dressed it up a bit with links and notes…

Charleston Battery (Vancouver Whitecaps), 7: DM Aminu Abdallah, F Mamadou Diouf, Def. Jackson Farmer, DM Michael Kafari, AM Andre Lewis, AM/F Adam Mena, F Marlon Ramirez…. NOTES: Only two big, late signings pushed Lewis out of the first team. He’s the No. 7 pick in the 2014 Superdraft… Diouf was a second-round steal… Mena missed 2012-13 with injury, but has shown up well this preseason…

Dayton Dutch Lions (Columbus Crew), 5: F Ryan Finley, M Ross Friedman, M Kevan George, AM Matt Walker, GK Brad StuverNOTES: Finley is a talent with 14 MLS appearances in a rookie season that began with the 8th overall pick… Stuver was a 2013 second rounder… Friedman had 10 assists last fall for Harvard… Walker is “dynamic”…

Harrisburg City Islanders (Philadelphia Union): None as yet announced.

LA Galaxy II (LA Galaxy), 4: F Charlie Rugg, CF Jack McBean, FB Oscar Sorto, F Raul MendiolaNOTES: McBean signed with Galaxy at 17, and was making big strides until an injury ended his 2013… Sorto is a special talent, and already on the radar with U.S. Soccer…

OKC Energy (Sporting Kansas City), 2: GK Jon Kempin, M Christian Duke … NOTES: Kempin gets to play under a head coach who was the starting keeper ahead of him last season… Duke spent last season at Orlando City…

Orlando City Lions (Sporting Kansas City), 1: M Mikey LopezNOTES: SKC is the only MLS club with two USL PRO partners, but this is their final year with Orlando. OKC Coach Jimmy Nielsen has to wonder why his former bosses in Kansas City decided to give Lopez to Orlando, since he’s definitely a hotter prospect than either Kempin or Duke…

Pittsburgh Riverhounds (Houston Dynamo): None as yet announced.

Richmond Kickers (D.C. United), 4: GK Joe Willis, F Michael Seaton, F Christiano Francois, CB/RB Jalen RobinsonNOTES: So here’s an interesting thing. In 2013, DC loaned GK Andrew Dykstra to Richmond and Joe Willis backed up Bill Hamid. This year Dykstra’s the DC backup and Willis gets a year in USL PRO… Seaton is a talent and the first player signed to an MLS contract who wasn’t born when the league was formed…

Rochester Rhinos (New England Revolution), 2: DM Alec Sundly, GK Luis SoffnerNOTES: Soffner may be a prospect, but he’s got some big shoes to fill in replacing Kristian Nicht. Battery fans will remember Nicht as the Rochester keeper who almost singlehandedly earned the Rhinos a point at Blackbuad last season… Sundly was selected one pick after Charleston’s Mamadou Diouf

Sacramento Republic F.C. (Portland Timbers and San Jose Earthquakes, with no Earthquakes yet loaned in), 3: DM Aaron Long, GK Jake Gleeson, Def. Bryan GallegoNOTES: Long and Gallego are middling 2014 picks, but Gleeson is an international from New Zealand and the Timbers have invested about three years in his development. Though he hasn’t shown much, they consider him a possible long-term replacement for 2013 Goalkeeper of the Year Donovan Ricketts.

Wilmington Hammerheads (Toronto F.C.), 3: M Manny Aparicio, M Daniel Lovitz, GK Quillan RobertsNOTES: Roberts is considered a strong candidate to be Canada’s international team keeper of the future… Lovitz was one of the most exciting players in college before picking up a knee injury… Aparicio signed with the club as a 17-year-old last August…

LEAGUE NOTES

Three USL PRO teams — Arizona United SC, Charlotte Eagles and Orange County Blues FC — enter the 2014 season unaffiliated with an MLS club.

Eight MLS clubs will play without an affiliate in 2014: Chivas USA, FC Dallas, Real Salt Lake, Seattle Sounders, Colorado Rapids, Chicago Fire, New York Red Bulls and Montreal Impact.

Of those eight, five are expected to follow the trail being blazed by LA Galaxy II (or, as we call them here, “The Samsung Phones”) this season and roll out their own USL PRO clubs in 2015: Dallas, Seattle, Salt Lake, Chicago and New York.

Two additional teams will join MLS in 2015. Orlando City, which will move up from USL PRO, is expected to field its own affiliate team in Lousiville, Kentucky. Expansion New York FC, itself the little brother of Manchester City, fits the profile of a high-budget, big market club with the funds to bankroll its own USL PRO partner. Although where that team might play remains speculative.

Colorado is expected to partner with Colorado Springs when it begins play in 2014.

That leaves just two MLS teams searching for USL PRO partners in 2015: Chivas, which is playing its final year under its Mexican branding and will have new ownership next year, and Montreal, which is just an unusual franchise at the moment.

According to the agreement between the leagues, all MLS teams are supposed to be affiliated with a club in USL PRO by 2015, and are expected to provide at least four players off their MLS rosters. Loans are “meant” to be season-long, but no rule really prevents players being recalled, or splitting time between clubs.

TOP IMAGE: Is Ryan Finley, a 2013 top pick by Columbus, the best candidate for the 2014 Dom Dwyer Best Loaned Prospect Award? Photo: Greg Bartram, USA TODAY Sports.