Crew links up with Dutch Lions

[USL PRO  2014 COUNTDOWN] The Columbus Crew became the sixth MLS club to link up with a USL PRO club, concluding an affiliate partnership with Dayton Dutch Lions for the 2014 season.

MLS/USL PRO Partnerships:
Columbus/Dayton
D.C. United/Richmond
Houston/Pittsburgh
New England/Rochester
Philadelphia/Harrisburg
Sporting KC/Orlando City

The agreement between the two Ohio teams enables the Crew to loan a minimum of four players on its roster to Dayton for the 2014 USL PRO campaign.

“We are proud to unveil our new partnership with Dayton Dutch Lions FC,” said Crew president Mark McCullers in a statement. “We have known the Dutch Lions organization since they came to Ohio. This partnership creates a formal alliance that encompasses player development at its heart but also allows the Columbus Crew to partner with Dayton Dutch Lions FC in growing our respective fan bases and brands."

Dayton, which also has a partnership agreement with Dutch Eredivisie club FC Twente, began in the amateur PDL before moving up to the third division USL PRO for the league's launch in 2011. It enjoyed its best season in 2013, making the playoffs for the first time with a 10-9-7 record.

There were four MLS/USL PRO partnerships in 2013. The Houston Dynamo and Pittsburgh Riverhounds concluded one for the 2014 seaso

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2 comments about "Crew links up with Dutch Lions".
  1. Tony Marturano, December 20, 2013 at 12:59 p.m.

    I'm glad to see MLS beginning to copy the NHL model of player development … long term it makes MLS stronger AND makes USL PRO stronger.

  2. Bruce Moorhead, December 20, 2013 at 6:25 p.m.

    Tony, I agree totally. With the college game rather unreliable as a pipeline, this is a necessary step in this country. Obviously it is also the MLB model. I believe all MLS teams are mandated to have a USL affiliation by 2015.

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