With the preseason nigh upon us, there will be battles played out on the training field and during friendlies for the coveted roster spots that FC Dallas has available. It's always interesting to see who gets picked up and who doesn't make the cut. Unfortunately, making the cut doesn't guarantee any serious playing time or development for a player, as the reserve league is a paltry ten games. While it's better than nothing, ten games spaced out infrequently is hardly enough to develop young talent or to keep players on the edge of the roster motivated.
This leads to the following question: Is FC Dallas missing a chance to get their youngsters valuable playing time by not affiliating with a USL Pro team?
While the Toros did a decent job last year loaning out talent such as Richard Sanchez and Moises Hernandez, the added structure that a formal affiliation brings would make the process easier and faster, allowing players to be recalled if need be. Jonathan Top, Bradlee Baladez, Richard Sanchez and Tesho Akindele could all potentially benefit from seeing increased minutes with a USL Pro team, but as of yet FC Dallas has not announced any arrangement.
Toronto FC has just announced their partnership with the Wilmington Hammerheads. If Toronto can strike a sensible deal, could FC Dallas not follow suit? With the Charlotte Eagles, LA Blues and Phoenix FC without MLS affiliates, FCD have options if they choose to follow that route. The Charlotte Eagles, in particular, are a very organized group and have plenty of spaces available for FCD youths.
Do you prefer the loan system currently in place, or would you rather see FCD affiliate with a USL Pro team?