The MDSL released its schedule today and revealed that the league has grown by leaps and bounds in a matter of months. When the league first launched in the spring of 2022, it only featured three U-8 teams. Fast forward to today, and 25 teams from U-7 – U-12 will be part of the league starting September 10th. The growth may seem exponential, but the league’s leaders had been pushing the league even during the spring season to let teams know that this league will be the one to follow US Soccer’s guidelines for development, something that most of the other recreational leagues have failed to do in the MD, DC, and VA area. “People still have this perception that recreational soccer is just neighborhood kids running around kicking a ball. Now, there is some truth to that, but recreational soccer means more to us. As coaches we were tired of seeing players not learn how to play soccer the right way because they were being taught by parent coaches without a soccer playing background. So there was so much wasted talent who never reached its full soccer potential because no one guided and developed the players. We were also tired of watching and participating in unsanctioned leagues that fielded 22 players on a 50 x 70 yard field with 8 x 24 size goals at the U-9 and U-10 levels so we created this league,” said MDSL Acting Commissioner Justin Reid.
The MDSL is scheduled to kickoff on September 10th and what you will see is alot of small-sided games ranging from 3 v 3 for U-7s to 5 v 5 for U-11/12. The older groups are either getting ready to transition to 9 v 9 or 11 v 11, so it was important to the league to ensure that they are ready to make that jump, and getting more touches on the ball will help the players. You will also see a tournament formatted set-up with games on the campus of Sandy Spring Friends School, food trucks, and more.
The MDSL markets itself as a league that is a bridge between recreational to competitive soccer and is excited about the talent that will be on display that will be taught by coaches who know the game. To join the league, the MDSL requires that all coaches have a soccer playing and coaching background. And if you are a club who is joining, the league requires that all of the coaches at least have a USSF Grassroots coaching license and at least 90% of the coaches in the club, MUST have soccer playing experience.
To view the league’s fall schedule you can click here.