The Maryland Developmental Soccer League continues to grow its footprint throughout the D.C., MD, and VA region by offerring affordable league play and tournament opportunities for independent teams and smaller clubs (of 250 players or less).
When the league launched in March 2022, the mission was to provide a bridge between recreation and travel soccer by offering a league platform to prepare players for competitive level soccer. Within a year that mission has since evolved and the league never expected to grow this quickly to now offering games in every season from the traditional two league seasons (spring and fall), to a summer league, and a futsal league in the winter. Now the MDSL is ready to expand its tournament series.
For the upcoming 2023-24 calendar year beginning August 1st, the MDSL will offer six tournaments/scrimmagefests, an increase from the one scrimmagefest that was offered in Springfield, VA in collaboration with Doradus Soccer in June 2023. The scrimmagefest provided an affordable opportunity for teams to come together and play without any trophies or medals on the line. The event was such a success that coaches wanted to know if we could do it again the following month which has prompted the MDSL to do more as the demand for affordable leagues and tournaments grows.
Justin Reid, MDSL Acting Commissioner explained, “We want to create an ecosystem for the independent to smaller clubs to grow their membership base, so as a league we kind of look at ourselves as an incubator. Operating youth soccer clubs can be very expensive as the costs for coaches, league fees, referees, equipment, etc. can eat into the bottom line of a club leaving it to increase its prices and at times price out players, who tend to be the better players. We just think that the costs of everything in youth soccer from the leagues to the tournaments have become too high and only certain demographics are able to afford it. Teams/clubs should not have to endure these expensive league and tournament fees inorder to remain sustainable because when clubs fail, so do the children in those clubs so if we can be a solution to help with the costs of expenses for clubs then we are doing our part.”
When people look at the costs of things being less than the market price, many will draw the conclusion that the product or service of something that is being offered is less than the organizations who offer the same product and service at market rate. With the MDSL this isn’t the case because behind the affordability of its league and tournament series comes a ton of experience. MDSL officials have run many youth soccer events across the country from small scale to much larger scale, and with its knowledge of the youth soccer events industry it believes that the D.C., MD, VA region is one of the best markets to help make youth soccer events affordable again. The cost of the scrimmagefests/tournaments will range between $195 – $580 to allow the indepedent to smaller clubs the chance to place more teams in MDSL events.
The tournament series will kickoff in November with the Fall Breakout tournament scheduled for November 18-19 at the Northwest Branch Recreational Park and the Sandy Spring Friends School. The series will then kick into high gear in 2024 with events like the Spring Classic in March, Memorial Cup in May, Scrimmagefest in June, and the Summer Sizzler and 3 v 3 Live tournaments in July. The plan is to also add other tournaments in the fall season starting next year and into the Futsal season during the winter. All tournaments will be held in the North Silver Spring area where the league believes there to be a great opportunity to continue to grow soccer in the area. “There are so many independent teams to small clubs in Silver Spring and with some of these clubs they need affordable and organized options. They also want competition and we have the ability to bring competition to this region while promoting the heart of the county. Most leagues and tournaments in the county take place further north, so we feel that we can save teams a bit on travel by promoting and helping to grow the area,” said Reid.
To view the current league and tournament schedule click on the links below.