Spring league season concludes with changes on the horizon

The 3rd edition of the MDSL Spring season ended this weekend with alot to look forward to in the future. When the league launched in 2022 it only featured 3 teams, fast forward to today and the league has ballooned to 72 teams. With growth comes challenges and with 266 games played this spring season, the MDSL staff worked hard to resolve all of the new challenges that it faced.

“It was a trying season filled with many ups and downs but we considered it a great success. We were able to fill over 98% of the games with assigned referees thanks to a collaboration between our in house MDSL referees and our partner at Metropolitan Washington Soccer Referee Association (MWSRA), specifically our assignor Keyan Motashemi who worked tirelessly to fill the games especially the 11 v 11 games,” said League Manager Justin Reid.

Reid continues, “We expanded the number of locations this season to 6 venues consisting of good to great grass fields all within a 15 mile radius of each other from Sandy Spring to Downtown Silver Spring. The games were meaningful and although there were gaps in the levels of the teams at times, the games were mostly competitive. When you have a 266 game season it is unlikely that all of the games will be competitive. There are established leagues in the area that have been around since the 80s and 90s that still have mismatches and blowouts. There is no perfect league but the most important thing is that the players get a chance to play in an environment that will help them to improve game by game.”

This season the league consisted of 13 divisions with the youngest being a U-7 co-ed division. For the first time in the league’s short history there was an ALL-girls division at the U-8 level and every game in this division was competitive. Public scores aren’t kept at this age but there were at least 20 games where the score-line ended in 2 goals or less.

The U-8 boys age group consisted of two divisions along with the U-9 boys age group. Scores for the U-8 divisions and the 2nd division of U-9 were not kept but the games were also very competitive.

At the U-9 Division 1 level and up is where the league kept public scores and standings. See below the winners and runners up of the divisions.

U-9 Boys Champion – Carrollton City FC

U-9 Boys Runners-Up – Gaithersburg Soccer Club School

U-10 Boys Champion – RESA

U-10 Boys Runners-Up – Sandy Spring Soccer Club 2014/15 Green

U-11 Boys Champion – Gaithersburg Soccer Club School

U-11 Boys Runners-Up – UES Silver Spring Panthers 2013

U-12 Boys Champion – Santos FC

U-12 Boys Runners-Up – Aspen Hill Eagles 2012/23

U-13/14 Boys Champion – Dribbling Impact Nightmare Boys 2010

U-13/14 Runners-Up – UES Silver Spring Panthers 2011

U-16 Boys Champion – FC Brasil

U-16 Boys Runners-Up – Hero Soccer Club Academy

We would like to congratulate not only the Champions and Runners-up but also every team in the league who emphasizes development over winning. For the full schedule of results click here.

The league now looks forward to building on this season as it now enters the Summer season starting June 22nd. This season usually consists of less teams as players take breaks during the summer, but many of the adopted changes by the league will take into effect.

See below the changes moving forward:

  • Leagues – Effective Fall 2024 the MDSL will now split to MDSL Recreation and MDSL Championship. The reason for this move is to prevent competitive teams who register under “Recreation” from signing up for recreation. This is unfair to the opponents who are recreation as we strive to balance games. Classic and Competitive level teams must now be part of MDSL Championship which is more suitable for their level. All teams will be vetted to ensure that they are in the correct brackets. In addition, the game locations will now expand into Prince George’s County. Games will also continue to be held in Montgomery County.
  • Game duration – The league will increase the time of its games. It realizes that teams traveling in from outside of the county and the Silver Spring area are not getting enough game time to justify their travel. Teams with larger rosters were not getting their players enough playing time. Therefore effective immediately the game duration will be as followed: U-7s (48 minutes), U-8s (50 minutes), U-9-U-10 (60 minutes), U-11-12 (70 minutes), U-13-U-15 (40 minutes), and U-16-U-18 (45 minutes).
  • Carding – Effective immediately, all teams from U-9 and up must now either be carded with USYS or US Club Soccer. This applies for both MDSL Recreation and MDSL Championship. Completing an MDSL Roster with a Birth Certificate will no longer be an option. Teams must carry a roster to every game or have access to their USYS or US Club Soccer roster at each game. The referees WILL be required to check rosters before the games and if there are any issues then the team (coach or manager only) questioning a roster can approach the referee at half-time to check a roster. If the player is found to be ineligible by not being on the roster then that team must remove that player and the game will result in a forfeit.
  • Players showing up late to games – Players who must arrive late to their games will now be required to be present at their games before half-time. There were alleged incidents of players not rostered and supposedly older, showing up to games after half-time just to help their team to win a game. This is not tolerated in our league and counterproductive to our philosophy as we strive to provide an environment for players to develop in a fair and balanced way.

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