The Maryland Developmental Soccer League (MDSL) provides U-7 – U-18 teams the opportunity to continue their development in both a non-stressed environment (mainly U-7 – U-12) to a more competitive (U-13 – U-18) environment. We offer league programs for boys, girls, and co-ed teams.

Our league acts as both a transition for teams between recreation to competitive, also known as classic level, in addition to a league that is competitive for U-13 teams and up.

There are several reasons as to why clubs choose our league over the others:

  1. We are extremely cost effective. Many leagues in the D.C, VA, MD area cost upwards of $2100 per season, making huge profits for their leagues and as a club you are left with little to no profit margins to operate.
  2. Our league is run by the founding member clubs. Meaning that we place respect for the game and player development first.
  3. We alleviate alot of the league preparations that clubs have to handle with other leagues. In some of the other leagues as a club you are responsible for obtaining permits for fields, locating a referee assignor, scheduling your games with the opponent, and so much more, while the other leagues sit back and collect your dues. Here are the MDSL, we handle everything and all you have to do is to get your teams ready to play.

Depending on the season, our league offers all 3 levels of play (Recreation, Classic, and Competitive). Take a look at the ideal teams who join each level of play in our league. This guide will also help you to understand the level of your team if you do not know as yet.


At this level the ideal Recreation team is made up of beginner soccer players. These players tend not to be able to dribble the ball quite as well yet, they bunch up when one player has the ball, and they tend to all follow the ball when the opponent has it. Their technical skills and IQ of the game tends not to be there as yet.

At the Recreation level from U-9 and under, no scores are kept as the environment that we set is to help coaches to coach their players along in the game. They players are beginners, so we do not believe that coaches should put pressure on them to do things that they aren’t capable of doing yet. So no scores are kept from U-9 and under.


At this level the ideal Classic team who joins our league is made up of players who are no longer in the recreation stage. The players tend to have a little bit more confidence with the ball at their feet, they have played enough games and have been coached properly to understand not to bunch up but to move and get open, the players are good passers of the ball, they understand the proper techniques, and overall their soccer IQ is better than the Recreation player.

Clubs who join our Classic division tend to have multiple teams in one age group. So the second or third tier teams of a club tend to be the ideal team to join this division. In the past teams have used this division to improve their teams and transition them to other leagues. So now, we have formed a Competitive division. So take a look at the ideal team.


The Competitive division is tiered by Division 1, 2, and 3. The teams in this division have either played in other competitive leagues, or have transitioned from Classic level leagues.

Our Competitive division cuts down on travel compared to the other leagues who may have a multitude of teams from Virginia, and you may be the only team in Maryland. Meaning that you may have 4 home games, but the other 4 games may require that you travel longer distances. Save the driving for tournaments. So if your team isn’t ready or doesn’t want to travel further than the duration of the game, then consider our Competitive division.

Games are played between Layhill and Olney in Montgomery County which is in the heart of the county. We do tend to attract teams from Prince George’s to Frederick counties to be part of our the Competitive division.

Fall and Spring League Format

The MDSL is separated by age groups. Each group has specific field dimensions and formatting.

U-7 – 4 v 4 w/o Goalkeepers (Four – 12 minute quarters)

U-8 – 5 v 5 w Goalkeepers (Four – 12 minute quarters)

U-9 – U-12 – 7 v 7 w/Goalkeepers (Two – 25 minute halves)

U-13 – U-15 – 11 v 11 w/Goalkeepers (Two – 30 minute halves)

U-16 – U-17 – 11 v 11 w/Goalkeepers (Two – 40 minute halves)

U-18 – 11 v 11 w/Goalkeepers (Two – 45 minute halves)

Summer League Format

*All games will have a cooling break if the temperature is 80 degrees or higher.

U-8 and U-10 – 7 v 7 w/ Goalkeepers (Two – 25 minute halves)

U-12 – 9 v 9 w/Goalkeepers (Two – 25 minute halves)

U-13 – U-14 – 11 v 11 w/Goalkeepers (Two – 30 minute halves)

High School Division (U-15 – U-18) – 11 v 11 w/Goalkeepers (Two – 40 minute halves)

Winter (Futsal) Format

U-8 – 5 v 5 w/Goalkeepers (Four 10 minute quarters)

U-10 – U-14 – 5 v 5 w/Goalkeepers (25 minute halves)

High School Division (U-15 – U-18) – 5 v 5 w/Goalkeepers (25 minute halves)

Registering the players for the League

Registering for the league will depend on whether or not your players are registered in the U.S. Youth Soccer Association (USYS) system. Most clubs who register for the MDSL are also affiliated with USYS through MSYSA, so the teams will just need to send their rosters to info@mdslsoccer.com prior to the start of the league season.

For those teams who may be coming from another program where each player paid individually to participate in that league, you will need to register with the MDSL as the league is affiliated with MSYSA. In addition to your team fee, each player will need to pay $7.75 (Recreation) – $12 (Competitive) for the year to be affiliated. This includes player insurance through the league. You will receive additional information on registering your players with the league once your team(s) has registered.

MDSL Recruiting Policy

We have a strict ZERO recruiting policy, and all clubs who become a member of the MDSL must sign off on a waiver prior to joining the league. During the spring and fall seasons, all players are required to be carded with their club’s state associations and if a player chooses to transfer from one member club in the league to another, then the club where the player transferring to and from, must sign a transfer form. This is to ensure that the league holds each club accountable. If there is a member of a club who is not apart of the MDSL and who attends the league’s games to recruit, that member and club will be reported to their state’s association.

To register for the Spring or Fall seasons, click here.

To register for the Summer league season, click here.

To register for the Winter Futsal league season, click here.

Previous/current clubs and teams who have participated in the league:

Previous clubs/teams who participated in 2022: