Crew announce affiliate partnership with USL Pro's Dutch Lions

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You can add the Columbus Crew to the list of teams partnered with a USL Pro affiliate.

The Crew announced on Thursday afternoon that they have an affiliate partnership with the Dayton Dutch Lions, an Ohio-based third division side founded in 2009. The agreement will allow Columbus to loan a minimum of four players on its roster to Dayton for the 2014 USL Pro season.

The players who will be sent on loan to the Dutch Lions will be announced at a later date.

“We are proud to unveil our new partnership with Dayton Dutch Lions FC,” said Crew president Mark McCullers in a prepared statement. “We have known the Dutch Lions organization since they came to Ohio. This partnership creates a formal alliance that encompasses player development at its heart but also allows the Columbus Crew to partner with Dayton Dutch Lions FC in growing our respective fan bases and brands.”

The other MLS teams that currently have USL Pro affiliates are the Houston Dynamo, New England Revolution, Philadelphia Union, D.C. United, and reigning champions Sporting Kansas City.


What do you think of the Crew announcing a USL PRO affiliate partnership with the Dutch Lions? Have an idea of who you would like to see loaned to Dayton? Hoping more teams follow suit in the coming weeks?

Share your thoughts below.

  • beto

    no sure if i would loan MLS players to a team that plays games in HS football (turf) stadiums.. I know they are working on a stadium in Dayton but I wouldn’t make the deal until then..


  • P

    The farther MLS franchises go down the domestic, farm system model the less likely a pro/rel model becomes, and as a nation we’ll miss the opportunity to make a significant leap in the competitive environment of US Soccer. At this point the Federation is just as culpable as MLS, even though one is acting in their own best interest and the other apparently doesn’t recognize or doesn’t have the will to do anything about the emerging cartel.


      • P

        Noah, you present a compelling argument against the sporting and economic model that has produced the most successful clubs around the world. You have convinced me to adopt a franchise (read McWorld) model that is intentionally designed to ensure parody among members of the SAME CORPORATE ENTITY….Wait. No argument was made just a juvenile barb.

        Check out an economics text book. Open markets encourage increased investment and competition, which ultimately lead to better products at a greater value. Not sure why soccer fans are so in the dark or in denial about what this kind of environment would mean to the quality of US soccer for both club and country.


      • ButlerBob

        Ok, I’ll bite provide an example on how pro relegation on it’s on created successful club? And how is pro / relegation a financial / economic model? It’s a purely sporting model and was created when there weren’t the current financial issues and funding needed for clubs to survive. If it’s such a great financial model, then why does the BPL now subsidize teams that get relegated for 4 years to make sure they stay viable financially. How are the parachute payments an example of an open market?


      • Mike Santoro

        Pro/Rel only truly works in the smaller geographical countries. Thats why its perfect for EPL. No matter what happens there wil always be several teams based in London. Take Russia for example, They have two teams that are competitive for the title every year. If one of them faltered (unlikely due to the disparity in revenues between themselves and others) it would cripple the league. If MLS went to pro/rel it would have to abandon all revenue sharing. You’d end up with LAG vs NYFC or NYRB every year as they would have 3-4 times the salaries of every other team. You’d end up with a league like the secondary European leagues where only 2-3 teams can expect to win a championship in a given year. It also invites the foreign owners to buy low level teams, throw billions of dollars into them, and buy championships (see Chelsea, PSG, and Man City to name a few)


      • DCLee

        Perfectly said by Mike and ButlerBob. That is exactly what guys like P want. They don’t care about the league or see having a big 2-3 teams that have several international stars in their prime(NASL) outweighs a league of parity where LAG can win the title a couple of years then a club like SKC & RSL get their shots.

        There is a reason that Financial Fair Play was created in Europe. MLS has a ways to go yet but are doing things right and it is nice that is bad as my team was last year(D.C. United) that there are avenues in place to have me excited again as a fan instead of being a fan of Fulham that might get into the top 10 a few times and get their shot at the europa league but have a very slim chance at ever challenging for the title without some billionaire buying in and spending just to spend.


  • Hejduk4President

    Little bit on a tangent, but check out the Dayton Lions “Alumni” section on their website. Haven’t heard of too many of the names on it but there are some interesting clubs that former Dayton Lions played for.


  • Brian Hall

    People who don’t support pro / rel are such suckers. Ok, MLS is in it’s infancy I get it but once it becomes a major league they will become just as bad as the othe leagues. They will hold cities hostage for stadium deals, relocate franchises and lockout the players. The only way to prevent this is allow free entry and exit of clubs. Until we have that I’ll only follow Europe and my local domestic team, FC Tucson, and continue to laugh at the pathetic MLS TV ratings.


  • steve desio

    When are people going to get that a pro/rel model will not work in the US. It certainly will not help to grow the game to see a major city’s club get relagated to a minor division.
    minor league/ Devepment affiliates is how sports works in North America.
    Having a USL pro Affliate for every club will be great way to develop players. Similar to th AHL is to the NHL.
    For Football NCAA is used as a feeder system, that would not work for soccer.
    Now a combined NCAA player playing in the summer for a PDL affilate to an MLS team will work.


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