Larentowicz speaks out

There is a great interview with Jeff Larentowicz at the Dos a Cero blog in which he answers a number of questions about his career and aspirations.  But it was the answer to the following question that made me stand up and applaud.  Well said Jeff.  Let's hope Mr. Garber reads this...

Having been taken in the Supplemental Draft yourself and gaining experience in the MLS reserve league, what are your feelings on the MLS abandoning both? Do you think it will enable young college players to try and make the team of their choice, or will it discourage and make it more difficult for them to break into MLS?

With the league cutting roster size and eliminating the reserve league it's going to be extremely difficult for young players to be given a proper chance in the MLS. If I had been a rookie at the start of this season I wouldn't have even been given the oppotunity, my career wouldn't exist. I think it's a shame because ultimately the league put the reserve division in place to foster the young talent (most usually American college grads) but neglected to follow up on creating an atmosphere of professionalism within those games to make it worth while. Speaking from my own experience, I showed up to those games and introduced myself to half of the players I'd be playing with that day because we had never met. We were forced to call in local players to help us fill roster spots which is incredibly unprofessional. It's really just a microcosm of the catch-22 that is the MLS. The people in charge and the public are looking for a high-quality product that will give our country legitimacy world-wide and draw foreign talent. But those at the top do not expand rosters to handle the "squad" needed to make a reserve league feasible, nor do they pay the players enough to say, "yeah it's ok to be on the reserve team for two years and develop as a player because you're financially stable which allows you to sharpen your game in the hopes of making it to the highest level within your organization". It's a giant ball of wax that (unfortunately was influenced by current world-wide economic climate) continues to move in the opposite direction. For the young players coming in now it's going to be tough, and for the hopeful, undiscovered talent in the college ranks the possibilities in the US just got a lot smaller.
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