Sporting Kansas City (Major League Soccer) and Orlando City (USL PRO) have entered into a two-year partnership announced on Wednesday, with the Lions becoming the official USL PRO affiliate of Sporting KC. The landmark agreement made by the two clubs kicks off an important stepping stone in the U.S. Soccer pyramid, with MLS reserve players to be integrated into USL PRO play beginning in 2013.
Starting with an announcement earlier today via the two leagues, MLS teams now have the chance to partner with USL PRO clubs. As an official affiliate, Orlando City will retain a minimum of four Sporting KC players for development throughout the USL PRO regular season. Those players would then get playing time, in preparation to be called up by their MLS club. The four reserve players Sporting will send to Orlando for the 2013 season have not yet been announced.
In addition to providing loan opportunities for select Sporting Kansas City reserve players, the technical staffs from both teams will pursue several strategic initiatives such as joint coaching seminars, business endeavors, scouting mechanisms and access to facilities. These efforts would strive to be mutually beneficial for both clubs and serve to build upon the foundation that has been established.