You know how you really like to go to Livestrong Sporting Park to watching some soccer? Well, there are four more games coming to the stadium (under the lights no less!) via Major League Soccer's reserve league.
All 19 MLS clubs will field a reserve team this year and play 10 matches each. The league will be split into three regional groups, with Sporting Kansas City joining Chicago, Colorado, Dallas, Houston and Salt Lake in the Central Conference.
Team in the Central will face each conference opponent twice, once at home and once away. Teams are also welcome to schedule additional exhibition games against non-MLS opponents for their reserve-league squads.
Last year, Sporting Kansas City (or the Swope Park Rangers as they are affectionately called in some circles) finished the 2011 season fourth in the Central with a record of 3-5-2.
An interesting twist this year is that the majority of KC's reserve league games (8) will come on Tuesday night -- including all four games at LSP.
Here's the schedule:
Tuesday, March 20: @ Real Salt Lake (RSL Training Field), 12 p.m. CST
Tuesday, March 27: vs. Houston (Livestrong Sporting Park), 7:30 p.m.
Tuesday, April 10: vs. Chicago (Livestrong Sporting Park), 7:30 p.m.
Tuesday, April 24: vs. Colorado (Livestrong Sporting Park), 7:30 p.m.
Tuesday, May 1: vs. Dallas (Livestrong Sporting Park), 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, May 13: @ Chicago (Toyota Park Practice Field), 10 a.m.
Saturday, June 9: @ Colorado (DSG Park Field 20), 10 a.m.
Tuesday, Aug. 14: vs. Houston (Houston Amateur Sports Park), 10 a.m.
Tuesday, Sept. 11: vs. Salt Lake (Swope Park Training Facility), 11 a.m.
Tuesday, Sept. 25: vs. Dallas (FC Dallas Stadium), 7:30 p.m.
It's definitely a front-loaded schedule. KC only plays four of its games after June 1.
Additionally, the reserves will play Creighton University on Tuesday, March 13 at Livestrong Sporting Park (at 7:30 p.m.).
So, that's five weeknight games this Spring. I'm a huge fan of MLS having a reserve league. It's a good way for KC to get games for developing players. And, with the squad as deep Sporting's, it'll be a chance for Peter Vermes to get games for a lot of players.
It's going to be a good way for the fans to get their fill of the stadium too.
While this kills my personal schedule, since early morning reserve games are really easy for me to attend, having fans attend the games in larger numbers (for, what I hope, would be severely reduced prices) should help build the sport up in this town even more than it already is.
More games, more fans and no double-headers. Seems like a good idea in my book.