New England Soccer Today

Revs, Real Boston Launch Affiliation


In a move that caught some in the New England soccer scene by surprise, the New England Revolution announced on Wednesday they will be partnering up with local Premier Development League club, the Reál Boston Rams, making the Easton, Mass.-based team an official affiliate for the coming season.

By partnering up with one of the newest United Soccer League expansions, the Revolution have made the Rams part of their “developmental pyramid,” allowing New England academy products to play for Reál Boston over the summer while performing the training hours necessary to remain “Homegrown protected,” all while under the watch and guidance of the Revs’ technical staff.

“Our relationship with the Rams provides a valuable opportunity for our returning college players to train and play meaningful games locally during the summer,” said Revolution Director of Youth Development Brian Scales in the official press release. “Our first-team and Academy coaches, in conjunction with the Rams’ technical staff, will be able to train and monitor the development of our college-aged players as they progress from the Revolution Academy, to college, through the Real Boston Rams, and eventually into MLS with the Revolution.”

The partnership is another crucial move in terms of player development for New England. Earlier this year, the Revolution abandoned the MLS Reserve League in favor of an affiliation with the Rochester Rhinos in order to streamline their player development program.

And though the Reserve League regularly featured Academy prospects, only those still in high school were eligible to compete, as NCAA rules prohibited college-aged Academy players from participating Reserve League contests. Thus, the same college-aged Academy prospects that were allowed to train with the first team were left out in the cold when it came to playing time locally.

Now, with the Rams starting their season in May, college-aged Academy products have the potential to earn those crucial hours while playing in the competitive PDL Northeast Division against teams such as the Seacoast United Phantoms, whose own academies play New England’s on a regular basis.

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