MONTREAL – The Montreal Impact announced on Tuesday that the club’s U21 team will join the PDL in 2014 as a U23 team. The Impact U23 will play 14 games in the league’s regular season throughout the summer, from May through July.
“The PDL will be a good level of competition for us this year,” noted Montreal Impact Academy director Philippe Eullaffroy. “We will be able to manage our roster between PDL games, the U18 competing in the USSDA and the MLS Reserve League.”
“The addition of the Montreal Impact is another fantastic step forward for the PDL, following the recent announcement of the San Jose Earthquakes,” said PDL senior director Ryan Brooks. “More and more MLS and USL PRO teams are realizing that the PDL is an ideal platform for the development of their young talent.”
The PDL was comprised of 64 teams across the United States and Canada in the 2013 season, with regional competition based across four conferences. The Impact are expected to compete in the Eastern Conference’s Northeast Division, which this past season included U.S. Open Cup participant the GPS Portland Phoenix and division champion Ottawa Fury FC.
Four other MLS clubs have teams in the PDL, with the San Jose Earthquakes also set to join the league alongside the Impact in 2014. The Chicago Fire, Vancouver Whitecaps FC and Portland Timbers have all been long-term members of the top amateur development league in North America.
Three other MLS clubs have partnerships with PDL clubs, with the Philadelphia Union (Reading United AC), Seattle Sounders FC (Sounders FC U23) and New England Revolution (Real Boston Rams).