The return of the Major League Soccer reserves competition this year has been vital in allowing younger players to develop.
They are the sentiments of Vancouver Whitecaps head coach Tom Soehn and some of the Canadian club’s promising talent.
Reserves teams played in between 2005 and 2008 but the league was scrapped because of rising costs and the inability for most clubs to field full rosters but it is back in 2011 and has been a success say the Whitecaps.
"It's important when you're a younger player to get minutes," 20-year old midfielder Philippe Davies told The Province. "And in reserve games, you play against guys who actually play in MLS.
“Against Seattle, I played against Brad Evans [a regular in the league for four years] in the middle.
"It's night and day compared to the residency team. These guys, they are professionals. They know what to do with the ball, it's more intense, and it's a better game."
And Soehn said it made sense to get regular match minutes into the players to assist in their overall development.
"The only way to really know if they are good enough or not is to get guys in game environments," Soehn said. "It solves problems."