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Revolution re-ups Rochester Rhinos partnership

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Tuesday, the New England Revolution announced that the club re-upped its official partnership with the USL PRO (Division 2) Rochester Rhinos after the initial affiliation in 2013.

Under the agreement with the Rhinos, the Revolution will loan a minimum of four players to the Rhinos for the entire USL PRO season. Those players would then get regular playing time and have the opportunity to be called back up by the Revs if needed.

Last year, the Revolution sent defender Bilal Duckett, forward Matt Horth, midfielder Gabe Latigue and defender Tyler Polak to the Rhinos. However, none of those four players are on the Revolution's roster this season.

The Revolution players loaned to Rochester in 2014 will be announced by the start of the season. Rochester head coach Bob Lilley joined the Revolution in Bradenton, Fla., for its 12-day training camp to observe players and consult with Revolution coaches.

“We believe our partnership with the Rhinos was mutually-beneficial in 2013 and we’re looking forward to the continued relationship in 2014,” Revolution general manager Michael Burns said. “Having the ability to get players consistent and meaningful playing time is important to their development, and we saw the benefits of it last year with a few of our players when we needed to recall them for first-team games.”

In 2014, 11 MLS teams will be involved with USL PRO teams, either through affiliation or, like the Los Angeles Galaxy, by having their own team in the league. In 2013, four MLS teams had USL PRO affiliates: New England, D.C., Philadelphia and Kansas City. MLS teams without representation in USL PRO will compete in the MLS Reserve League in 2014.

“USL PRO's affiliation with Major League Soccer has raised the profile of our league and level of play on the field, ” said Rochester Rhinos President and Chief Operating Officer Pat Ercoli.

Click here for the Rochester Rhinos' 2014 schedule.

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