The Dayton Dutch Lions already have one sister club in Dutch champions F.C. Twente. The Dutch Lions might be going for the partnership treble this offseason...

Yesterday the Dutch Lions announced a partnership with a very successful PDL club- the Baton Rouge Capitals. The Baton Rouge Capitals were founded in 2007, and have a strong English influence- with nearly all of their international spots taken up by English players similiar to how the Dutch Lions keep most of their international spots open for Dutch players. The Baton Rouge Capitals also finished as 3rd place finalists in the PDL National Championship in 2010. Therefore, the Dutch Lions won't only be partnered with the best Dutch team in Twente; but also one of the best PDL clubs in Baton Rouge.

There is quite a bit beneficial by this sort of partnership. As the Dutch Lions will have access to the best players of one of the strongest PDL clubs (as after college graduation these players are no longer eligible for a PDL non-PRO team like Baton Rouge). Whereas, Baton Rouge can gain connections to Dutch internationals who are not quite good enough yet for the USL-Pro level but great for the PDL.

The Dutch Lions-Baton Rouge partnership overall includes, but is not limited to, the following:

- An agreement for both teams to meet in an exhibition game annually between May and July

- Access for Dutch Lions officials to Capitals' players and give Capitals' players the chance to play professionally in either the US or Europe or with the Dutch Lions

- An exchange of knowledge

- Access for Capitals' coaching staff to recruit players from the Netherlands

The partnership may have come out of the Dutch Lions interest in one of the Baton Rouge's key players; as Dutch Lions owner Mike Mossel said in his discussion on the partnership:

"They have access to a very talented area and we like to do more than just share ideas like we have been doing so far. One of the first things we will do is schedule an exhibition game in Dayton in 2011. We are also about to sign one of their most talented players in the coming weeks.”

No definite name yet on who that player will be, but Baton Rouge's strongest talent is Joe Tait(picture below); as the English defender Tait was selected as the PDL Defender of the Year in 2010 for Baton Rouge and would be a nice selection for the Dutch Lions who struggled in the back in 2010.

The PDL Defender of The Year, Tait, has offensive header prowress as well scoring a hat trick in a game vs. Atlanta this season. Could this be the talent the Dutch Lions are after?

However, Tait (or one of his English compatriots) would go against the Dutch Lions form of only picking up Dutch internationals. Yet, Tait might possibly have an American green card from four years in the United States.. And Englishmen have always been better defenders than the attacking Dutch. :-) So, who knows.

Others of interest include English midfielder Ben Callon who was selected to the Southern Conference PDL team and led Baton Rouge in productivity with 9 goals and 5 assists. Or American keeper Joe Hart (good keeper name if your a Manchester City fan) who made two penalty saves to lead Baton Rouge to 3rd place in the PDL Championships in 2010.

Could the Dutch Lions be interested in Joe Hart? No not the above Joe Hart, the American one from Baton Rouge that lead his team to the PDL finals?

Either way, the partnership probably came out of the Dutch Lions courting of Baton Rouge player to be named later; Just as a possible partnership with Toronto F.C. could come out of TFC's courting of Dutch Lions 2010 standout Bas Ent.

As Dutch Lions President Mike Mossel has stated that the Dutch Lions need to receive something from TFC to let one of their most talented players, Bas Ent, go from his three year contract.

“He is not eligible until we let him go,” says Mike Mossel, co-owner of Dayton Dutch Lions FC, the USL Premier Development League team that Ent played on last season.

“The question is what does Toronto want to pay for him and how much do we want for him?”

Ent currently has a three-year contract with the Lions but Mossel doesn’t anticipate that an agreement will be tough to reach. He says that rather than accepting compensation, there is a possibility of DDL FC and TFC forming some type of partnership.

“I don’t want to be in the way of Bas,” says Mossel. “This is a great step for him and for our club of course, a guy going to MLS after one year.”

So, if Toronto F.C. doesn't want to pay for Bas (which MLS clubs are famous for doing- not paying transfer fees and saying forget it for a player if there is a transfer fee). Then possibly the price for Bas is a sharing of information, possibly feeding some TFC Academy players into the Dutch Lions if they're not ready for MLS, and maybe an exhibition at BMO Field (below) in the future for the Dutch Lions.

Hell, a friendly at BMO Field for the Dutch Lions against Toronto F.C. would probably cut it for a deal as that would be great publicity for the Dutch Lions. So, hopefully see all of you Dutch Lions fans in Toronto for a roadtrip sometime soon.
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