The proven developmental leader in North American soccer's evolving tiered structure, the 2016 PDL season featured 67 teams within four conferences throughout the United States and Canada. Twelve of the PDL's current members are owned and operated by a Major League Soccer or United Soccer League club. The PDL has proven to be an important stepping-stone for top professionals now playing throughout the world, with 70 percent of all MLS draftees having PDL experience. The PDL provides elite collegiate players the opportunity to taste a higher level of competition while maintaining their eligibility. In addition to league play, PDL teams compete in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup as well as various exhibitions.