Field for fourth annual pre-season soccer tournament features eight pro soccer teams; Pro Soccer Classic among events announced for new Soccer Spring Training initiative
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (Oct. 4, 2012) – Major League Soccer’s (MLS) Eastern Conference top seed Sporting Kansas City and four-time MLS Cup champions D.C. United are among the first of eight teams to enter the 2013 Disney Pro Soccer Classic at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World Resort.
Beginning Feb. 9, eight professional soccer teams, including six MLS teams, will converge on Central Florida to take part in three weeks of pre-season training camp and competition, culminating with the championship game on Feb. 23 at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.
Sporting Kansas City will make ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex its official preseason training home. The team has the best defense in MLS this season, allowing less than one goal per game, while U.S. national team midfielder Graham Zusi, a Longwood, Fla. native, orchestrates the attack with a League-leading 14 assists. Sporting Kansas City will represent Major League Soccer in the 2013-14 CONCACAF Champions League as winners of the 2012 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.
D.C. United will train at Sylvan Lake Park in Sanford, Fla. The franchise is the most successful professional soccer organization in the history of the United States as four-time MLS Cup champions (1996, 1997, 1999 and 2004) and winners of the 1996 and 2008 U.S. Open Cup, the 1998 CONCACAF Champions Cup, the 1998 InterAmerican Cup and the 1997, 1999, 2006 and 2007 MLS Supporters’ Shield, which is awarded to the team with the best regular season record.
The remaining teams will be announced in the next several weeks.
The Disney Pro Soccer Classic is the marquee event of Central Florida’s Soccer Spring Training initiative, joining events such as a college soccer combine, professional trials and coaches academy. Soccer Spring Training was created by the Central Florida Sports Commission to boost interest in soccer throughout the region and develop Orlando as the prime destination for training and competition for professional soccer clubs.
The Disney Pro Soccer Classic is just one of more than a dozen prestigious soccer events held at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, which is the leading multi-sports venue in the nation and the official preseason training home of the AS Roma Football Club. Among the most high-profile soccer events at ESPN Wide World of Sports are Disney’s Soccer Showcase, the Disney Cup International and the MAAC Men’s Soccer Championships.
Travel packages for the 2013 Disney’s Pro Soccer Classic are available for MLS fans through. The packages may include accommodations near Walt Disney World Resort and the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, game tickets, ground transportation, discounted Disney theme park tickets and VIP experiences.