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MLS teams preparing for 2011 preseason in Arizona

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By JOSE M. ROMERO

On the pitch, the Seattle Sounders are focused on their opening-round playoff series that begins this weekend against the L.A. Galaxy. 

Off the field, the team is firming up plans for a return to Casa Grande, Ariz., in winter 2011 for preseason camp.

Sources close to the team and and Grande Sports World, the soccer complex in Casa Grande about an hour's drive south of Phoenix, said the Sounders are set for a return to the eight-field, 45-acre facility. Discussions are ongoing and nothing has been made official, but the first team to arrive at Grande Sports World is likely to be Real Salt Lake in late January. RSL was scheduled first because it has CONCACAF Champions League matches in February.

The Sounders and expansion Vancouver Whitecaps are scheduled for early February arrivals, followed by the expansion Portland Timbers and New York Red Bulls, and possibly one or two more teams.

RSL, Seattle and Vancouver spent time at Grande Sports World last offseason. So did the Colorado Rapids and Galaxy. Additionally, the Kansas City Wizards, who trained in Arizona last winter, are set for a return trip, this time to Surprise, Ariz., a Phoenix suburb that is also home to the Kansas City Royals of Major League Baseball. 

Reach 11, a complex of fields in North Phoenix, also figures to host MLS teams. The Columbus Crew, Chivas USA, Chicago Fire and San Jose Earthquakes rounded out the list of teams to spend time in the desert last offseason, and matches and training were held at Phoenix's Grand Canyon University and Arizona State University in Tempe.

The Valley of the Sun is already home to many baseball teams' spring training; now it is a legitimate destination for MLS clubs seeking good weather and dry fields year in and year out. 

97 comments
  • Al17

    I posted the 1st remark and apologize to everyone but ONLY for distracting from the focus on Soccer. Lord knows, I have issues when people due the same and I did a FINE job of being a hypocrite. I’ll send my comments to MLS.

    Ives and crew thanks for being a great source of soccer news.

    Cheers to all and let’s get back to the reason why we all post here, the Beautiful Game.

    So, Forlan or Xavi for Footballer of the Year?
    Galaxy & Red Bulls in MLS Finals?

    Like

  • Al17

    Why not the West Indies-pick a country?
    Cheaper and the economic development would definitely be welcomed.

    Like

  • Al17

    Your 1st statement is what I should have stated. It’s why I find it strange and actually bizarre.

    Like

  • jspec

    sports sports sports, there are reasons why don’t watch or read the news They are destroying our country. PLease I turn my tv on to watch sports/ I visit blogs about sports. I vote on election day & that’s it. For the 2yrs I’ve encountered politics or weird comments about politics in some of the weirdest places.

    Sports sports sport sport sport sport sports.

    Most of us r here to get away from that. go to FOX CNN, MSNBC they welcome this convo, it’s $$$ making for them.

    Like

  • Glactico

    Then you also know you are aiding and abetting right? If you support this stupid law then you have to turn them in, otherwise you are a criminal in violation of this law that you apparently support.

    Yes, apparently this alleged 55% are absolute idiots.

    Like

  • Upstate Jason

    You’re wrong. Players counting against teams’ international caps are citizens and do not possess green cards. Dane Richards (Jamaica) has a green card and doesn’t count against the RBNY international cap; Roy Miller (Costa Rica) is counted as an international so he does not have a green card.

    Like

  • HoBo

    MLS is not pulling this so called crap……. the teams are, secondly money is being brought into this state to company’s that employ people that you are so called trying to protect but want to boycott it. interesting🙂

    Like

  • Dylan

    Dude, you kidding? Not only is that a horrendous analogy, what jobs (because that’s really what this is all supposedly about) are they stealing from you?

    Like

  • SayervilleFC

    SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO…………….

    If I go to Arizona this winter I can see a lot of MLS teams in pre-season action, huh?

    Are the games free? Is there an actual stadium or do I need to bring a chair and my own refreshments?

    Will SBI be covering these games?

    I think it’s great MLS is putting several teams in preseason together and making the travel less for the teams to get games and making it easier for fans to see a lot of games if they want to.

    And I think it’s great they’re taking the product to a big market that doesn’t have an MLS team and doesn’t seem like they’ll get one soon. (No offense Phoenix Rising. Just doesn’t seem like it’s close to happening anytime soon.) Spreads the product out and gets another part of the country interested in MLS.

    Good job by the teams and league.

    Like

  • Myles B

    Weird that NYRB would be going here for pre-season, you’d figure they’d keep training in florida along with their Eastern rivals and keep to a climate that would be similar to what they’ll experience for the better part of the summer.

    Like

  • Rory

    Yeah, I want to leave my 50k a year teaching job to make a dollar a bucket picking tomatoes but some migrant worker took my job!

    But seriously, if a state says they can no longer afford to allow illegal immigration to go unchecked shouldn’t they be allowed to do the federal government’s responsibility? If the feds announced they were no longer going to fund medicare/medicaide, would it be wrong for a state to step up and fund those programs? Why have we gotten to a place where the federal government can decide not to do it’s job and the states are told they can’t do anything about it?

    Jefferson would be rolling over in his grave. But then again, he owned slaves so he’s a racist bastard who we should ignore.

    Like

  • Rory

    Of course they’d just have to show their papers like I have to show a driver’s liscense whenever I’m pulled over for anything. I don’t get insulted when an officer asks if I’ve been drinking even though he’s passively insinuating that I might be a drunk.

    Like

  • Rory

    This happens everytime Arizona is mentioned on this blog. A very vocal minority (on the issue) usually means a heated debate is waiting to happen.

    Like

  • Rory

    According to a Rassmussen poll, 70% of Latinos in Arizona support the law. I suppose they’re racist too?

    Like

  • Old Pueblo FC

    Just for a bit of perspective, I live in Tucson, AZ. Most of Tucson is STRONGLY against the immigration bill. There are signs up on peoples’ lawns all over town and our sheriff has flat out refused to ever apply this racist law. So I completely agree with the anti-Arizona sentiment.

    The tough thing is, a LOT of us down here are as disgusted by the law as you all seem to be and there’s just nothing we can do. We’re outnumbered by a whole lot of racists and even more people who just don’t care enough to vote or have an opinion. It’s sad, really.

    That being said, Tucson is still a great town that tends to disagree with the rest of the state on issues of politics. If anyone else in Tucson (or elsewhere in AZ) wants to head up I-10 with me to catch some preseason fun, let me know. I’m happy SOMETHING has decided not to boycott this state – I’m ashamed of my fellow Arizonans enough – thanks for giving me something else to focus on, MLS.

    Like

  • Marco

    Boycott Canada! They allow gay marriages nationwide so we should all skip the MLS Cup since nearly the same percentage of Americans oppose Gay Marriage as those that oppose the Arizona Immigration Laws.

    Boycott Canada and Arizona! If anyone doesn’t like something a place is doing we should totally boycott them.

    In fact, let’s all just stay home for now on.

    Like

  • Oranje Mike

    It’s more about economics than race, a lot more. People are, or at least think, they’re losing their jobs to illegal labor. I’ve met a lot of guys in Phoenix in the construction trades out of work not because of our current economy but because they can’t compete with the prices charged by illegals. One guy I know that does drywall says he’s undercut at least half by illegal workers. At the prices he charges now he is just making it. I referred him to the common sense plan desired by libertarians and he didn’t diagree with what I had to say. It’s not a fair statement to say everyone is racist or just does not care.

    Like

  • Rory

    Yeah, if Chivas USA and their Mexican owner aren’t boycotting Arizona, why should the rest of us?

    Like

  • Rory

    Oh, and we’ll gladly take back whatever Americans are working up in Candad if we can send you back Celene Dion!

    In fact, you’re singers pretty much ruined the music scene in America for the last two decades so prepare for war!

    Like

  • Ivan

    Disgusting!!! Arizona is the Nazi Germany of America; why would MLS teams condone the rednecks and their display of hatred by going there for pre-season?

    Billy Bob is on the wrong side of both history and demographics and history will judge harshly despicable creatures such as Governor Brewer and her fellow Teabeggars!

    No human is illegal! I am never setting foot in this state for as long as it is ran by white supremacists.

    Like

  • Rory

    Ask the out of work contractor if he buys ony goods that are made in America even if they’re more expensive then their imported counterparts.

    Like

  • timF

    No human is illegal? Trying immigrating to Mexico from central america.

    Also, the Nazi Germany comparisons are so accurate. We have hispanic death camps everywhere!

    You people are so dumb. Really dumb. Fo real.

    Like

  • timF

    As an arizona resident, this is probably the first time I wish something would stick with the boycott. We don’t need bad football here.

    Like

  • ELAC

    That would be funny if sheriff Joe arrrested and deported all of Chivas USA including Justin Braun.

    Oh wait.

    Like

  • Upstate Jason

    Right. But they are not citizens and do not have a green card as claimed by the person stating “everyone last one of you are retarded.” Just thought I’d point out his basic error.

    Like

  • Oranje Mike

    Also on an ironic note…it was liberal Democrats that forced Japanese-Americans into concentration camps during WWII.

    I used to work with a guy from Honduras. His stories about people he new getting caught crossing into Mexico were brutal.
    SB 1070 is wrong on so many levels but the hyperbole of folks like Ivan never gets old.

    Like

  • Jeremy

    Of course all of this back and forth about “illegals” and racist talk misses the whole point of why the Arizona law is so messed up. This has nothing to do with “enforcing immigration law”. The Arizona law goes far beyond that.

    Any officer, anywhere in the state is required to ask someone for their citizenship papers if they suspect they are here “illegally”.

    Do you carry your passport with you at all times while going to the grocery store, work and yes, the soccer match?

    And what is the definition of “suspecting they are here illegally?”. Yep, it’s going to be skin color. You can send an army of pasty white illegal Irishman to bake in the Arizona sun and no cop is going to stop them and ask for “their papers”.

    The analogies to historical dictatorships where one was required to carry at all times ones “documents” is an apt one.

    Like

  • Jan Brewer for President

    Living in Arizona let me say that I don’t think its about race or necessarily about imigrants taking jobs from other citizens. What it is about (in my opinion) is the cost/expense that we citizens have to contribute to schools, hospitals, roads, fire fighters, and police. These things are paid for by taxing the citizens who live and work in the cities/state. Since the majority of ILLIGAL imigrants are working under the table…they are not contributing to support the systems mentioned above, yet reaping the benifits of those who are paying form them. This is the real issue. Its not racist its just that the STATE and its citizens cannot continue to support the infestructure of all these services without everyone who uses them chipping in to fund them. If you think I’m joking try it out for yourself…stop paying your Federal/State Taxes and see what happens. You’ll have the ability to buy more things or sell your servies cheeper than your compitition. Of course if a Citzien were to stop paying their taxes then the Federal Government would be concerned and penalize you or potentially put you in jail.

    Like

  • Lost in Space

    I for one am happy that you won’t set foot in the State. People who are as ignorant as you are not welcome.

    Like

  • Law Abiding Citizen

    A state issued ID (ID card or Drivers Licence) is all that you are required to provide as proof. How often do you leave your house or travel without a state issued ID on you? For those who are visiting the US from another country you’d have to show your passport. Same as Other countries require. If you don’t know what the law entails I recommend you educate yourself before you make comments or association along the lines of your analogy of DICTATORSHIPS.

    Like

  • Dominghosa

    This (above comments) is crazy. I for one, can’t wait for early 2011, just for this.

    Like

  • Tim M.

    this is f*cking retarded. MLS is a corporation and a league with an agenda. All border states like New Mexico and Arizona are esentially untapped pools of talent in highly populated soccer communities.

    Like

  • Jeremy

    You are missing the point – randomly stopping individuals without probable cause based on their ethnicity and asking for proof of legal status in this country is not a very far step from dictatorship.

    Like

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