MLS- Toronto FC

MLS chooses Bradenton's IMG Academy as eastern hub for 2014 preseason

Sheanon Williams, Patrick Nyarko

Photo by Howard C. Smith/ISIphotos.com


Orlando will not be the only city in Florida hosting a number of MLS teams this upcoming preseason.

MLS announced on Thursday afternoon that it has selected Bradenton’s IMG Academy as its Eastern hub for the 2014 preseason. The Chicago Fire, Columbus Crew, New England Revolution, D.C. United, FC Dallas and Toronto FC are some of the teams expected to train there and most will partake in a series of friendlies beginning in late January and ending in late February.

The Bradenton Area Convention & Visitors Bureau allocated funds to be used by MLS and its teams for a national campaign promoting the preseason.

“We considered several locations to serve as an Eastern home for the preseason and, with consult from our clubs, we chose IMG Academy for the combination of its world-class facilities, ideal weather and engaged community,” said MLS executive vice president of competition and game operations Nelson Rodriguez.

Several teams trained and held friendlies at IMG Academy during the 2013 preseason, including the Fire, Crew and New York Red Bulls.

Orlando is another Florida city that will host games at its annual Walt Disney World Pro Soccer Classic. Some of the teams that have announced they will compete in that competition include 2013 MLS Cup champions Sporting Kansas City, the Montreal Impact, Orlando City SC, and Columbus. The Red Bulls are also expected to play in that tournament.


What do you think of MLS choosing IMG Academy as its Eastern hub for the 2014 preseason? Surprised Orlando was not chosen instead? Considering heading down to Florida for some sun and preseason action?

Share your thoughts below.

  • Good Jeremy

    I’m hoping the national team sets up shop there too before the World Cup, but I’m guessing they’ll go for bigger stadiums and more publicity elsewhere rather than appropriate facilities and great climate in Florida.


  • bottlcaps

    Here in Tucson we are getting ready for the Desert Diamond “Cactus” Cup and all the other Western NLS teams for the preseason starting Feb 1st

    Schedule Here:


    or this:

    Saturday, February 1, 2014
    Portland Timbers vs. Sporting Kansas City, 6:00 p.m.

    Saturday, February 8, 2014
    Houston Dynamo vs. San Jose Earthquakes, 3:00 p.m.
    Seattle Sounders FC vs. Portland Timbers, 6:00 p.m.

    2014 Desert Diamond Cup
    (All times local MT)

    Wednesday, February 19, 2014 (North Stadium at Kino Sports Complex)
    Game #1, 1:00PM: Chivas USA v. FC Tucson
    Game #2, 3:30PM: Colorado Rapids v. Chicago Fire
    Game #3, 6:00PM: Real Salt Lake v. NE Revolution

    Saturday, February 22, 2014 (North Stadium at Kino North Complex)
    Game #4, 1:00PM: FC Tucson v. Chicago Fire
    Game #5, 3:30PM: Colorado Rapids v. Real Salt Lake
    Game #6, 6:00PM: NE Revolution v. Chivas USA

    Wednesday, February 26, 2014 (North Stadium at Kino North Complex)
    Game #7, 1:00PM: Chivas USA v. Colorado Rapids
    Game #8, 3:30PM: NE Revolution v. Chicago Fire
    Game #9, 6:00PM: Real Salt Lake v. FC Tucson

    Saturday, March 1, 2014 (Kino Stadium)
    Game #10, TBD: 5th Place v. 6th Place
    Game #11, TBD: 3rd Place v. 4th place
    Game #12, TBD: 1st Place v. 2nd Place


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