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MLS teams line up 2012 preseason training in Arizona


Photo by Stephen Brashear/


The MLS Cup final was played not even three weeks ago, but teams are already making training plans in preparation for next season. 

Three MLS teams are confirmed for training at Grande Sports World in Casa Grande, Ariz., beginning in January. The New England Revolution arrive Jan. 21 and stay until the 31st.

The Seattle Sounders are at the complex from Jan. 30-Feb. 7, and the Vancouver Whitecaps will be there from Jan. 31-Feb. 11. 

Real Salt Lake — which has a youth academy based at the site — and the New York Red Bulls are confirmed but have yet to set dates. RSL is hosting a pro combine at its academy this month.

The Colorado Rapids are also expected to be at GSW but won't confirm until a new head coach is in place. 

Chivas USA and the Portland Timbers have also expressed an interest in booking some time at the site, where players can stay at the resort hotel adjacent to the fields and have all meals and meetings on site. 

Additionally, a pair of NASL teams are in the mix. FC Edmonton is confirmed for Feb. 26-March 11, and the San Antonio Scorpions are considering coming out to the desert as well.

All three Cascadia teams (Portland, Seattle, Vancouver) spent time at GSW last winter, as did RSL. Sporting Kansas City, Columbus, Colorado and the L.A. Galaxy did stints at other Arizona sites as well in early 2011.


  1. FWIW, once you go past Vancouver, there is a significant populatiuon drop-off for any Canadian city. The next three–Ottawa, Calgary and Edmonton–all have around 1-million folks each in their metro areas.

  2. My considerations is that Edmonton is a significant dropoff in metro population from Vancouver. In fact, Edmonton would fall under SLC in size. And SLC is #50 on the list in the US whereas Edmonton is 6 in Canada.

    Hard to gauge based on that.

  3. Interesting. Instead of trying to expand to some of these markets with new teams that could flop like the past FLA squads, MLS should try to mimic the offseason leagues that MLB has.

    If only for younger guys (when older players prefer rest I guess) you could definitely see training / off-season leagues like this being a positive. AZ, FL, and a few other places would be possibilities during the winter.


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