Major League Soccer (MLS) teams join Montreal Impact and USL Pro Club Orlando City in the 2014 field at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex; Three additional teams expected to be announced soon
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (Dec. 11, 2013) —The reigning Major Soccer League champion Sporting KC will headline the Walt Disney World Pro Soccer Classic field at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. Sporting KC, along with the Philadelphia Union and the Columbus Crew, are the latest entries into the February event at Walt Disney World in suburban Orlando.
Sporting KC, the Union and the Crew join the Montreal Impact and Orlando City soccer clubs in the eight-team field. Teams will begin arriving in Central Florida on Feb. 19 for three weeks of pre-season training camp and competition, culminating with the Disney Pro Soccer Classic title game on Mar. 1. The remainder of the field will be announced in the next several weeks.
Sporting KC, whose official preseason training home is the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, will return to the tournament for the third straight year, this time fresh off its MLS championship win over Real Salt Lake. The squad is led by US National Team star Graham Zusi, who will likely compete for the US in the upcoming World Cup.
“Having marquee MLS teams such as the MLS champions in the field is evidence of the prestige and popularity this event has among the elite teams in pro soccer. The competition this year is going to be fierce which means the fans are in for a real treat.” said Mike Millay, Director of Business Development at Disney Sports.
Philadelphia Union set a franchise record for wins this past season with 12. The scoring trio of Conor Casey, Jack McInerney and Sebastien LeToux combined for 25 goals and 17 assists to lead the Union offense, while Sheanon Williams (MLS-leading eight assists among defenders) and goalkeeper Zac MacMath (career-high 12 shutouts) anchored the defense.
The Columbus Crew, a charter MLS club, is one of the league’s more accomplished teams, having won its first MLS Cup championship in 2008 as well as the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup (2002) and three MLS Supporters Shield titles (2004, 2008 and 2009).
Entering its fifth year, the Disney Pro Soccer Classic is designed to boost interest in soccer throughout Central Florida and establish the area as a prime training and competition destination for pro soccer clubs. Last year, the event at Disney attracted fans from across the U.S. and Canada and gave them a unique opportunity for an intimate fan experience at a world-class facility.
The tournament is just one of more than a dozen popular soccer events held annually 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 soccer club.
For more information on the Disney Pro Soccer Classic, visit www.espnwwos.com/prosoccerclassic. Travel packages are available through GetTravel.com. The packages may include accommodations near Walt Disney World Resort, game tickets, ground transportation and discounted Disney theme park tickets.
For media credentials, please contact Danny Noll at 407-566-7806 or Danny.X.Noll.-ND@disney.com.