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. 

This entry was posted in Major League Soccer, MLS- Chicago Fire, MLS- Chivas USA, MLS- Colorado Rapids, MLS- Columbus Crew, MLS- Expansion, MLS- LA Galaxy, MLS- New York Red Bulls, MLS- Portland Timbers, MLS- Real Salt Lake, MLS- San Jose Earthquakes, MLS- Seattle Sounders, MLS- Sporting Kansas City. Bookmark the permalink.

97 Responses to MLS teams preparing for 2011 preseason in Arizona

  1. Al17 says:

    Are You F…king kidding me?
    The state with the whole Immigration law issue and MLS pulls this crap?
    Pathetic, seriously pathetic

  2. Hopper says:

    Hmm. How about that!

  3. camjam says:

    I’m having a hard time seeing how that is relevant…. nobody on the teams is her illegally. And if baseball doesn’t have a problem with it why would the MLS?

    Interestingly, a poll conducted recently found 55% of American males have no problem with Arizona immigration laws.

  4. camjam says:

    *here*

  5. Bk says:

    It’ll be great until schelotto and Fredy montero get picked up and questioned by immigration authorities..

  6. Dustin says:

    “Interestingly, a poll conducted recently found 55% of American males have no problem with Arizona immigration laws.”

    Ok I’ll field this one…Ummmm soooooo? If 55% of American males said they believed the Earth was created in 6 days would that be right? People are idiots so F*ck um.

  7. RSF says:

    Kinda wish I was still going to school out there….damn real job!

  8. Joe B. NYC says:

    Chivas USA?! Really?

  9. 7654764576547654 says:

    F***ing disgraceful,

    really great MLS side with the racist pieces of sh*t, thats what I love to see

  10. 7654764576547654 says:

    100% agreed. A lot of people in this country are 1. educated 2. flat out racist

    Poll results don’t make something right

  11. 7654764576547654 says:

    This would be hilarious.. if there wasn’t the possibility of it actually happening

    F*** Arizona

  12. F*CKARIZONA says:

    I love being a soccer fan in the U.S. Absolutely love it!

  13. AZFire says:

    How many MLS players are illegal immigrants, breaking the law by being in the States? What crap, exactly, is MLS pulling?

    What’s pathetic is people who appear to have no understanding of an issue that is vitally important to Arizonans who deal with it regularly.

  14. jim says:

    i know illegals and they know that its not their country so they understand the law.

  15. goatshet says:

    I’ll see Jan Brewer in hell before I set foot in Arizona

  16. Brandonesque says:

    sweet, looking forward to getting out to some games again. and please, stay away – means better seats for me.

  17. AZFire says:

    Lovely comment. I’m a racist piece of sh*t because I want the law to be enforced.

    How about this… I’m coming to your house for Christmas this year. I’m not part of your family, you don’t want me, and I have to break in to be there. I demand that you give me some of the presents under your tree because – let’s face it – it’s obvious that you have more than I, and that’s not fair. When you call the police to have me arrested for trespassing becauseI won’t leave, your neighbor finds out, calls you a racist piece of sh*t, and gets the rest of the neighborhood to band against you for trying to protect your home as a place only for you, your family, and those you have invited..

  18. AZFire says:

    Good. You’re unwanted here.

  19. Mike Caramba says:

    I’m kind of with camjam on this one. Even though I disagree with the legislation, that’s all it is–legislation. Seems unfair to condemn an entire state and its people for it. (Maybe I’m wrong, but didn’t Phoenix sport “Los Suns” jerseys shortly after it passed?)

  20. Mike Caramba says:

    Don’t think that’s a great analogy.

  21. 7654764576547654 says:

    That was a nice story. And definitely no racist undertones at all. You clearly don’t view Mexicans as inferior.

  22. goatshet says:

    I’m Mexican… and an American citizen so thanks for proving my point

  23. Ufficio says:

    It’s an idiotic analogy, but if we’re going to run with it, we may as well point out that the “owners” stole their house from the party crasher’s ancestors.

  24. 7654764576547654 says:

    LOL +10000

  25. Frank says:

    My Mexican-born and raised wife, her Mexican sister (who still lives there), and my dual-citizen daughter and I (born and raised in New York) thoroughly enjoyed our Arizona vacation this summer…it was great seeing no crowds at the Grand Canyon and great deals on hotels!!!

    And BTW-we saw plenty of French, German and Spanish tourists who had no problems enjoying the wonders of the state….

    Guys like goatshet are the reason why I can’t wait to visit AZ again soon!

  26. goatshet says:

    I’m glad to hear that there were no crowds, that means a lot of people are sticking to their convictions. :)

  27. Shep says:

    Boycott Arizona!

  28. The Dude says:

    Whoa! I’ve never seen Ives’ site get so political. Since I live in Canada, we don’t have the same divided emotions about the Arizona law. There are, however, a lot of Americans up here taking our jobs. Maybe we should deport them back to Arizona!

  29. not a bigot says:

    I’ve never understood this argument since Mexicanos are for the most part descended from Spanish Conquistadors, that basically came and crashed the Native’s party in the western hemisphere. So that whole it was our’s first thing is pretty ironic to my ears.

    Heck, even the “Natives” might not be native. They may have crossed the Bearing Straight into North America. I bet the Mammoths and Saber Tooths were fat and happy until the “Natives” came along and competed for food.

    Pretty much anywhere you go in this world, you will find land that was taken (conquered, pillaged, stolen, conned, etc.) from somebody, and then inhabited by another. It’s a tragic and ongoing cycle. But who am I to say anything about this topic?

    Sigh…..Can we just talk about Football everyone? bigot

  30. JL says:

    Ives, you can clearly see how the powers that be divide and conquer the people.

    WAKE UP! It’s all made up for us to fight and ignore the real problems.

    By the way, isn’t too hot for soccer in AZ? I thought they went to somewhere, I don’t know, more tropical?

  31. Blaise says:

    Regardless of the facts on the ground and the legality, from a PR perspective its a dumb move to slap the face of a large portion of its hispanic/latino fanbase who see Arizona as the face of racism in this country. Kinda reminds me of Houston 1836, which they had to take back and rebrand as the Dynamo. Does AEG own this Grande Sports World?

  32. RedLine55 says:

    I think my mind just exploded!

  33. dan says:

    Uhhhhhh definitely more complicated than that. Why do you think all of those Mexicans want to come to our house for Christmas and cook us Christmas duck for less than minimum wage when they could be at home with their families? Try googling NAFTA Farm Bill Immigration Cheap American Corn Flooding Mexican Markets, any combination therein. Do you also think terrorists attack the US because they hate our freedom? People need to learn to look at causes, not effects.

  34. Brian says:

    I heard AZ cops have been trained to spot Canadians as well. You better watch out if you go there!

  35. Brian says:

    It’s in the winter. And Arizona in the winter is pretty nice

  36. Brian says:

    Well it’s more complicated than that. Some Mexicans are more Europeans, whereas others are more native Mexican (Aztec and whatever else), and the rest are mixed.

  37. ImaGoalMan says:

    Somehow Bob Bradley is responsible for all of this immigration hullabaloo… :D

  38. John says:

    Opening up the comments section I expected/hoped to read about possible MLS expansion to Arizona but I gueess that’s not happening.

  39. Terry says:

    Holy smokes! This is a little bit crazy. Should the U.S.A. cut Arizona out of the Union, because of a backwards Governor? Maybe, a few more than just the Governor. Major League Baseball hasn’t backed out of Arizona. It is still a state in our Union. Yes, they are contriversial, but part of our country, non the less. This post was about the teams finding a place in the off-season, like MLB does. Chill pills everyone!

  40. JJ says:

    Thank You! I’m glad someone is paying attention. Look your “representatives” are just 2 sides of the same coin. They are payed by the same people, the bankers and corpoate elites. They keep us bickering and fighting while they slowly screw us out of more and more of our money and rights. No one on capital hill gives a crap about any of us, citizen or not.

  41. Oranje Mike says:

    Thank you, MLS for bringing soccer to Arizona. Back in July I fullfilled a 22 year dream and moved to AZ. Even if it’s only preseason, I will still enjoy getting my MLS fix. I’m sure other MLS expats will concur. Hope the Fire return. But I will settle.

  42. Neruda says:

    I’m waiting for a state concerned about nepotism to outlaw parents from coaching their own children.

  43. MoreCowbell says:

    Every last one of you are retarded. Everybody that plays in MLS is either a legal citizen or a green card holder, WHICH MEANS THEY ARE LEGALLY IN THE UNITED STATES. This is the most irrelevant conversation I have ever seen on an article about soccer so go back to your ChatRoulette and stop putting in your two cents’ worth where it isn’t wanted.

  44. Neruda says:

    “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.”

    In other words MLS teams find AZ a great place (because of the nice weather) to train during winter so they can field the best possible team, draw crowds, win games and MAKE MONEY. People can mingle this particular political debate with sports but the leagues don’t give a rats a**.

  45. Nick in Tucson says:

    I’m definitely taking the trip up from school in Tucson to have a look at NYRB when they train there. Can’t wait. Thanks MLS!

    On a side note, what’s wrong with the state of AZ deciding to enforce national law? Last time I checked, it was called ILLEGAL immigration for a reason, AZ has just decided to actually enforce a law that’s been in place before any of our great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grandfathers were born.

  46. Ryan says:

    I love MLS. I love the growth of soccer in this country. I love America. Go Ives! Everything else, man chill let’s all just lt go drink a beer, we all like beer right? You like corona, I like Dixie blackened voodoo its still beer. It’s still America and every damn day I’m happy as he’ll to be here.

  47. Dane says:

    Anybody else reading this actually live in Surprise? haha

    Very excited to see all these teams com to AZ.

  48. non issue says:

    a majority opinion got that dumbass Obama into office…. oh I guess that proved your point. Even Majorities can make awful choices.

  49. frank says:

    Did you ever think that there are Mexican-Americans that actually think that obeying the law is something worth supporting?

    And visitors from Mexico that respect our laws-not consider them something that you can disobey at will in search of economic gain?

    And that Americans of whatever descent should be glad that the law of the land is respected and enforced?

    My wife sure thinks so-those who jump through the hoops to come here legally don’t have any sympathy for those who cheat- whether or not they are of the same ethnic origin. In other words, illegal is illegal!

    And one more thing-when your wife is from a place where the narcos and Mexican army spent 12 hours shooting at each other a block from the house her father still lives in (at age 83-and no, he’s not going to come live with us illegally), and who’s brother-in-law saw army and narco’s shooting it out IN FRONT OF HIS HOUSE-don’t you think that she supports American law enforcement that wishes to prevent the criminal element who made Arizona the kidnapping capital of the USA (and the illegal residents who gives the drug-dealers a place to hide) from gaining a foothold in this country?

    Bottom line-if you are a law-abiding citizen, you have nothing to worry about in AZ-and I look forward to seeing MLS teams in Arizona this spring!

  50. jspec says:

    I hate all racist. Meet me down an alley talking that racist crap!!!

  51. Al17 says:

    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?

  52. Al17 says:

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

  53. Al17 says:

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

  54. jspec says:

    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.

  55. Glactico says:

    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.

  56. Upstate Jason says:

    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.

  57. Upstate Jason says:

    are *not* citizens

  58. HoBo says:

    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 :)

  59. HoBo says:

    I believe you have some undertones of a closet racist

  60. HoBo says:

    you guys jumped on the band wagon quickly…….. cool-aid time

  61. fan says:

    BOYCOTT ARIZONA!

  62. Dylan says:

    90 percent of American males are complete morons.

  63. Dylan says:

    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?

  64. SayervilleFC says:

    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.

  65. ajr says:

    Casa Grade is sooo far out of the way

  66. Myles B says:

    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.

  67. Rory says:

    Actually, the polls show 59% of Americans support the law, not just 55% of males.

  68. Erich says:

    90% of statistics are completely made up

  69. Rory says:

    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.

  70. Rory says:

    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.

  71. Rory says:

    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.

  72. Rory says:

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

  73. Old Pueblo FC says:

    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.

  74. rory says:

    And the other 11% are done by people who can’t do math.

  75. Marco says:

    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.

  76. Oranje Mike says:

    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.

  77. Rory says:

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

  78. Rory says:

    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!

  79. Ivan says:

    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.

  80. Rory says:

    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.

  81. Rory says:

    Something, isn’t it?

  82. timF says:

    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.

  83. timF says:

    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.

  84. ELAC says:

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

    Oh wait.

  85. gstommylee says:

    International players require work visas to play in MLS

  86. Upstate Jason says:

    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.

  87. Oranje Mike says:

    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.

  88. Jeremy says:

    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.

  89. Jan Brewer for President says:

    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.

  90. Lost in Space says:

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

  91. Law Abiding Citizen says:

    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.

  92. al says:

    …which means 45% of males DO have a problem with it.

    Your point?

  93. Dominghosa says:

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

  94. Tim M. says:

    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.

  95. Ypsilanted says:

    Seattle invented racial profiling.

  96. Neruda says:

    hate for hate = lame policy

  97. Jeremy says:

    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.