MLS selects IMG Academy in Bradenton as Eastern hub for 2014 preseason, will feature six MLS teams

Major League Soccer has selected IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla. as its Eastern hub for the 2014 preseason. MLS teams, including the Chicago Fire, Columbus Crew, D.C. United, FC Dallas, New England Revolution and Toronto FC, are expected to train and most will compete in a series of friendlies beginning in late January and continuing through the end of February.

“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 Nelson Rodriguez, Executive Vice President of Competition and Game Operations, in a statement.

“We are thrilled to be named the official Eastern hub of the MLS preseason,” said Scott Dean, Director of Soccer, IMG Academy, in a statement. “While we remain a leader in player development, we continue to evolve as the preeminent event destination for all levels of the game.

The IMG Academy has played host to a wide range of pro soccer teams from across the globe, as well as many of the United Soccer League's (USL) biggest youth events. The United States U-17 national team is also based on the 450-acre, 12-field soccer complex.

A schedule of the friendlies to be played at the event will be made available in the coming weeks.