Bradenton and Austin to host MLS preseason events

Eight clubs will take part in the inaugural IMG Suncoast Pro Classic Feb. 16-28 at IMG Academy Stadium as MLS teams conclude their 2015 preseason ahead of the season opens on March 6-8. A week earlier, USL PRO's Austin Aztex will host three MLS clubs in the first ATX Pro Challenge.

More than a dozen MLS and international clubs are expected to train and compete at IMG Academy, with a number of  teams arriving on a rolling basis for training Jan. 25-Feb. 15.

IMG expanded its MLS preseason hosting in 2014 and it will add the Florida preseason-ending tournament hosted in recent years at Disney's ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex

The Austin tournament will consist of doubleheaders Feb. 13 and Feb. 15 at the University of Texas' Mike A. Myers Stadium. D.C. United, Columbus and FC Dallas will take part. The Aztex will be affiliated with the Crew in 2015.

In other preseason tournaments, the PDL's FC Tucson will host Sporting Kansas City, Seattle, Real Salt Lake, New England and Colorado at the 2015 FC Tucson Desert Diamond Cup Feb. 18-28 at Kino Sports Complex in Tucson.

The Portland Timbers will host Chicago, Vancouver and Norwegian club Stabaek -- coached by Bob Bradley -- Feb. 22-28.

The Charleston Battery will host Houston, plus expansion teams New York City FC and Orlando City at the 12th annual Carolina Challenge Cup Feb. 21-28.

The LA Galaxy announced plans to play Shamrock Rovers Feb. 21 at Dublin's Tallaght Stadium in Ireland.

Two MLS clubs -- D.C. United and Montreal -- will have to interrupt their preseason preparations to play on the road in the first leg of their Concacaf Champions League quarterfinal series. United plays at Costa Rica's Alajuelense Feb. 26 two days after the Impact travels to Pachuca of Mexico.
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