Disney Cancels 2015 Pro Soccer Classic

Sad news today out of Central Florida. I’ve confirmed with Disney that the 2015 Disney World Pro Soccer Classic has officially been cancelled.

I spoke with Disney Manager of New Business Development Patrick Dicks, who has been involved with Disney sports since the first Disney/MLS collaborations in 1998. With Orlando City choosing not to play preseason matches in Orlando this year, it seems that the commitment from MLS teams simply wasn’t there to make the tournament happen.

In 2014, six Major League Soccer clubs, along with Orlando City used the tournament as a preseason warm up. However, it appears that MLS clubs will have to look elsewhere this season. Mr. Dicks expressed to me that Disney only wanted to hold the event if they were able to bring in the highest caliber teams.ESPN_Wide_World_of_Sports_Complex_Logo

“We’re trying to keep the marketplace clean for [MLS] to launch this year,” he said. “We’re going to step back and reevaluate for 2016.” He also mentioned that MLS “endorses Bradenton,” in a nod to the MLS’s collaboration with the IMG Academy in Bradenton, on the west coast of Florida.

Mr. Dicks was nothing but complimentary of Orlando City’s role in the growth of the Pro Soccer Classic.

“Orlando City and Phil Rawlins were stalwarts in helping us grow the event,” he said. “Back in 2010, we saw a need for the MLS. From a fan perspective, it made a lot of sense.”

However, Central Florida soccer fans shouldn’t give up all hope just yet. We’re working to confirm information that a high caliber soccer tournament involving major German and Brazilian sides will play at least one leg in Orlando. Be sure to stay tuned and follow us at @TheManeLand and @FootyAmerica on twitter. There will be more to come on both of these stories soon.

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14 thoughts on “Disney Cancels 2015 Pro Soccer Classic”

  1. Or maybe it’s because the other teams learned how poorly soccer fans are treated at Disney Wide World of Sports and said “Screw that”.

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      1. He’s referring to how Disney treated the supporters during this past regular season. I can tell you all about the joys of trying to work with Disney.

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  2. Maybe this has something to do with uncertainty around the CBA negotiations. Disney must’ve thought that there was a chance that the CBA won’t be signed until a week before the season, like last time.

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    1. That could be, though it wasn’t mentioned in my talks with MLS or Disney execs. My take was that since Orlando wasn’t going to play, other teams were hesitant. Sort of a “Well if you can’t even get your hometown club to play, why should we?” mentality?

      I expect that Orlando isn’t the only team interested in playing some Central/South American friendlies this winter as well.

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  3. They should have proceeded with NASL and USL clubs if they couldn’t bring in MLS clubs. This is why you shouldn’t put all your eggs in one basket. I’m surprised Disney dropped the ball with this. I liked this tournament too. We’ll see how they do next year.

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  4. Ball was not dropped gentleman, it was out of respect for Orlando City and ensuring there was no other competition on Central Florida leading into their season.

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  5. stef, maud, gildas, Melle Jeni, Mymoi, Sève, Popple, Juju, Eric, Farid, Flo, Alex et Nono, drom’à, effetsecondaires, manu800machin, manitou)Coucou Luffy !C’est clair que tous les gens ayant des places en Cat. 1 ne seront pas logées à la même enseigne… J’espère être chanceux sur ce coup-là, pour ma première (et probablement dernière…) tournée de MF Et sinon, les gens n’ont pas répondu à ma question… Billetterie Ticketnet ou France Billet ? &nbit; Manspou

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