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MLS Invasion Under Way

Major League Soccer teams have begun arriving in Arizona for lengthy spells of winter training and preseason scrimmages.

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You can check out a lot of practices and scrimmages for free at either Grande Sports World in Casa Grande or the Reach 11 complex in north Phoenix.

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Real Salt Lake got here Sunday and has been practicing in Casa Grande. This Saturday, the Columbus Crew start at Reach 11 and the Vancouver Whitecaps, an expansion team this year, open in Casa Grande.

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Sunday night, the Seattle Sounders arrive in Casa Grande and on Monday, Sporting KC (aka the Kansas City Wizards until a recent rebranding) start practicing at Reach 11.

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Chivas USA, the expansion Portland (Ore.) Timbers, the Houston Dynamo, the Colorado Rapids, FC Dallas and the New York Red Bulls and Los Angeles Galaxy will also come through Arizona in February and March. It’s enough to make central Arizona the soccer equivalent of baseball’s spring training, the premier haven for MLS clubs.