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AS Roma and ESPN Wide World of Sports at Walt Disney World Resort Create Italian Pro Soccer Presence for America’s Youth Athletes

posted on March 19th, 2012 by Darrell Fry, Sports Media Director, Walt Disney World Resort

Famed Italian football club AS Roma is teaming up with ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. As part of the new agreement, the sports complex becomes the official winter training home of the three-time Serie A champions, along with AS Roma serving as presenting sponsor of several Disney-owned youth soccer events. The Rome-based professional team will also have one of its youth academy teams compete in Disney’s Soccer Showcase.


Franco Baldini (photo, right), director general of football operations for AS Roma, and the club’s Chief Executive Officer Mark Pannes (photo, left) recently visited the 270-acre multi-sport complex, and anticipate many benefits to training at Walt Disney World Resort.

“The facilities are tremendously impressive,” said Franco Baldini, director general of football operations for AS Roma. “The ability to come here to train at this state-of-the-art complex in good weather during the Serie A winter break will be a big advantage.”

AS Roma’s involvement underscores the sports complex’s stature as the nation’s top youth soccer venue, which annually hosts pro soccer events as well as many of the country’s most prestigious youth soccer tournaments.

The joint venture also integrates the Italian football club, winner of nine Coppa Italia titles and two Supercoppa Italiana crowns, into the U.S. youth soccer market, where it hopes to expand its fan base.

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marci from CA on March 20th, 2012 at 3:42 pm

I am so excited about this news. AS Roma is one of my favorite Serie A teams and living in the US I never get to see them in person. Just another reason to book my next trip to Disney World!!!


Michael on March 22nd, 2012 at 12:56 pm

AS Roma is my favorite soccer team. I am going to this as soon as I can.


Kyra on March 24th, 2012 at 12:10 pm

Looking good, Mickey!


Brian on March 25th, 2012 at 10:38 pm

We’re huge Roma fans! Can’t wait to make a trip to Disney