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FC Dallas signs Cooper; San Jose expansion hopes are dealt blow.

All 12 teams start preseason training.

MLS Cup returns to Pizza Hut Park in November.

Chivas USA acquires Razov from MetroStars, trading away Martins.

Real Salt Lake snaps up Rowland second in supplemental draft.

RSL continues shakeup, acquiring Klein from Kansas City.

Columbus adds Rozental, gets Ward from MetroStars for Henderson.

Indiana, UCLA each lose two underclassmen to Generation adidas.

Gutierrez is acquired by Chicago, sending John to Kansas City.

Real Salt Lake signs Torres for second MLS stint.

Elliott leaves Columbus for England, has bad Fulham debut.

Houston team will play at UH stadium for three years.

Earthquakes move to Houston, name stays in San Jose.

MLS notes

D.C. United, MLS deny any talks to send Adu to Chelsea.

Freddy Adu
Reports from London say Chelsea is close to obtaining Freddy Adu from MLS and D.C. United, both of whom deny there have been any negotiations.
-- U.S. Soccer Federation photo --
WASHINGTON, D.C. (Tuesday, February 7, 2006) -- D.C. United and Major League Soccer moved quickly to dispute a news story from England that young midfielder Freddy Adu was about to sign with Chelsea of the Premier League there.

The Times of London reported that Chelsea, the defending EPL champion and runaway leader this season, was about to secure the services of the 16-year-old for a transfer fee in excess of $8.7 million. "Chelsea. . . believe(s) that the deal is all but done, even if they are prepared to allow MLS to dictate the timing of any announcement," The Times story read.

United president and chief executive officer Kevin Payne countered with an e-mailed statement, definitively denying there were ever any negotiations between Chelsea and MLS, which owns the contracts of all the players of its 12 teams in its single-entity structure.

"Freddy Adu is a member of D.C. United and we expect him to remain so through the 2007 season," Payne said in the e-mail. "Neither we nor the league has had any conversations with any club about a transfer of Freddy. Freddy knows the task before him this year is to continue to improve and become a game in, game out contributor to the success of D.C. United. We have great faith in his qualities, and we remain convinced that in time he will realize his potential and become a terrific player by any standard."

MLS deputy commissioner Ivan Gazidid echoed Payne's sentiments in an interview with Associated Press. ''We haven't had any discussions with any club about a transfer for Freddy,'' he said. ''He plays for D.C. and will be playing for D.C. for the foreseeable future.''

Chelsea's interest in Adu would have to be long-term since the EPL does not allow players to compete until they are 18 years-old. Adu will turn 18 on June 2, 2007. Additionally, Adu would not immediately qualify for a English work permit, which generally requires a player appear in 75 percent of his national team's "official" matches, which would include major competitions, sanctioned by world governing body FIFA, and World Cup qualifying.

In fact, Adu, who was born in Ghana, but is an American citizen, has never appeared in an official match for the U.S. men. His only appearance was as a late replacement in the 0-0 draw in a January 22 friendly with Canada.

According to The Times, Chelsea apparently thinks it would win a work permit on appeal, possibly arguing Adu is a player or international stature, given the immense press coverage he has received since signing with MLS at the age of 14.

To get Adu first-team experience, Chelsea would presumably loan him to a league without an age limit for the 2006-07 season.

"Chelsea is on a big push to buy the best young talent around," and has poured millions of dollars into a new scouting program at the club," Leo Spall, a senior soccer writer with the London Evening Standard told the Washington Times.

Further complicating Chelsea's quest for Adu is FIFA transfer regulations where Paragraph 5, Article 19 states "International transfer of players are only permitted if the player is over the age of 18." There are many exceptions to the rule, but none would seem to apply to Adu.

And, with the January international transfer window closed, the only way Chelsea could acquire Adu now would seem to be a loan. The club probably wouldn't be able to bring him in via transfer until after the World Cup ends July 9.

Chelsea's EPL rival Manchester United and other major European clubs have expressed interest in and scouted Adu since before he signed with MLS. Adu has said Chelsea is his favorite team.

"All I would like to say at this stage is that Freddy has obviously attracted a lot of interest internationally," Dan Segal, Adu's agent, told "The Times. "We are mindful of the fact that he will turn 17 in the summer. At this stage, nothing has truly been decided."

There has been a lot of ado over a player who almost certainly will not be on the U.S. roster for the World Cup, given manager Bruce Arena's comments, and has been in and out of the starting lineup in his two years with D.C. United.

Adu was sent home Thursday from his first training camp with the U.S. men and told by Arena told his only chance to make the World Cup squad was to excel in MLS. During the camp, Arena said that he did not think Adu was ready for top international competition.

Adu has had a sometimes stormy relationship with United. He was suspended for D.C.'s first 2005 playoff game after complaining to the media about his lack of playing time, though he started 16 and played in 25 of United's regular-season matches. It was not the first time he groused about not playing enough or was admonished for his comments by coach Peter Nowak.

Both Adu and Nowak claim that they have talked and all problems are behind them. "I had a meeting with Peter and everything's cool now," Adu told AP. "I trust the guy. I'm willing to just work together on the field.

"I'm glad to be coming back to D.C. United. I don't want to go anywhere else. I get the best of both worlds, getting to live at home and play for the best franchise in MLS."

After immigrating from Ghana, Adu and his family settled in Potomac, Md., a Washington suburb.


MetroStars: Guevara ready to return?

SECAUCUS, N.J. -- The Hounduran newspaper La Prensa reported that disgruntled midfielder Amado Guevara plans to join the MetroStrs' preseason training in Bradenton, Fla., Thursday, but not happily.

"I don't feel good on that team," Guevara was quoted by La Prensa. "A transfer to another club will be difficult because neither (general manager Alexi) Lalas nor my coach (Mo Johnston) wants to let me go."

Guevara has been delayed while trying to obtain a visa,.

Guevara and Lalas have exchanged jabs through the media during the offseason with the midfielder telling La Prensa at one time that he did not want to play for a team run by Lalas.

Another MetroStars midfielder on the outs is 19-year-old Eddie Gaven, who appears to be relegated to the second team two years after he was named to the MLS "Best XI" and played for the U.S. men.

Both Guevara and Gaven have been dangled in trade talks, but there is no indication how much the Metros would want in return. In the meantime, French international Youri Djorkaeff seems to be the be the playmaker choice for Johnston, who took over as coach from Bob Bradley with three games left in the 2005 regular season.


Chivas USA: Club contracts group to operate fan club

CARSON, Calif. -- Chivas USA has entered into a contract with the Hispanic membership organization Grupo Arca which obtained exclusive rights to operate the membership club for Chivas USA.

Grupo Arca will be asked to maximize the marketing potential of the Chivas name in the Hispanic community, given the MLS club's sister team, Chivas de Guadalajara, one of the most popular clubs in Mexico, maintains almost universal recognition throughout Mexico and Latin America.


Los Angeles Galaxy: South Korea is Wednesday opponent

CARSON, Calif. -- Two weeks into preseason training, the Los Angeles Galaxy faces South Korea Wednesday night at The Home Depot Center.

South Korea advanced to the semifinals of the 2002 World Cup and is preparing for the 2006 Cup in Germany this summer.

Both teams will be shorthanded. Los Angeles has four players absent while training with the U.S. men -- defenders Ugo Ihemelu and Todd Dunivant, striker Landon Donovan and goalkeeper. Additionally, defender Chris Albright and midfielder Peter Vagenas are nursing injuries.

South Korea is without six European-based players who are with their club teams.


Chicago Fire: U.S. under-17 men are blanked 4-0

BRADENTON, Fla. - The Chicago Fire received a pair of first-half goals by rookie hopefuls and two second-half strikes from veterans in handing the U.S. under-17 men a 4-0 setback at the IMG Acandemy where the American teens are in full-time residence.

Midfielder Brian Plotkin and forward Calen Carr put the Fire ahead 2-0 at intermission. Midfielder Diego Gutierrez and striker Andy Herron added second-half tallies.

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