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MLS notes

Elliott leaves Columbus for England, has bad Fulham debut.

(Sunday, January 8, 2006) -- Midfielder Simon Elliott, who left Major League Soccer's Columbus Crew to move to Fulham of the English Premier League, suffered a disappointing debut.

Elliott's contract runs through the summer of 2008. "Signing for Fulham is an exciting move for me as I have always had an ambition to play in the Premiership," Elliott told the Fulham web site. "There is a great spirit around the camp here and the players have all been very welcoming, so I am eager to establish myself in the squad and to play in this fantastic league."

After signing with Fulham Friday on a free transfer, Elliott was thrown right into action, playing 90 minutes in the Cottagers' embarrassing 2-1 F.A. Cup third-round setback to Leyton Orient, which plays in the fifth-division Nationwide Conference.

Worse for Elliott, he was culpable on both of the tallies that eliminated Fulham from the venerable Cup competition. His defensive errors led to goals by Craig Easton and Joe Keith for a 2-0 Orient lead. Collins John narrowed the Cottagers' deficit to 2-1 in the 50th minute, but he missed a penalty kick that would have tied the match in the 69th minute.

Elliott, 31, will have two former MLS players as teammates at Craven Cottage, including one-time Crew star striker Brian McBride, who did not play against Orient. Defender Carlos Bocanegra, who played with the Chicago Fire for four seasons from 2000-03 before joining Fulham, sat out the FA Cup match with a hamstring injury.

Elliott played seven seasons in MLS, spending five years with the Los Angeles Galaxy before moving to the Crew. In 181 games (173 starts) with the two clubs, Elliott had 11 goals and 54 assists for 76 points. He had no goals and seven assists in 27 playoff games.

Elliott was with the Galaxy when it reached the 1999, 2000 and 2002 MLS Cup finals, including the league championship team of 2000. He made his first appearance for New Zealand in 1994 and scored eight goals in his 54 caps.

"I was made aware of Simon during the summer and watched him play against us for Columbus Crew in a preseason friendly in Ohio," Fulham manager Chris Coleman told the web site. "I was very impressed with his positional play and intelligent reading of the game, and he will bring some strength and experience to our midfield. I know that he will be a dedicated professional and a great addition for us, and I'm confident that he can adapt to the physical demands of the Premiership."


Palencia to return to Chivas

CARSON, Calif. - Striker Juan Francisco (Paco) Palenicia, who joined Chivas USA in August, will return to the club for its second MLS season.

Palencia, 32, joins fellow Mexico internationals, midfielder Ramón Ramírez and forward Juan Pablo García, as Chivas USA's three senior international players for 2006. Terms of Palencia's contract were not disclosed.

"I'm really excited that Paco, Juan Pablo and Ramón will all be back with Chivas USA this year," new coach Bob Bradley told the team's web site. "I enjoyed working with them for a few weeks when I first arrived here, and I think we are all excited about the challenge of making Chivas USA a very good team," said Bradley."

Chivas compiled a league-worst 4-22-6 record in its inaugural MLS season.

It's very important for us to have a good season and I hope this year will be a year of success for all of us," Palencia told the Chivas web site.

Palencia joined Chivas on August 19 from the organization's flagship team, Club Deportivo Guadalajara of the Mexican League. He made an immediate impact, scoring two goals the following weekend in 3-3 road draw with the MetroStars. In nine MLS games. Palencia had three goals and an assist.

Palencia joined CD Guadalajara in 2003 and recorded 13 goals and 73 regular-season and playoff games. He has 10 goals in more than 75 international appearances for Mexico, including playing in the 1998 and 2002 World Cups.

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