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Houston discards 1836 moniker and becomes Dynamo; MetroStars sale nears

D.C. United chief denies Nowak directed racial remark at opponent.

Dallas re-signs Ruiz to lucrative contract; MetroStars get Arvizu.

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

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.

  • Galaxy GM, president Doug Hamilton dies on flight home.

    MLS notes

    Red Bull reportedly pays over $100 million for MetroStars package.

    Alexi Lalas
    President and general manager Alexu Lalas displays the new jersey for Red Bull New York.
    -- Red Bull New York web site photo by Ernesto Motta --
    NEW YORK (Thursday, March 9, 2006) -- Suddenly, the MetroStars are gone with hardly a farewell.

    Red Bull Company Limited, an Austrian company that produces the well-known "energy" drink, purchased the 10-year-old New Jersey-based Major League Soccer team from Anschutz Entertainment Group and will partner with AEG on the construction of a soccer-specific stadium in Harrison, N.J. The Austrian company bought rights to name the proposed new stadium Red Bull Arena and will own 50 percent of it with AEG in charge of building and then operating the facility..

    The MetroStars will be re-named Red Bull New York for the 2006 MLS season which commences April 2. The team will sport the attendant new team colors, logo and uniforms.

    "This is a seminal moment in the history of this team and this league," team president and general manager Alexi Lalas told Associated Press. "What Red Bull brings to the table is something the likes of which this league has never seen."

    According to the The New York Times, Red Bull paid the AEG "in excess of $100 million" for the club, its share in the new stadium which, it is hoped, will open in 2008, and the venue's naming rights.

    "The addition of Red Bull into our group of owners is a landmark moment for Major League Soccer and for all Tri-State area soccer fans," MLS commissioner Don Garber said. "Red Bull founder Dietrich Mateschitz brings international credibility and proven, innovative marketing expertise to Major League Soccer."

    With the deal, AEG also returned to MLS rights for a second team within a 75-mile radius of New York area. Those rights were included in its purchase of the MetroStars in 1998.

    "This is one of the landmark moments in league history," Garber told The Times. "We have long believed that the New York market is central to a popular professional soccer league. We have aspirations to be one of the top leagues in the U.S., but without a strong team in New York, that's difficult to achieve."

    In April 2005, Red Bull bought SV Wüstenrot Salzburg of the Austrian first division, and renamed it Red Bull Salzburg, a move that angered many fans of the 73-year-old soccer club. A close relationship between the Austrian club and Red Bull New York was promised today.

    At one time, AEG owned and operated six of MLS's 10 teams. With the league now grown to 12 teams with further expansion to 13 or 14 expected in 2007, AEG is down to four franchises. Additionally, AEG's July 28 sale of D.C. United to a local group in Washington, D.C., was cancelled on January 18. Presumably, AEG is looking for a new buyer.

    AEG also sought a local buyer for the San Jose Earthquakes before moving the team to Houston where the team has been named the Dynamo. What the Anschutz organization's intentions are regarding the future of that franchise have not been made clear. The other AEG franchises are the Los Angeles Galaxy and Chicago Fire.

    "Eighteen million Americans actively play soccer in the USA. Up to 60 million are soccer fans," Mateschitz, Red Bull chief executive officer, said in a press release. "We were so fascinated by these figures that we made the decision to join and support this development by taking over the responsibility for the MetroStars. Our goal is to further strengthen the team and position the New York Red Bulls as the soccer metropolis of the East Coast, as well as to join the investment for a new tailor-made soccer stadium."

    Mateschitz told The Times in an e-mail that MLS's single-entity structure and cost containment made the acquisition attractive. Each team operates under a salary cap of $2 million, though there are numerous exceptions.

    "A challenge facing European soccer right now is that teams are bringing in tremendous amounts of revenue and yet they are still losing money," he wrote. "That is due to the lack of cost control. This league (MLS) does things differently -- so differently that we may have to adjust our conventional thinking somewhat, but we believe that MLS, because it manages spending, is a wise business model."

    In the e-mail, Mateschitz said Lalas and coach Mo Johnston would keep their jobs.

    Red Bull already has a regional office in Hoboken, N.J., about five miles from the MetroStars' current offices in Secaucus, N.J. In addition to soccer, the company has also invested into NASCAR stock car racing, Formula 1 auto racing and extreme sports.


    D.C. United: Eskandarian has hernia surgery

    WASHINGTON, D.C. - D.C. United striker Alecko Eskandarian's return from an injury-plagues 2005 season will be delayed after he had surgery to repair a bilateral hernia Munich, Germany.

    Eskandarian, who was diagnosed with iguinal hernias during preseason training with the team in Spain, underwent procedures on both the left and right abdominal walls, performed by Ulrike Muschaweck, who specializes in performing this procedure on soccer players worldwide.

    Muschaweck performed the same surgery last year on United defender Bryan Namoff and midfielder Christian Gomez.

    The team expects Eskandarian's recovery to take two weeks and the forward to be ready for the season-opener April 2 against the MetroStars.

    "We've experienced nothing but positives in dealing with Dr. Muschaweck in the past," United technical director Dave Kasper said in a press release. "We feel that sending Alecko to Germany for this procedure allows Alecko the quickest return to playing for D.C. United."

    Edskandarian led D.C. United and tied for seventh league-wide with 10 goals in 2004, adding a pair of tallies and being named "Most Valuable Player" in United's 3-2 triumph over the Kansas City Wizards in the MLS Cup 2004 title match.

    In 2005, he played in only 12 games, starting seven, before his season ended June 18 when he suffered a concussion in a collision with New England Revolution goalkeeper Matt Reis.

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