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

Galaxy GM, president Doug Hamilton dies on flight home.

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.

MLS notes

Fight injury delays Franchino from taking Costa Rica flight with Revs.

Joe Franchino
Joe Franchino suffered a left eye injury in a fight with Clint Dempsey and could not leave with the Revolution when it departed for Costa Rica Wednesday
-- New England Revolution web site photo --

(Thursday, March 16, 2006) -- The New England Revolution hopes midfielder and captain Joe Franchino will be able to join the club in Costa Rica this weekend.

When the team departed Wednesday for 10 days of training in Central America, Franchino stayed home, his blackened left eye still swollen shut as the result of Monday's fight with midfielder Clint Dempsey, a team official said.

For his role in the brawl, Dempsey was suspended for two weeks for ''conduct detrimental to the team," a team release said. Dempsey was also dropped from the roster for the United States men's Wednesday visit to Dortmund to play Germany

Franchino was not penalized by the Revs.

The clash occurred during a scrimmage about an hour into the training session at the ForeKicks indoor facilty in Norfolk, Mass. Minutes after Dempsey had confronted defender Marshall Leonard over a disputed handball, Franchino charged into Dempsey for a foul, according to someone present at the practice. Dempsey responded by throwing an elbow at Franchino.

Franchino and Dempsey went face-to-face, exchanging verbal jabs before Dempsey unleashed a combination of punches, the witness said. The players wrestled on the ground before being separated by teammates and coach Steve Nicol.

Nicol then accompanied Dempsey to the lockerroom, while Franchino was sent to a different part of the building. However, several minutes later, the combatants' paths crossed again, they exchanged words and had to be pulled apart once more by Nicol and players.

Franchino's face was bruised and there was blood near his left eye. He was sent to the hospital for X-rays of his eye, but the test results showed no broken bones. Dempsey also had blood on his face.

Dempsey and Nicol returned to Gillette Stadium, while practice resumed.

On their excursion, which ends March 25, the Revs will play Costa Rica's under-21 men, before facing the LD Alajuelense reserves and Herediano.

The Revolution opens its season April 1 at the Los Angeles Galaxy, five days after Dempsey is eligible to return and there is no reason to believe the third-year player will not be in the lineup. Whether the skirmish between the team captain and one of its up-and-coming stars will create chemistry problems is an issue that must be resolved. Both Franchino and Dempsey are fiery, competitive types who do not shy from confrontation.

Dempsey, who turned 23 eight days ago, was a first-round pick by the Revs in the 2004 draft and he experienced immediate success. A starter from the beginning of his professional career, he had seven goals and an assist en route to being named MLS "Rookie of the Year" in 2004.

Last season, Dempsey was second on the team with 10 goals -- trailing Taylor Twellman's 17 -- and led the side with nine assists as the Revs advanced to the MLS Cup final before losing 1-0 to the Los Angeles Galaxy.

Dempsey has also burst into prominence with the U.S. men and made a strong bid to earn one of the 23 spots on the American World Cup roster. With his suspension, he forfeited an important opportunity to impress Bruce Arena with only one friendly -- an April 11 date with Jamaica -- remaining after Wednesday's game with Germany before the U.S. manager must submit his final squad.

Dempsey started in four of the five U.S. matches in 2006, registering two goals and an assist, including the decisive tally in a 1-0 decision over Poland March 1 in Kaiserslautern, Germany. Even without seeing Dempsey against Germany Wednesday, Arena probably has a pretty good idea if Dempsey's talent warrants his inclusion on the World Cup roster. Whether Dempsey's conduct in the fracas has compromised his chances is another issue.

Franchino, 29, is entering his ninth MLS season and the fiery, determined defender has developed into a leader with the Revs since being acquired from the Los Angeles Galaxy during the 2000 season. He has five goals and 22 assists in 186 MLS regular-season matches, 166 starts. In 21 playoff games, he has a goal and an assist and seven yellow cards.

In the three seasons between 2001-2003, Franchino had 26 cautions and one red card, but reduced the number to five yellows and one red in the last two years.


D.C. United: MLS fines Nowak for comments

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- MLS fined D.C. United coach an undisclosed sum for remarks he directed at the Real Salt Lake bench during a preseason game February 17 in Bradenton, Fla.

In the fourth minute of an already physical match, St. Kitts-Nevis international striker Atiba Harris picked up a yellow card for a hard tackle. Nowak was allegedly to have yelled at the Salt Lake bench, "Send him back to Africa," regarding Harris, who is dark-skinned.

In a radio interview that day, RSL coach John Ellinger was asked if the Nowak had made such a comment. "You're in the ballpark," Ellinger replied.

Nowak and United chief executive officer Kevin Payne, who was on his team's bench at the time, both vehemently denied the coach had made a racially-motivated remark. Instead, Payne said on a posting to an Internet bulletin board that Nowak said Harris should be "sent back to hospital," an apparent call for his team to retaliate.

Nowak, a native of Poland, is sometimes difficult to understand when he speaks English.

MLS and D.C. United mutually agreed not to comment further on the incident, but it might be assumed since Nowak was not suspended or even punished worse, that the league sanction was for a threatening remark, rather than one with racial implications.

"After conducting a thorough review, we find that D.C. United head coach Peter Nowak made improper remarks during the D.C. United vs. Real Salt Lake pre-season game on February 17, 2006, in Bradenton, Florida," MLS commissioner Don Garber said in an e-mailed statement. "The league has fined Peter Nowak an undisclosed amount."

In other news, United acquired midfielder Domenic Mediate, who played at nearby University of Maryland, from the Columbus Crew for a fourth-round supplemental draft pick, which is generally worth little.

Mediate, who was the 23rd overall selection in the 2005 draft, appeared in 11 games, starting four, recording one goal and one assist as a Crew rookie.


New Jerseyans say 'Bull!' to new name

HARRISON, N.J. -- MLS continues to have trouble with new team names.

First, the transplanted San Jose Earthquakes had to change their name from Houston 1836 to Houston Dynamo after the former nickname offended many in the city's Hispanic community.

Now, New Jersey politicians and citizens are taking offense at the new name for their MLS team.

The team formerly know as the MetroStars was renamed Red Bull New York after the Red Bull energy drink company acquired the team from Anschutz Entertainment Group on March 9.

The MetroStars have played all 10 of their seasons at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., and the team plans to open a new stadium in Harrison for the 2008 season. Having the club use "New York" in its title does not sit well with many in the Garden State.

''Their new name may be Red Bull New York, but striking New Jersey from their name seems to be a different kind of bull altogether,'' Brendan Gilfillan, a spokesperson for Governor Jon S. Corzine, told Associated Press. ''This is a team that sells its products in New Jersey, draws its fan base from New Jersey and receives funding from New Jersey.''

U.S. Senator Frank Lautenberg (N.J.-Dem.) wrote to Red Bull, urging reconsideration of the team name.

"Certainly, you can ask your team's president and general manager, Alexi Lalas, himself a graduate of Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, about the importance of 'Jersey Pride,' " Lautenberg wrote.

Originally named the New York\New Jersey MetroStars, the team has gone simply by MetroStars for most of its history.

"There are companies all over the world that recognize this point about New York," Lalas told AP in a reference to the National Football League's New York Giants and New York Jets who share their venue with the MetroStars. ''Other teams that play in Giants Stadium also reflect this.''

However, George Zoffinger, president and chief executive officer of the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority, which runs Giants Stadium, isn't buying that explanation and is threatening to evict the soccer team .

"They will not play in our stadium unless they have New Jersey in their name," Zoffinger told AP.

Two members of the New Jersey General Assembly said they are crafting legislature calling on Red Bull ''to give New Jersey the respect and courtesy'' by including the state's name.

Houston was first named "1836" to commemorate the year the city was founded. Many area Latinos, however, found the name offensive. associating 1836 with the Texas Revolution and that year's bloody Battle of San Jacinto when General Sam Houston led his Texas Army to defeat General Antonio López de Santa Anna's Mexican forces. The Texas Republic then seceded from Mexico, to be annexed by the United States in 1845, just before the Mexican-American War of 1846-48.

In on-field news, New York's rookie defender Marvel Wynne, the top overall selection in January's draft, returned to practice Monday, 12 days after undergoing surgery for a sports hernia.

Wynne went to Munich for a March 1 operation performed by renowned surgeon Ulrike Muschaweck, who specializes in performing hernia surgery on athletes.


Los Angeles Galaxy: More than 1,000 mourn Hamilton's death

CARSON, Calif. -- MLS has named its "Executive of the Year" award after Doug Hamilton, the Los Angeles Galaxy president and general manager who died March 9 at age 43.

Hamilton was named "Executive of the Year" three times, once with the now-defunct Miami Fusion and twice with the Galaxy.

More than 1,000 turned out for a Wednesday memorial service at The Home Depot Center.

"His passion for life, his vision for greatness, his joy for the sport we all love and his love for the family and the Galaxy, his commitment to our company and to our league was unbelievable," said Tim Leiweke, chief executive officer for AEG, the Galaxy's owner-operator.

Hamilton was stricken with an apparent heart attack in the first few minutes of a flight home from San José, Costa Rica, the day after the Galaxy was eliminated in the CONCACAF Champions Cup quarterfinals by Deportivo Saprissa.


Houston Dynamo: Davis has hernia surgery

HOUSTON - Houston Dynamo midfielder Brad Davis had bilateral hernia repair performed by Muschaweck yesterday in Munich.

Davis, who has had previous problems in the area, aggravated his condition in a March 3 preseason match with Chivas USA.

According to Dynamo trainer Bruce Morgan, Davis could return to action in two weeks or less, and should be ready for Opening Day, a April 2 home game against the Colorado Rapids at Robertson Stadium.

Houston is the fourth MLS club for Davis, 24, who is entering his fifth year in the league. Playing 18 games, starting 16 for San Jose last year, Davis had two goals and eight assists.

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