Join Now | 
HomeAboutContact UsPrivacy & SecurityAdvertise
Soccer America DailySoccer World DailySpecial EditionAround The NetSoccer Business InsiderCollege Soccer ReporterYouth Soccer ReporterSoccer on TVSoccer America ClassifiedsGame Report
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalkSoccer America ConfidentialYouth Soccer InsiderWorld Cup Watch
RSS FeedsArchivesManage SubscriptionsSubscribe
Order Current IssueSubscribeManage My SubscriptionRenew My SubscriptionGift Subscription
My AccountJoin Now
Tournament CalendarCamps & AcademiesSoccer GlossaryClassifieds
2. MLS: RSL plows ahead
January 31st, 2007 1:56AM



By Ridge Mahoney
Senior Editor

Not all of the soccer news emanating out of Salt Lake City this week is bad. Much of it, yes, but not all of it.

Salt Lake County Mayor Peter Corroon decided Monday to back the vote of a Debt Review Committee that recommended Salt Lake County reject a proposal by which $30 million in hotel taxes would be funneled to a $110 million stadium project in suburban Sandy.

In the aftermath of Corroon's announcement, operator-investor Dave Checketts has threatened to: a) sell the team; b) move the team, or c) well, there is no Plan C.

But there is hope. The stadium itself hasn't been rejected; the committee simply denied Checketts the use of public funds. Checketts could solicit funds from the private sector or take on partners to make up the shortfall, or pay it himself. He had already pledged an additional $7.5 million.

The team's lease at Rice-Eccles Stadium runs through the 2007 season, and there's a complex financial ceiling that could prevent the team from playing its full schedule at Rice-Eccles in 2008, should a new lease be worked out. Before deciding to cast his vote for Sandy, Checketts reviewed proposals to build a stadium in Salt Lake City itself as well as Murray, another suburb. (The Salt Lake City Council will hold an emergency work-session meeting Wednesday afternoon to "discuss the option of soccer in the Fairpark area.")

Head coach John Ellinger and his staff are preparing for the start of training camp next week. The team will train in Salt Lake City indoors for a week, head to Florida for a mini-tournament with New York, Houston and Chicago, and return home before enjoying the plum of the preseason: a 12-day visit to Real Madrid.

"That's not too shabby," says Ellinger. "They're home the weekend that we're there, and the next weekend they play Barcelona in Barcelona, so a few of us are thinking about staying and driving to see that one." Real also plays the second leg of their Champions League series against Bayern Munich in Germany March 7.

Salary cap-issues are clouding the status of Andy Williams as well as Nick Rimando, who was acquired from D.C. United in the Freddy Adu trade but has yet to agree on a salary. The team is being dinged $100,000 against the cap as a condition of trading Clint Mathis to Colorado.

A bid for Jeff Cunningham was received from an unspecified Israeli club. General manager Steve Pastorino noted that it fell "about $990,000 short" of what it would probably take to acquire Cunningham, who led MLS last season with 16 goals.

RSL has landed Chris Lancos, who was picked up in last year's supplementary draft. He signed with Kaiserslautern last winter and has decided to return home after being unable to break out of the reserves.

"He's played almost every reserve game at holding mid, but he played four years at right back at Maryland and a couple of years he led the team in assists, so offensively he can play," says Ellinger, who traveled to Germany to see Lancos in a match. "You just had to put a bungee cord on him at times when I had him [with the U.S. U-17s].

"The game I saw he got red-carded with about seven minutes to go, but then we had dinner and he seemed good about the possibility. He called me over the break and said he liked to do it so we started the process."

Ellinger plans to play Lancos at right back if he goes with a four-man defense but says he can play wide in a five-man midfield. Carey Talley will anchor the midfield, Adu will be given the chance to run the attack, and Mehdi Ballouchy has first call on the left side. "Right now, you know Carey's going to be in the middle and Freddy's going to be in the middle and the other two spots are open," says Ellinger. "We'll try things in preseason and hopefully we can figure it out."

Figuring it out is what Checketts hopes to do, too.

No comments yet.

Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now



Recent Soccer America Daily
Lloyd and Ellis are nominees for FIFA awards    
Carli Lloyd, whose hat trick led the USA to a 5-2 win over Japan in the ...
Waldrum (still without a contract) returns to T&T women    
When Trinidad & Tobago faces the USA in the first of two friendlies Sunday in Honolulu, ...
What They're Saying: Orlando City owner Flavio Augusto da Silva    
"Five years ago, [MLS] paid to [be on television]. In 2010, it was paid $68 million, ...
New U-17 cycle begins on cautionary note    
In past years, the Nike International Friendlies, the annual year-end tournament for the age group that ...
Report: Miami Beckham United moves on to fourth option    
David Beckham's group seeking a home for an MLS club has its maps of Miami out ...
Close call can't erase Red Bulls' sense of accomplishment    
A year that started in controversy and uproar ended with another playoff setback, but during 2015 ...
What They're Saying: Dax McCarty    
"The first thing I want to do is to apologize to our fans. They've been fantastic ...
Video Pick: Dortmund pals perform synchronized warm-up    
Borussia Dortmund's Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, the Bundesliga's leading scorer, and Marco Reus' balletic warmup (dubbed a "Bromance ...
Video Pick: Barcelona delivers a Messi & Neymar montage    
Barcelona put together a one-minute video featuring the feats of its two FIFA Ballon d'Or 2015 ...
MLS: RSL's Schuler, Gil and Silva are out of contract    
Real Salt Lake re-signed defender Jamison Olave and exercised the 2016 contract options on seven players, ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives