By Ridge Mahoney
DWAYNE'S WORLD. Houston finished its preparation for its CONCACAF Champions Cup series against Puntarenas of Costa Rica by beating Chicago, 3-1, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., Saturday.
Ryan Cochrane, Alejandro Moreno and Corey Ashe scored the goals for Dynamo, which plays Puntarenas away in the first leg Wednesday. Houston will host the second leg March 1 on the campus of Texas A&M in College Station.
Midfielder Dwayne DeRosario, who is renegotiating his contract, played the first 62 minutes for Houston. He earned a base salary of $140,000 last season but with achievable bonuses his compensation came to approximately $200,000. He is believed to be seeking a salary of at least $250,000.
DeRosario had been represented by Lyle Yorks of Proactive Sports Management but several months ago left Proactive to sign with Richard Motzkin, formerly of his own agency, SportsNet, which last June was acquired by London-based Wasserman Media Group.
DeRosario's move was somewhat a reversal of a trend. Several prominent American players - DaMarcus Beasley, Carlos Bocanegra, Clint Dempsey - left SportsNet for Proactive, which some players believe to be more aggressive in placing MLS players with European teams.
SportsNet, again in the view of some players, was renowned for negotiating the best deals for players remaining in MLS, and this month Taylor Twellman and Brian Ching, both represented now by WMG, signed new deals with the league.
However, the list of former SportsNet clients who have gone to Europe while under contract include Tim Howard and Bobby Convey. A Bundesliga club was reportedly interested in acquiring DeRosario during the January transfer window but no formal offer was tendered.
KEEPERS KEPT.The other MLS representative in the CONCACAF tournament, D.C. United, has nailed down its goalkeeping situation. Finally. Both were keepers among the lowest-paid players in the league last year.
Starter Troy Perkins, who earned $29,400 in base salary, has signed a new deal that triples his salary, according to the Washington Post. Perkins earned honors as league Goalkeeper of the Year last season.
Backup Jay Nolly, who was traded by Real Salt Lake in December as part of the Freddy Adu deal but had refused to sign a new deal with MLS while he went on trial with European clubs, has agreed to terms with D.C. United. He earned $28,000 in 2006 and with the 2007 minimum set at $30,000 that's what he'll get.
Nolly played the full 90 minutes as United, which rested regulars Perkins and Christian Gomez, among others, played a 0-0 tie against Kansas City Sunday to conclude its preparation for the CONCACAF series, which it opens Wednesday against CD Olimpia in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. The return leg is March 1 at RFK Stadium.
Ex-United keeper Nick Rimando, who refused to sign a new deal with Real and was traded to the New York Red Bulls, has agreed to a contract worth approximately $75,000, a rather steep cut from the $96,800 (base) he earned last year. Real cited its cap issues - it waived midfielder Andy Williams in an effort to lower his salary enough to fit him under the cap - as the primary reason it couldn't agree to terms with Rimando.