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
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
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
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.