• Wizards stay put
    For the past two years the Confidential has steadfastly reiterated that the Kansas City Wizards were most likely staying put, and not headed for Rochester, or Philadelphia, or Houston, or Seattle. Confirmation came Thursday with the announcement that OnGoal LLC, a consortium led by Cerner Corporation CEO Neal Patterson and vice chairman Cliff Illig, has bought the team from Hunt Sports Group. The group also includes Robb Heineman and several other members of Rock Island Capital, a private investment firm. Heineman has been discussing a soccer project with Johnson County (Kan.) city and county officials as well as developers ...
  • Ref Watch
    Furious was Dominic Kinnear, and justifiably so, after referee Alex Prus ignored a stoppage-time body-block by CD Chivas USA defender Jason Hernandez that thwarted a mazy dribble by Dwayne De Rosario as Houston pressed desperately for an equalizer Sunday at Home Depot Center. DeRosario jumped just as Hernandez closed in and thus the collision wasn't nearly as violent as it would have been otherwise. Still, DeRosario plunged to the ground as the ball skittered away untouched by Hernandez, yet nothing was called. Prus blew the final whistle a few seconds later on a 3-2 CD Chivas victory. Kinnear ...
  • Window Wonderland
    This is the third season Major League Soccer has operated under a FIFA-mandated transfer window and still confusion persists. The domestic window opened Aug. 15 and will close Sept. 15. The European window is open until the end of the month and moves can be made until then. Many outlets reporting transfer deals have confused these dates as the flurry of transfers in Europe continues unabated. Under FIFA directives, each national association is limited to two transfer windows per year, during which contracted professional players may be registered. In cases involving a player changing countries, and thus the ...
  • Crunch Time
    MLS is often ridiculed for a liberal allotment of playoff places which strips away the pressure, importance and intensity of many regular season games. In this World Cup year, such has been the case much of the time. Yet the All-Star break, rather than splitting the season more or less in half as is the case in other American leagues, instead falls with only one-third of the season left to play. Cue pressure, importance and intensity. The MLS Cup and U.S. Cup double champion is fighting for its life out West, and last year's Eastern representative in MLS ...
  • TV for D.C. United's Real Challenge
    As of Sunday night, only fans in the Washington, D.C. area were going to see a telecast of United's match against Real Madrid in Seattle on Wednesday on regular television. And that would have been a shame. A friendly it may be, but this game should be seen. And it will be. The match was added to the MLS Direct Kick package Tuesday, supplementing the coverage in the D.C. area on Comcast SportsNet and MLSLIVE.tv. Last month, D.C. thrashed Glasgow Celtic 4-0 in a friendly; last year United lost narrowly 2-1 to Chelsea; and last Saturday United players Troy Perkins, ...
  • A tale of two friendlies
    Competitive league play is the working class of professional team sports, yet perhaps only in soccer can a gussied-up exhibition be gritty as well as glamorous. And when having a good time gets in the way of league play, questions must be asked. So it proved to be last weekend, as MLS and its marketing arm, Soccer United Marketing (SUM), staged a pair of matches in which is distilled the future of the sport in America and also demonstrated how greed can grapple with good sense. The MLS All-Stars gave Premier League power Chelsea its second straight test ...
  • Chelsea stunned by hungrier, fitter All-Stars
    Jimmy Conrad doesn't think beating Chelsea will escalate the image of American soccer one iota outside America. And careth he doesn't. He'd like to impress a certain segment of fans at home. "More than anything, it's about winning over the American fan who's the World Cup fan," said Conrad, who mixed it up a few times with striker Didier Drogba in a spirited first-half battle and incurred a few wounds on the back of his leg. "I think games like this show that the perceived gap between MLS or American soccer and European soccer is closing. We have players that ...
  • D.C. United heavy All-Stars ready for Chelsea
    Blowout or barnburner? The 2006 All-Star Game scheduled for Saturday (6:30 pm ET on ESPN) at the sparkling new Toyota Park in Bridgeview, Ill., could go either way. Both Chelsea and the MLS Al-Stars are shorthanded and shortchanged in different ways. Chelsea is barely a week into its preseason training, the perpetually disgruntled William Gallas is a no-show, and left behind was goalkeeper Petr Cech as he recovers from shoulder surgery. The All-Stars will train together just twice, although Coach Peter Nowak does have eight of his own D.C. United players on the 20-man squad. Yet absences have riddled his ...
  • What Price Pablo?
    Colorado midfielder Pablo Mastroeni may have to wait until mid-September to find out if Italian Serie B club Brescia is his next destination. MLS officials have refused Brescia's initial offer of a loan deal and no movement is likely until after the start of the Italian season, which has been pushed back two weeks in the aftermath of a corruption scandal involving Serie A clubs Juventus, AC Milan, Lazio and Fiorentina. Serie A kicks off Sept. 10, a day after Brescia opens its Serie B campaign. Unless an exemption or extension is granted to Italian clubs by UEFA, ...
  • Forza Roma
    The improbable run of USASA team Roma FC continues tonight when the Dallas-based amateur team meets the defending MLS champion Los Angeles Galaxy in the U.S. Open Cup. According to assistant coach John Calandro, whose son John - fresh out of high school - is the youngest member of the team, Roma's run has cost the team's backers about $30,000. Those backers are Coach Michael Schell, Calandro Sr., the players and their friends and families, and anyone kind enough to visit the team's Web site (www.romafc.net) to contribute something to an improbable cause. U.S. Soccer ...