Welcome to the RSL Cup blog

I've been a fan of Real Salt Lake since it joined MLS and took to the field in 2005, and I've been a fan of MLS since it began in 1996. Lately however I've started to worry about the path MLS is taking and the poor decisions they are making that in my mind threaten the growth of soccer as a whole in the US. (see "Columbus conspiracy" section) Soccer in America will grow only when we have a vibrant and diverse minor league system, something that MLS seems to be smothering at the moment. (see "American soccer wars" section) Let's keep our eyes on the situation and hope for the best, a future where grass-roots soccer and the minor leagues can not only exist but flourish, as well as where the contributions and history of the league's early clubs are appreciated and preserved.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Real Salt Lake, Crew tie 0-0 in CONCACAF first leg


(by Shawn Mitchell desnews.com 2-22-11)

Real Salt Lake opened its season with a scoreless draw against the Columbus Crew Tuesday night in the opening leg of a CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal series.

The game, Salt Lake coach Jason Kreis said, was a match more akin to boxing than soccer.

"Tonight was more of a battle than a game," Kreis said. "They were difficult circumstances to play a soccer match."

Three red cards — two shown to RSL players, a field covered in ice pellets after a Monday night storm and a gametime windchill factor of 18 degrees made RSL's first meaningful match of the year an ugly affair.

The rebuilding Crew, heavy on rookies and newcomers, used a lineup that included five players who made their debut for the team.

Yet the patchwork Crew held RSL to zero shots on goal.

"We didn't know a lot about those new players, but we knew that they're going to fight and be organized because that's what the Columbus Crew does," said RSL keeper Nick Rimando, who made four saves.

"But we felt we did our job, especially being a man down, to go into the next leg at 0-0."

Rimando made a save on the best chance of the first half when he knocked aside an angled, short-range blast by Crew forward Emilio Renteria at the near post in the 19th minute.

The Crew had another early look in the 30th minute, but a header by midfielder Eddie Gavin went wide.

The Crew could not capitalize on a lengthy man advantage after RSL defender Tony Beltran was sent off with a second yellow card in the 53rd minute.

Referee Jaime Marrufo later ejected RSL defender Nat Borchers and Renteria for a fracas away from the ball in the 72nd minute.

A furious Borchers said he retaliated after Renteria elbowed him in the throat.

"If you want to use an analogy, I think what I did was petty theft and what he did was a first-degree felony," Borchers said. "I hope they caught it on tape. He hit me right in the neck. Had I not backed off and he connected, I might be speaking to you through a breathing tube."

Kreis said he was upset by the field conditions and the Crew's decision to not cover the playing surface on Monday night.

A Crew staffer said the team left the field uncovered because of potential damage to an already wet field and the difficulty of removing accumulations of ice or snow from a ground covering.

"It's not ideal, that's for sure, but I'd take this over 100 degrees and humidity," RSL defender Chris Wingert said. "At least you can run in stuff like this."

Crew coach Robert Warzycha said he was pleased with the result given the state of his injury-riddled roster.

Kreis and his players were pleased to leave Columbus with a tie and return to Rio Tinto Stadium on even footing.

RSL will be favored in the deciding second leg, to be played Tuesday in Sandy, despite losing Borchers and Beltran to suspension.

RSL is 3-0 and has outscored the Crew 7-1 in Rio Tinto.

"I think we can't be scared to play these guys," Warzycha said. "We showed today we are capable of stepping out there and winning a game."

An anemic offense troubled Kreis, but he allowed that the conditions might have been the biggest factor in the less-than-impressive performance of forwards Fabian Espindola and Alvaro Saborio.

The starting strikers each took two shots. Midfielders Will Johnson and Javier Morales each had a single shot. The rest of the team attempted one shot.

"More than anything it was the conditions," Kreis said. "It's just difficult. When that happens you don't possess the ball well and you don't create chances."

The winner of the series will advance to a semifinal series against Olimpia of Honduras or Saprissa of Costa Rica.

No American team has previously advanced to a Champions League semifinal since they changed the format to the current.

The winner of the Champions League will face some of the world's best professional teams in the FIFA Club World Cup that will be played in Japan in December.

The Crew or Salt Lake is guaranteed to play a Mexican team in the final if either advances. Four teams from the Mexican first division occupy the other half of the bracket.

Mexican teams have won the past five CONCACAF Champions Leagues.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

What's the Real deal with S.L. soccer complex?



(by Jared Page desnews.com 2-21-11)

Twenty-plus soccer fields, a professional-quality practice field and indoor training facility, with a neighboring youth soccer academy.

This was the shared vision of Salt Lake City leaders and Real Salt Lake ownership in 2007.

Since then, those plans have changed, or at the very least have stalled, and city officials say they are moving forward with the Salt Lake Regional Athletic Complex without Real Salt Lake as partner.

But a group of Salt Lake residents who don't want to see the soccer complex built at the site near the Jordan River aren't buying that line. And even if they did, the residents contend city officials selected the property near 1900 West and 2200 North as the site for the sports complex to accommodate Real Salt Lake.

The problem with that, says Jeff Salt of the Jordan River Restoration Network, is that a project using $15.3 million in public money essentially would be subsidizing a private enterprise.

"This is a public facility funded by public money," Salt said. "Why should a private enterprise be benefiting from that?"

Salt and other members of the Jordan River Restoration Network have been sifting through thousands of documents related to the soccer complex, obtained through Government Records Access and Management Act requests.

The group is using the documents as the basis for its four lawsuits against the city and another against the U.S. Army Corps or Engineers in hopes of stopping construction of the soccer complex and forcing the city to build elsewhere.

A Deseret News review of several of the documents found repeated mention of a youth soccer academy being built in conjunction with the soccer complex.

Billed as an elite, world-class athletic and educational facility, the academy was to include on-site housing and training for between 100 and 200 youths from around the world.

The plan in 2007 was for Real Salt Lake to partner with Real Madrid to attract, train and educate young soccer players — from Utah, throughout the West and even around the world — in hopes of grooming them to play for the respective professional clubs.

Early on, city officials and their professional soccer partners envisioned building 23 soccer fields, as many as eight baseball diamonds and a 7,500-seat championship soccer field on 180 acres of open space.

One of those soccer fields was to become the regular practice site for Real Salt Lake. And another three to four fields were to be utilized by the Major League Soccer franchise as part of the youth soccer academy.

In addition, a half-acre at the regional athletic complex was to be set aside for indoor training and locker room facilities for exclusive use by Real Salt Lake.

We think (the partnership with Real Salt Lake) has been driving this whole resistance to finding alternative sites (for the sports complex)," Salt said.

Salt Lake City and Real Salt Lake officials say that's simply not true.

"The (regional athletic complex) site was decided long before any discussion with Real about its interest in an academy, (and) even before it organized its team in Salt Lake City," said Rick Graham, Salt Lake City's director of public services.

Real Salt Lake spokesman Trey Fitz-Gerald said team officials have not had any recent discussions about locating a soccer academy at or near the sports complex, and such an academy is not in the team's immediate plans.

That said, Real Salt Lake is "very supportive" of the soccer complex being built in Salt Lake City, he said.

"We're fully supportive of anything that helps the growth of the sport at all levels," Fitz-Gerald said.

Even if Real Salt Lake ownership decided it wanted to build either an academy or an indoor training facility, locating it at the city soccer complex wouldn't be a direct free kick.

"There would be challenges because of federal and IRS restrictions on how (the) property can be used for private purposes," Graham said.

Crying foul

In addition to their disapproval of the site, opponents of the sports complex worry that public use of the fields will go away or be greatly reduced if Real Salt Lake gets involved in the project.

During an unusual court hearing earlier this month related to a lawsuit brought by Salt Lake City against all residents and property owners in Utah's capital city, Graham testified under oath that there have been discussions with Real Salt Lake about leasing space at the complex, though the MLS team is being treated "just like any other entity."

"The public that will use this facility will be paying (to do so), whether it's recreation play, league play or tournament play," he said.

Any use of the facility by Real Salt Lake would not replace any of those uses, Graham said.

Ray Wheeler was one of a handful of Salt Lake City residents who chose to represent themselves at the hearing, giving him the right to cross-examine Graham.

Afterward, Wheeler said he thought Graham "was quite evasive" when asked about Real Salt Lake's past and possible future involvement in the project, often answering "I don't remember" or "I don't know."

Wheeler said Graham's answers and comments by other Salt Lake City officials who testified during the hearing lead him to believe they aren't being forthcoming.

"If you don't tell the voters the whole truth, then it's inappropriate to fund a project with taxpayer money," he said.

Kicking off the talks

A Deseret News review of several of the documents obtained by the Jordan River Restoration Network found that plans for a partnership between Salt Lake City and Real Salt Lake began in May 2004, about two months before Major League Soccer awarded an expansion team to Utah.

Even in those earliest discussions, city leaders talked of leveraging the $15.3 million in bond money approved by voters in 2003 for a regional athletic complex into a public/private partnership with the yet-to-be-named MLS expansion team.

Those talks got more specific in 2006 and then appeared to break down in 2007, at least partially because of squabbles between the two sides over what Real Salt Lake would get for its $7.5 million pledge to the project. In the end, the team presented the city with a letter of credit for the full amount with no strings attached.

Minutes from meetings in 2007 also document discussions about Real Salt Lake contributing another $12.5 million to gain more control over the project. The same document, however, notes several problems with that, including that doing so would be a betrayal to voters who expected fields for kids, not a subsidized academy for a professional soccer team.

'Place of dreams'

Recent city documents make no mention of Real Salt Lake in relation to plans for the Salt Lake Regional Athletic Complex.

City officials plan to use the $15.3 million bond and a $7.5 million gift from Real Salt Lake to fund construction of 15 competition-quality soccer fields and one championship field with permanent bleachers and lights.

The as-yet-unfunded second phase of the project would add two more soccer fields and four baseball diamonds. The lack of a funding source for the $21.5 million expansion, however, has people on both sides of the issue skeptical about whether it will happen.

Real Salt Lake co-owner Dave Checketts spoke at a groundbreaking ceremony in early November for the $22.8 million first phase of the Salt Lake Regional Athletic Complex.

When complete, Checketts said, the complex "will be a place of dreams."

Opponents of the project, including Salt Lake resident Lucy Knorr, paint a much less rosy picture. Knorr keeps horses in a stable near the site of the soccer complex, and she regularly rides in the open space there.

"Fifteen years from now, when (the soccer complex) is losing money, it will become a Walmart," she said, "and we'll have lost a treasure to the city."

Environmental group says S.L. illegally filling in wetlands to build soccer complex



(by Jared Page desnews.com 1-21-11)

An environmental advocacy group is accusing Salt Lake City officials of illegally filling in wetland areas to build a soccer complex near the Jordan River.

The Jordan River Restoration Network sent a letter Friday to Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker and City Council Chairwoman Jill Remington Love informing them of its intent to file a lawsuit over the city's alleged violations of the Clean Water Act.

In the letter, the group says a city consultant last fall inaccurately determined that the site of the planned Salt Lake Regional Athletic Complex included 1.35 acres of wetlands. That number, the group says, should be 13.5 acres.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers issued a permit allowing the city to fill 1.35 acres of wetlands on the condition that a mitigation plan replaces and compensates for the loss. The Jordan River Restoration Network contends that the city is destroying 13.5 acres of wetlands while only being required to replace 1.35 acres.

The letter includes a map from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service's National Wetlands Inventory, highlighting areas designated at wetlands and noting where the city allegedly has violated the Clean Water Act by filling them in.

Friday's action relates to the Jordan River Restoration Network's pending lawsuit against the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. In that lawsuit, the group appeals the corps' issuance of a permit that allowed the city to move forward with the project near the Jordan River.

The Jordan River Restoration Network contends the corps violated provisions of the Clean Water Act, the National Environmental Policy Act and the Administrative Procedures Act when it approved a wetland fill permit for the project. The group wants that permit to be declared invalid and returned to the corps for reconsideration.

Construction crews were at the site near 1900 West and 2200 North on Friday, hauling in fill dirt and dumping it in preparation for construction of the soccer complex.

Jeff Salt of the Jordan River Restoration Network said he believes the city is "trying to hide the evidence" of wetlands by covering them up with dirt.

"It will be hard to determine if it was a wetland or not if it's filled up and covered," Salt said.

The group also has filed four other lawsuits against the city in the past year in an effort to stop construction of the soccer complex. Two of the lawsuits relate to a dispute over access to public records; another appeals a rezone and master plan amendments; and the other challenges the Proposition 5 bond approved by voters in 2003.

In the latter legal challenge, the group alleges that the sports complex approved by voters in 2003 is "significantly and materially different" from the project for which the city now intends to use the bond money.

The lawsuit regarding the bond has prevented the Salt Lake City Council from authorizing the sale of $15.3 million in voter-approved bonds, at least temporarily.

City attorneys have said the lawsuits are "without merit."

Salt Lake City responded last week by filing a petition to establish validity of bonds, calling for an expedited court hearing to settle disputes about bonds and use of such funds. That hearing is scheduled for Feb. 9.

City leaders held a groundbreaking ceremony in early November for the $22.8 million first phase of the Salt Lake Regional Athletic Complex.

City officials plan to use the $15.3 million bond and a $7.5 million gift from Real Salt Lake to fund construction of 15 competition-quality soccer fields and one championship field with permanent bleachers and lights.

S.L. steps up legal battle in soccer complex dispute

(by Jared Page desnews.com 1-18-11)

City officials plan to pull $25,000 from city reserves to hire outside counsel to assist in the city's legal battle with an environmental group over plans to build a soccer complex near the Jordan River.

The Jordan River Restoration Network has filed four lawsuits against the city in the past year in an effort to stop construction of the Salt Lake Regional Athletic Complex near 1900 West and 2200 North.

During a work session Tuesday, a majority of the City Council favored shifting $25,000 from the city's fund balance into its general fund to battle the legal challenges. A decision on that budget amendment and 32 others — collectively totaling a little more than $1 million — likely will be decided next month.

The move is being precipitated by the slow progress of those lawsuits and the potential for others in the future, according to the Salt Lake City Attorney's Office.

Two of the lawsuits filed by the nonprofit environmental advocacy group relate to a dispute over access to public records; another appeals a rezone and master plan amendments; and the other challenges the Proposition 5 bond approved by voters in 2003.

City attorney Ed Rutan said the funds would be used to bring in someone with expertise in such cases to serve as a consultant to the city's team of attorneys.

During the public comment portion of Tuesday night's City Council meeting, Jeff Salt of the Jordan River Restoration Network said the lawsuits will continue as long as the city plans to build the soccer complex near the Jordan River.

"We think it's folly for the city to keep spending money (in court) when the simple solution is to build the soccer complex someplace else," Salt said.

Councilman Soren Simonsen, who along with Van Turner voiced opposition to committing more taxpayer money to the legal fight, said he believes city officials used "bad judgment" when denying the Jordan River Restoration Network's requests for copies of public documents.

Subsequent lawsuits may have been avoided had the city simply complied with that request, he said.

"The litigation started because we wouldn't release documents," Simonsen said. "The value of those documents was a couple thousand dollars in printing copies and staff time. Now we're spending $25,000."

Council Chairwoman Jill Remington Love called the group's requests and resulting lawsuits "unreasonable."

Rutan said the city has provided the Jordan River Restoration Network with 6,500 pages of documents related to the soccer complex in response to the group's requests.

Simonsen said that still doesn't represent all of the documents the group requested.

"The documents were requested to stall the project. You know that," Love countered. "There will never be enough documents to satisfy them."

In one of the Jordan River Restoration Network's lawsuits against the city, the group alleges that the sports complex approved by voters in 2003 is "significantly and materially different" from the project on which the city now intends to use the bond money. The group also alleges that the city failed to properly provide notice of public meetings and actions related to the bond.

The lawsuit regarding the bond has prevented the Salt Lake City Council from authorizing the sale of $15.3 million in voter-approved bonds, at least temporarily.

City attorneys say the legal challenge is "without merit" and have filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit.

The Jordan River Restoration Network also has a lawsuit pending against the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. In that lawsuit, the group appeals the corps' issuance of a permit that allowed the city to move forward with the project near the Jordan River.

The Jordan River Restoration Network contends that the corps violated provisions of the Clean Water Act, the National Environmental Policy Act and the Administrative Procedures Act when it approved a wetland fill permit for the project. The group wants that permit to be declared invalid and returned to the corps for reconsideration.

City leaders held a groundbreaking ceremony in early November for the $22.8 million first phase of the Salt Lake Regional Athletic Complex.

City officials plan to use the $15.3 million bond and a $7.5 million gift from Real Salt Lake to fund construction of 15 competition-quality soccer fields and one championship field with permanent bleachers and lights.

Members of the Jordan River Restoration Network say they aren't opposed to development of a soccer complex in Salt Lake City. But they say it doesn't belong along the Jordan River.

Group files another lawsuit to stop soccer complex

(by Jared Page desnews.com 1-13-11)

An environmental group seeking to stop construction of a soccer complex along the Jordan River filed another lawsuit this week, this time against the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

It's the fifth lawsuit filed in recent months by the Jordan River Restoration Network in an effort to stop Salt Lake City from beginning construction of the Salt Lake Regional Athletic Complex near 1900 West and 2200 North.

In the latest court filing, the nonprofit environmental advocacy group appeals the Army Corps of Engineers' issuance of a permit that allowed the city to move forward with the project near the Jordan River.

In the lawsuit, the Jordan River Restoration Network contends that the corps violated provisions of the Clean Water Act, the National Environmental Policy Act and the Administrative Procedures Act when it approved a wetland fill permit for the project. The group wants that permit to be declared invalid and returned to the corps for reconsideration.

"We filed our lawsuit to stop Mayor (Ralph) Becker and his friends from destroying the city's largest natural open space along the Jordan River," said Jeff Salt, coordinator for Jordan River Restoration Network and co-plaintiff in the lawsuit.

Danny Potts, another plaintiff in the lawsuit, says Salt Lake City and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers failed to adequately study alternatives and select the least environmentally damaging site, as required by federal law, for what he calls the "sprawl soccer complex."

"We sued because the city broke the law," Potts said.

A spokeswoman for Mayor Becker's office said the Jordan River Restoration Network's latest claim is "without merit."

"The city believes that the issuance of the permit by the Corps of Engineers will be upheld by the court," Lisa Harrison Smith said.

The Jordan River Restoration Network has filed four other lawsuits related to the soccer complex — two over access to public records; one appealing a rezone and master plan amendments; and another challenging the Proposition 5 bond approved by voters in 2003.

In the latter lawsuit, the Jordan River Restoration Network alleges that the project approved by voters in 2003 is "significantly and materially different" from that for which the city now intends to use the bond. The group also alleges that the city failed to properly provide notice of public meetings and actions related to the bond.

The lawsuit regarding the bond has prevented the Salt Lake City Council from authorizing the sale of $15.3 million in voter-approved bonds, at least temporarily.

City attorneys say the legal challenge is "without merit" and have filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit. Oral arguments in that matter are scheduled for Jan. 31.

City leaders held a groundbreaking ceremony in early November for the $22.8 million first phase of the Salt Lake Regional Athletic Complex.

City officials plan to use the $15.3 million bond and a $7.5 million gift from Real Salt Lake to fund construction of 15 competition-quality soccer fields and one championship field with bleachers and lights.

Members of the Jordan River Restoration Network say they aren't opposed to development of a soccer complex in Salt Lake City. But they say it doesn't belong along the Jordan River.

"Our complaint is about pursuing viable alternatives and preserving wetlands," said Eric Harvey, a co-plaintiff in the lawsuit against the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. "Isn't Mayor Becker leading us into another Legacy (Parkway) fiasco?"

The 14-mile Legacy Parkway in south Davis County cost $685 million — busting the project's budget by nearly $235 million — after environmental groups sued the Utah Department of Transportation and the federal government. An eventual compromise included preserving some wetlands by moving the highway closer to I-15 and promoting a commuter-rail line.

$7.5M Real deal still in place for athletic complex despite delays

(by Jared Page desnews.com 12-16-10)

A $7.5 million gift from Real Salt Lake has been sitting under the tree since 2007, and city leaders expect it to be there in 2011.

A pending lawsuit prevented the Salt Lake City Council from authorizing the sale of $15.3 million in voter-approved bonds for a regional sports complex this week in its final meeting of 2010. City leaders had hoped to get the deal done before the end of the year, when the letter of credit from Real Salt Lake is set to expire.


A lawsuit filed against Salt Lake City and the City Council last month by the Jordan River Restoration Network likely will prevent the council from issuing the bonds until at least February. City attorneys say the legal challenge is "without merit" and have filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit. Oral arguments in that matter are scheduled for Jan. 31.

Lisa Harrison Smith, spokeswoman for Mayor Ralph Becker's office, said failure to issue the bonds before Dec. 31 prevents the city from cashing Real Salt Lake's letter of credit. However, city officials believe the Major League Soccer franchise "will still honor the gift agreement and donate the $7.5 million to the city when the bonds are issued for the (regional athletic complex.)"

Trey Fitz-Gerald, Real Salt Lake's director of public affairs, said the organization isn't looking to back out of the agreement made by team owner Dave Checketts in 2007.

"As long as the project is moving forward, we are committed to that pledge," Fitz-Gerald said.

In its lawsuit against the city, the Jordan River Restoration Network alleges that the project approved by voters in 2003 is "significantly and materially different" from that for which the city now intends to use the bond.

The nonprofit environmental advocacy group also alleges that the city failed to properly provide notice of public meetings and actions related to the bond.

Last week, city attorneys said the lawsuit wouldn't prevent the city from moving forward with issuing the bonds before the end of the year. The Jordan River Restoration Network views the city's change of position as a validation of its complaint.

"What it does is it illustrates that our efforts to be watchdogs and to promote good government is spot on," said Jeff Salt of the Jordan River Restoration Network. "This is what our task is, to ensure that the public's business is being conducted properly."

City leaders held a ground breaking ceremony in early November for the $22.8 million first phase of the Salt Lake Regional Athletic Complex near 1900 West and 2200 North.

Checketts took part in the ground breaking ceremony and spoke at the event, saying the soccer complex will give "our youth a place for their dreams to play out."

"We're obviously supportive of the project," Fitz-Gerald said.

City officials plan to use the $15.3 million bond and the $7.5 million gift from Real Salt Lake to fund construction of 15 competition-quality soccer fields and one championship field with bleachers and lights.

A voter information pamphlet from 2003 bills the project as a sports, recreation and education complex "to accommodate the growing needs of youths and adults participating in organized sports such as soccer, rugby, lacrosse, football and baseball." The pamphlet features a picture of kids playing baseball.

Baseball fields have been removed from the first phase of the project, though two are included in the as-yet-unfunded $21.5 million second phase. Some of the fields in Phase 1, however, will be designed to accommodate rugby and lacrosse.

Environmental groups also have objected to the selected site's proximity to the Jordan River. The City Council has committed to fully fund a riparian restoration plan along the Jordan River near the sports complex. That work could end up costing as much as $1 million.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Matias Vuoso - Clint Mathis' long lost twin

So a couple of Sundays ago I was flipping through the channels and stopped on Univision's Republica Deportiva show. Pretty good show, lots of soccer highlights from Europe and Mexico, and purdee girls in tight fitting clothing. Anywho, they started to show some highlight of Club America when lo and behold I see Clint Mathis making passes and scoring goals.

I had no idea Mathis was playing in Mexico (especially since I thought Clint had retired) but I thought it was pretty cool because he was playing so well. Although he still seemed to have that "run half the time at an elderly pace" pace. Then they interviewed him after the game and he spoke Spanish perfectly. That's when I started to think something was a miss, I didn't think Mathis spoke Spanish.

Then they flashed a graffic on the screen and I felt betrayed, it wasn't Mathis at all but a chap by the name of Matias Vuoso.

Creepy, the guy could be Mathis' twin. He ran like Mathis, kicked the ball like Mathis and even had the mohawk going. I felt dumb which is nothing new so I continued to channel surf until my embarassment faded.



Friday, February 18, 2011

Quakes plan to demolish building on proposed stadium site



(by Elliott Almond mercurynews.com 2-16-11)

In a symbolic move toward the building of a soccer-specific stadium in San Jose, the Earthquakes plan to demolish a former manufacturing plant at their proposed Airport West site, the team announced Wednesday.

Although Quakes officials are not ready to announce a groundbreaking date for a 15,000-seat, $60 million stadium, the latest development is another step forward, team president David Kaval said. A demolition ceremony will be held March 3 with city and team officials.

"We still need a permit to build the stadium," Kaval said. "We still need to finalize the actual building. But this is the key thing in order to move forward on this site. That building can't be there."

Quakes owners already have built a training field adjacent to the proposed stadium site across the street from Mineta San Jose International Airport. But the weathered buildings of the former Food MachineryCorp. plant gave the area a depressed look.

Kaval said the team also is applying for building permits to kick start the project that still needs the key component of financing. The ownership group led by Lew Wolff, a Los Angeles developer, wants to build a stadium to establish deep roots in the South Bay.

The Quakes are scheduled to open their fourth consecutive season at Buck Shaw Stadium on March 19 against Real Salt Lake.

"We feel we need to start making some of steps because the time is right," Kaval said of the decision to demolish the building.

"It has been a long time where we haven't been moving. We're taking one hurdle at a time to keep moving forward."

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

David Beckham helps stranded family



(espn.go.com 2-9-11)

WARE, England -- David Beckham stopped to help a stranded family whose car broke down on the way to school.

Beckham pulled over during morning rush hour near a roundabout in the town of Ware in England. He assisted photographer Paul Long and his two children.

Long had been ignored by other motorists before the soccer star came to his rescue. He said Beckham asked if they were OK, and Long said he asked for a push to the side of the road.

Long told BBC Radio on Wednesday he said, "Thanks David, I love you" as the former England captain returned to his car.

Beckham is training with Premier League club Tottenham until Feb. 22. He'll soon return to the Los Angeles Galaxy for the MLS season.