QUAKES ARE BACK
Jonah Freedman of cnnsi.com is reporting that MLS commisioner Don Garber will announce at his annual All-Star press conference today that San Jose will be awarded an MLS expansion franchise beginning in the 2008 season.
San Jose had a franchise for 10 years before the team moved to Houston after the 2005 season. Ever since, the league has talked about putting an expansion team back in the Bay Area.
Oakland A's owner Lew Wolff heads up the ownership group that is prepared to bring the San Jose Earthquakes back to MLS.
GOTTA BE THE SHOES
The Celtic soccer team traveled from Scotland to America this week to start training for the MLS All-Star Game. The players' shoes? They showed up a little late.
The start of their workout Tuesday was delayed by about 45 minutes while the team waited for the shoes to reach the practice field. Baggage handlers at Denver International Airport couldn't locate them when the team arrived Monday night.
"You Americans go through this much?" midfielder Scott Brown joked as Celtic FC waited for practice to begin. "We'd like to get on with this."
For good reason. Temperatures were in the 90s and climbing — not exactly what the Scottish Premier League champions are used to back home.
"There's no sun in Europe whatsoever. I've been everywhere in Europe this summer and there is no sun at this time of year," Celtic manager Gordon Strachan said. "I wake up this morning and it's 100 degrees."
Celtic FC plays the MLS All-Stars on Thursday.
New York-based sports, media and entertainment company SCP Worldwide finalized a multi-faceted partnership with Real Madrid. The announcement was made Tuesday by Dave Checketts, chairman, SCP Worldwide. Checketts recently finalized the agreement with Real Madrid president Ramon Calderon.
The agreement is the most advanced rollout plan for a European Club and marks the 30-time Spanish league champions first major brand initiative in the United States.
The partnership includes the creation of elite soccer academies and camps, broadcasting rights to Real Madrid television content and management of the team's United States "Friendlies" tour.
More information can be found at realmadridamerica.com.
DEAL FALLS THROUGH
American midfielder Greg Dalby failed to get a British work permit to play with English soccer club Preston.
The 21-year-old Dalby, who is part of the under-23 United States squad, had agreed to financial terms with Preston. Dalby's application for a work permit was turned down by British immigration officials.
"It's always a risk. We understood that when we brought him in, but we were led to believe that all the criteria had been met," Preston manager Paul Simpson said Monday. "We've lost out on it and it is disappointing for ourselves and for Greg but we have got to move on."
Dalby had a trial with the northern England club, which plays in the division below the Premier League, in January. He was picked by Colorado Rapids in the MLS draft.
ARSENAL SEEKS STAR
Arsenal is poised to sign Boca Juniors striker Rodrigo Palacio for a club record 15 million pounds ($30.6 million), the Sun said, citing reports in Argentina.
The 25-year-old, who has 39 goals in 79 matches for Boca, will fly to London for a medical examination, the paper said. He will take the No. 14 jersey worn by Thierry Henry before his move to Barcelona, the Sun added.