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G&M: House Hunting (SJ moving)


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House hunting


Monday, December 19, 2005 Page S8


Two of Major League Soccer's top players -- both of them Canadian -- will be looking for new homes in Texas now that the San Jose Earthquakes are moving to Houston from the California city.

Vancouver's Pat Onstad, the league's top goalkeeper, and Toronto's Dwayne DeRosario, a midfielder who led the league in assists and scored MLS's goal of the year in 2005, received official word about the move on Friday.

The team is moving because owners AEG Entertainment failed to reach an agreement with politicians in San Jose, Calif., on the construction of a soccer stadium. The 2004 MLS Cup champion Earthquakes, who also have former Toronto resident forward Mark Chung in their lineup, will kick off the 2006 season in Houston.

Meanwhile, the owners of Major League Baseball's Oakland Athletics have indicated they'd like to own an MLS expansion team. They hope to build a new baseball stadium that would also serve as home field for a soccer team.

Such cross-ownership isn't rare in the MLS. The New England Revolution, for example, is owned by Robert Kraft, who also owns the National Football League's New England Patriots.

Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment Ltd., owner of the National Hockey League's Toronto Maple Leafs and the National Basketball Association's Toronto Raptors, recently won conditional approval to own an MLS expansion franchise.

Final approval hinges on the construction of a $72-million, 22,000-seat soccer stadium at Toronto's Exhibition Place. The team would begin play in 2007.

MLSE officials said an official announcement on Toronto's new stadium and MLS expansion is expected to be made in January.

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