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EARTHQUAKES TO HOUSTON *merged*


Geoff

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NEW YORK (Thursday, December 15, 2005) - AEG announced today that the city of Houston, Texas will become the new home of the San Jose Earthquakes. The move is effective immediately and all players and coaching staff currently under contract will transfer to Houston as part of the new organization. Complete details will be unveiled at a press conference on Friday, December 16 at 10:00 a.m. CT at City Hall in Houston.

The City of San Jose and Major League Soccer have signed a Letter of Intent which provides a wide variety of support elements, including a stadium financing plan, to attract a local investor for an MLS expansion team in San Jose as early as 2007. The details of the Letter of Intent will be voted on at a future San Jose City Council meeting. The Earthquakes name, colors and competition records have been retained by MLS for this future expansion team.

"We thank the fans of the Earthquakes for their support throughout the past 10 years," said MLS Commissioner Don Garber. "It is our intention to bring Major League Soccer back to the Bay Area with a new expansion team as early as 2007. MLS is committed to working with local business leaders and city officials to continue these efforts. With the support of the City of San Jose, a local ownership group and a soccer-specific stadium, professional soccer can be very successful in northern California."

"Houston is a proven soccer market with a passionate, knowledgeable and diverse fan base," Commissioner Garber added. "With positive discussions for a new, soccer-specific stadium along with talks with potential investors, the market provides the team, and its owner AEG, the opportunity for success both on and off the field."

Soccer-specific stadiums are a critical component of MLS' strategy to grow professional soccer in the United States. The Columbus Crew, Los Angeles Galaxy, Chivas USA and FC Dallas presently play in soccer-specific stadiums, while the Chicago Fire (2006), Colorado Rapids (2007), MetroStars (2007) and Real Salt Lake (2008) will all play in new soccer venues in the near future. The majority of these stadiums have been financed through public/private partnerships.

"It is with great regret that we were unable to find a solution to our facility issues in San Jose," said Timothy J. Leiweke, President & CEO, AEG. "It was not for lack of effort and financial investment made by AEG, providing a life-line to this team for three years, to turn around a difficult situation. Unfortunately, despite efforts by the City of San Jose, there was never a solution to the facility issue. We thank the fans for their support and are hopeful that a team will be back in this marketplace in the near future."

The San Jose Clash was founded at the start of MLS in 1996 and was owned and operated by the League. In November 1998, the Kraft family became the investor-operator of the club, renaming the team the Earthquakes in October 1999. In early 2001, Silicon Valley Sports & Entertainment became the operator of the Earthquakes, and partnered with AEG to become the investor-operators of the team in March 2002. AEG became the sole investor-operator in 2003 with plans to keep the team in San Jose while working to identify a new local ownership group and stadium plan. Since 2002, AEG has invested more than $20 million in the Earthquakes, and without significant ancillary stadium revenues, incurred significant losses during that time.

The two-time MLS Cup champion Earthquakes (2001, 2003) made MLS history in 2005 when it became the only club to ever go an entire season unbeaten at home (9-0-7). Under the leadership of Head Coach Dominic Kinnear and standouts such as forward Brian Ching, goalkeeper Pat Onstad and midfielder Ricardo Clark, the Earthquakes won the 2005 MLS Supporters Shield with 64 points, the second-highest point total in MLS history.

The fourth largest city in the United States and one of the most ethnically diverse populations in the country, Houston was ranked the fourth best sports city in the United States by the Sporting News in 2004.

http://www.mlsnet.com/MLS/news/mls_news.js...r_mls&fext=.jsp

http://oursportscentral.com/services/releases/?id=3250003

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For some reason, MLS is letting San Jose keep the 'Quakes name and colors, kinda like the NFL did with the Browns. So you guys know what that means: new name time. I'll start the ball rolling with...

Houston Wanderers FC (very English, and appropriate since the team is moving)

Houston Rovers FC (also English, and maybe a reference to moon rovers)

Houston City Toros (the whole Texas and cattle thing)

I'm sure you guys will come up with others...

EDIT: Maybe in an ode to the Spanish league, how about Athletico Houston?

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Houston City Toros (the whole Texas and cattle thing)

COnsidering FC Dallas prominently features a bull in their logo, I'd say Houston won't do the same.

My money's on "Texans."

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Is anybody using Oilers?

Cuz we're the

Houston Oilers,

Houston Oilers,

Houston Oilers Numero Uno...

(Although I don't see "when you say the Oilers, you're saying MLS Cup" fitting in the song)

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DAMMIT!!!!!!!!!!!!! Well there goes my only reason for watching the MLS. :cursing:

Expansion is good, but if San Jose doesnt keep the EXACT same look, ill be pissed. Plus, this team was a very good team. Two championships with this team. Sad sad day for me and other Quakes fans. :cry: The MLS is really starting to piss me off. Whit this and the earlier contraction of the Miami fusion (With the Tampa Bay Mutiny) this is the SECOND time my favorite team has been lost.

My question is, if theyre so quick to bring the team back to SJ, why not just give Houston an expansion franchise.

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http://sanjose.earthquakes.mlsnet.com/MLS/...t=.jsp&team=sje

This is a casualty of the San Jose city Council's admiration to getting a MLB team to San Jose. A deal WAS DONE to have the Quakes get a soccer-only stadium, in which the city and the Sharks management group, Silicon Valley Sports & Entertainment would split the costs. In return to do that, SVS&E would buy the Quakes from the @$$#0les at AEG, who O&O what 4 or 5 franchises in MLS.

There is a deal however similar to the NFL-Cleveland Browns deal. San Jose is granted an expansion team in 2007. If they are able to get a stadium deal done, the name, logo, colors, and team records are to remain intact. Houston's new team will have a new identity.

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They could bring back the old NASL nickname, the Houston Hurricanes

With all the Katrina evacuees in Houston? Not a chance.

Too bad, the team had a decent logo for the late 1970's, and since they played in the Astrodome, they too wore orange (a thoroughly underused primary color in professional sports these days).

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Maybe in an ode to the Spanish league, how about Athletico Houston?

Way to steal my name, jerk. :cursing::P:D

(The joke, of course, is that my fantasy English Premier League team on these very boards is Athletico Philadelphia, a spanglish flub of Atl├ętico. At least if Houston were to take that, I'd be seen as a closet innovator.)

What sucks about this is that all of the other teams that had a chance to gobble up that second expansion team (*coughPHILLYcough*) now lose out. It's not fair, alas, but... what're youo gonna do? (besides complain about it).

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This is a pure load of crap, really. The situation in Houston isn't that much different than San Jose--there's no SSS in place, they're probably going to play in a college football stadium, same as in San Jose.

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The interesting part of this is that AEG will KEEP the team and NOT sell it to a local investor. If they do set up in a college stadium, Quakes fans, including myself will be writing up the yin yang to the commisioner of MLS. Same ownership? Same stadium situation? Hmmmm

And let's not start with the conspiracy taken from the movie "Major League". Trying to put a bad team on the field so they can force attendance down to the point where it makes it easier to move. You wonder if the Quakes won MLS Cup 2005, if we're having this talk right now.

BTW, AEG owns the Los Angeles Kings and Staples Center... another reason to hate LA teams. :evil::cursing:

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