Major League Soccer Postponed Until 1996

The start of an outdoor professional soccer league in the United States has been postponed for a year until 1996, Alan Rothenberg, head of the proposed Major League Soccer, said today in New York.

Rothenberg did not detail the reasons for the postponement, but there have been reports that several cities bidding for franchises have had difficulty raising finances.

Rothenberg today introduced four investors who will operate franchises in New Jersey, Washington D.C., Los Angeles and a venue still to be determined. He also announced Chicago and Tampa, Florida have been awarded franchises.

Although some publications today mentioned Seattle as a possibililty for a franchise, Yogi Hutsen, co-chairman of the local MLS bid committee, said the MLS does not appear interested in Seattle unless it can identify an adequate grass-field facility in the area. He also said the presence of the Seattle Sounders has hurt momentum for the bid.

"Ultimately, the best thing for the community would be if the Seattle Sounder fold into the MLS," Hutsen said. "We don't need the Sounders and the MLS. The Sounders play a high-quality game."

College basketball

Guard Damon Stoudamire of Arizona was named to The Associated Press preseason All-America team. Also selected: forwards Corliss Williamson, Arkansas, and Michael Finley, Wisconsin; center Joe Smith, Maryland; and guard Shawn Respert, Michigan State.


Gregory Ryan Charlton, 21, a senior linebacker at Western Oregon State College, has been charged with possession of a controlled substance after U.S. Customs agents intercepted a package of steroid drugs sent to him from overseas.

-- Curley Hallman was fired as coach at Louisiana State. He had a 14-28 record since moving from Southern Mississippi.

-- Linebacker Vernon Dozier and tight end Rhasheyd Williams were suspended by No. 14 Virginia Tech for violating team rules.


The NFL is looking into the Dallas Cowboys' failure to report quarterback Troy Aikman's thumb injury, which occurred during Friday's practice before Sunday's 21-14 loss to San Francisco. Aikman said his sore thumb did cause problems. After discussing the matter with Cowboy owner Jerry Jones, Greg Aiello, NFL director of communications, said the league is waiting for the Cowboys' response before ruling.

-- The Atlanta Falcons suspended Andre Rison for one game, saying the wide receiver has violated team rules repeatedly.

-- Miami cut Mark Higgs, its top rusher the past three seasons.


One of China's champion female swimmers has tested positive for steroids, and several other test results involving Chinese women swimmers are being investigated. Yang Aihua, who won the 400-meter freestyle in September's World Championships, tested positive for elevated testosterone before October's Asian Games in Japan.


Fox Broadcasting , looking to add another major property to its upstart sports division, will co-sponsor a new golf tour in 1995 and hopes to lure the world's top players. However, PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem said PGA professionals will not be allowed to play in such tournaments.


The WBC announced a ban until March 30 on its title fights in California because of what it termed racist measures against illegal immigration approved by California voters. Proposition 187 would cut off education, welfare and non-emergency health care to an estimated 1.7 million illegal immigrants, many from Mexico and other Latin American nations.


Boris Becker beat Pete Sampras 7-5, 7-5 today for his second victory in the IBM/ATP Tour World Championship in Frankfurt, Germany. Michael Chang bounced back from an opening-round loss and evened his record at 1-1 by trouncing Alberto Berasategui 6-1, 6-0.