MISL to terminate San Diego, Monterrey clubs

Ownership troubles dog 2 franchises

7 remain

Pro Soccer

December 30, 2004|By Sandra McKee | Sandra McKee,SUN STAFF

The Major Indoor Soccer League will announce today that the San Diego Sockers and Monterrey (Mexico) Fury are out of business, sources close to the league said yesterday.

The MISL will continue operating with seven teams. The league also will set a dispersal draft for San Diego and Monterrey players by Wednesday and answer questions about rescheduling and playoff formulas.

MISL commissioner Steve Ryan did not return a phone call to his office yesterday, and the league's director of communications, Jaye Cavallo, said the league would have nothing definitive to say until today.

The league's management committee held a conference call yesterday. Blast coach Tim Wittman, who was not part of the conference call and unaware of its outcome, did not appear overly concerned when asked about the possibility of the league's going forward with seven teams.

"Seven teams, that's OK," Wittman said. "Next year, a couple more are coming in. I think there is going to be an indoor league always because the game is fun and entertaining. But they've got to get some things straightened out. They've got to make sure teams coming in have strong ownership and the league's operating procedures have to be firmly established."

The MISL is expected to gain one or two teams next season, when a new franchise in Stockton, Calif., is scheduled to begin play and the Dallas Sidekicks, who took a year off to seek reorganization, hope to return.

Blast owner Ed Hale would not comment yesterday. Last week, Hale said he believed the Sockers would fold but Monterrey could survive.

Yesterday, however, sources said the management committee voted both teams out.

The Sockers were without ownership after the league voted last week to disassociate itself from Raj Kalra.

Kalra, who began this season as the Sockers' owner, wrote bad checks to the league and never completed his letter of credit of about $500,000. The MISL has been paying the San Diego players from league funds.

Monterrey's new owner, Cemex, a billion-dollar, multinational cement company, was given a week to come into compliance with league rules.

The company had until yesterday to, among other things, work out an agreement with the operators of Arena de Monterrey that would allow the team to play home games - or face termination. Cemex did not reach compliance.

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