From the Washington Post’s Steve Goff

MLS will investigate a formal complaint filed by Real Salt Lake, saying that D.C. United Coach Peter Nowak made inappropriate remarks about one of its players during an exhibition match last Friday in Bradenton, Fla.

Nowak (above, right) had been accused of saying that Atiba Harris , a black player from the Caribbean island nation of St. Kitts and Nevis, should be “sent back to Africa.” Nowak has vehemently denied the charge and team officials and players have come to his defense.

According to United, Nowak said Harris should be “sent to hospital,” meaning he wanted his own players to retaliate against Harris’s perceived rough play. Nowak, a native of Poland, speaks broken English and is sometimes difficult to understand.

There’s no truth to the rumor that Nowak was also heard to say that Real’s Dave Checketts should “go back to Madison Square Garden.”