Don Garber on transparency, expansion beyond 24 MLS teams, CBA and other topics

MLS Commissioner Don Garber spoke on the Associated Press Sports Editors commissioners tour today on a variety of topics concerning Major League Soccer. Garber answered questions from a variety of topic not limited to transparency, expansion, CBA, pro/rel, David Beckham’s Miami team, new roster rules and more. Some of the highlights include.

 

CBA

I honestly don’t think this will happen but hopefully the MLS Players Union doesn’t have second thoughts after all of the sponsorship deals that cropped up right after the CBA was agreed to.

 

New rules

I don’t know what a “draft order for international players” means and what that entails but we’ll see.

 

Pro/rel

Yeah, pro/rel isn’t happening for a very long time so I’m not going to spend any more time on the subject. Moving on.

 

Miami

I want to see MLS in Miami as well but with the mess that has been David Beckham’s Miami team, sometimes you just need to cut your losses and move on. I understand that they have a deal with David Beckham to own a team and he wants Miami but going back on that can’t possibly be a worse PR disaster than what has taken place the past year or so.

 

Expansion

We all know why MLS is expanding past 24 teams. When you’re getting $100 million in expansion fees and that number is likely to rise every year, there could theoretically be no end to expansion. Maybe this leads to a semi pro/rel with MLS 1 and MLS 2 or there will be divisions within conferences but either way, the player pool is going to dry up if MLS expands too much, too quickly.

 

Demographics

This is important for the growth of MLS. With MLS and soccer in general skewing far younger than the age of the average fan in other sports. While it may not pay off now, that can pay huge dividends when those kids get older.

 

US Soccer

We all know Don Garber and Jurgen Klinsmann differ on what’s best for soccer in America. Quite honestly, I’m not shocked and am glad they have differing opinions. For Garber, he has to do what’s best for MLS because that’s what he’s judged on. For Klinsmann, he has to do what’s best for the USMNT and US Soccer because that’s what he’s judged on. Naturally, they’re going to have a different opinion on the future of soccer in America. The key is to have a compromise between the two and create a system that both can mutually benefit because as much as anyone likes to hear this, Jurgen Klinsmann needs MLS as much as Don Garber needs US Soccer.

 

Transparency

We have been hearing for a few years now from Commissioner Garber that fans demand more transparency and MLS will give them more transparency and that just hasn’t happened. Maybe it has been fractionally more transparent but we still see things like random rule changes, rules that may not even be published or announced and general things like not talking about the CBA negotiation on mlssoccer.com have made people upset and that doesn’t look like it’s going to change anytime soon. It seems like we’re all in agreement that there needs to be more transparency, it’s time to “put up or shut up.”

 

Commissioner Garber will be on the FOX Soccer Facebook page for a Q & A with fans at 4 et. We will be awaiting any new info.

Tweets from Andrew Das/@AndrewDasNYT, Alexander Abnos/@AnAbnos and Mike Sherman/@MikeSherman

About Phillip Bupp

News editor for The Comeback and Awful Announcing, highlight consultant for Major League Soccer as well as a freelance writer for hire. Opinions are my own but feel free to agree with them. Follow me on Twitter @phillipbupp

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