Commissioner Don Garber should know better. As the man most personally responsible for growing MLS into a palatable product in the United States, he should understand something very basic. As we discussed on today’s Daily 2Gs show on CSRN, the league is only where it is from an international standpoint thanks to DC United. For Commissioner Garber to make the following comments smacks of an appalling lack of respect for the signature club of the league he is the head of:
” For this league to win over the core audience, we’ve got to be able to be among the best clubs in N. America. DC United talks about their goal is to win a spot in the World Club Championship. They want to be the best team in the region. They really struggled the other night at Pachuca.”
DC United Manager Tom Soehn responded with the following:
“I want to thank our commissioner for motivating us for some slighted comments he had against us in the papers. I appreciate his TV analysis.”
Perhaps Mr. Commissioner if you weren’t so busy over selling and over promoting your league and certain teams in the league you could focus a little bit on making MLS more successful in these sorts of events. It’s quite ironic that despite all the bluster from the league office and certain executives about the Los Angeles Galaxy and David Beckham, when the rubber meets the road and our little league has prove it has grown up in legitimate competitions, the Galaxy and their $9.1 million payroll are never to be found. (The SUM created Pan Pacific Cup and Superliga are events meant to showcase MLS and make money, not true international championships of any sort)
You mention, Mr. Commissioner that for the league to win over its core audience our teams must be among the best clubs in North America. If that is the case, which I believe it is, why has the league spent so much time trying to market to casual sports fans via David Beckham and other vehicles who don’t share this perspective or even understand it in the least? I applaud the leagues newly stated goals: they have been my goals as I have editorialized time and again on this site for years now. However, if that is in fact your goal, and the goal of the league, why when a team such as DC United or Houston have injuries to key players like Ben Olsen or Eddie Robinson are they not able to sign a replacement player that doesn’t count against the salary cap or the 18 man senior roster limit?