Every time there has been an article about David Beckham wanting to leave Major League Soccer on the footballing side or those cronies in the English press trying to knock down our league and American supporters that they have no idea about real football, here is a man that will stand up on top of a soap box and tells the media in England & all of Europe what’s the real truth about our league. That man is apart of the board at Arsenal Football Club in England and his name is Ivan Gazidis.
For the first time in the fourteen years of existence of America’s first division league, Commissioner Don Garber will be missing his true right hand man. While Don Garber is considered the facial leader of MLS, Ivan truly was the man setting up the rules and regulations of keeping the league on the straight and narrow in the financial & player acquiring department. For the first time when Don Garber took over for Doug Logan as Commissioner of the League he will be looking for an opinion from a person that will be considered Ivan’s replacement. But I wouldn’t be surprised if Don did make a couple of phone calls once in a while for some advice.
From the BBC Sport site here is an video interview with Ivan Gazidis discussing David Beckham, MLS, and if the sport has made an impact inside the USA. Click the link and after watching it please continue with my story.
With regards to the city of Seattle Gazidis is correct. Not only was it big to see 20,000 season tickets being sold, but to be honest the city of Seattle has always been football mad either during the old years of the NASL, the A-League/USL-1st Division chapters and this coming season going into MLS. There is plenty of history with the sport in Seattle and they have won a couple of USL-1st Division titles. Twice they were a goal away or a penalty kick shootout goal away from reaching the US Open Cup Final. This wasn’t done by David Beckham’s popularity joining MLS, Seattle has had this all along.
Why do you think the supporters of the Portland Timbers were marching in the city? It wasn’t for their health of course, but their desire to get their club promoted to the first division of American Soccer. Once again this wasn’t David Beckham’s doing. The people of Portland, Oregon wanted this to happen.
This is what the people and the press in England has to understand and why Ivan Gazidis is a firm believer that MLS will stay and survive before and after Beckham leaves the league. He knows that the support of the game will flourish here in the states and because of the internet and those special cable TV or satillite channels for football will make it even better & so far it has. Without the internet we wouldn’t be having these sites, blogs dedicated to the world’s favorite game & MLS Talk and all of it’s other sites wouldn’t be here either without the creation of the internet.
I am hoping that Ivan will have a successful tenure over at Arsenal and at the same time continue to sing the praises of MLS. Obviously this was a dream come true for him as he wanted to join one of England’s storied clubs and work in their boardroom. But as he was weeping a bit leaving MLS, I wouldn’t be surprised that one day he will get that phone call from MLS HQ in NYC and Don Garber will step down and ask Ivan too take over as Commissioner of our league. I would like to think that this could happen in the future.