Whether it’s promotion and relegation, or major USMNT players leaving Europe for the riches of MLS, Jurgen Klinsmann has taken numerous whacks at Don Garber’s piñata recently. And Mr. Garber, desperate not to lose any PR or standing in the eyes of the growing American soccer populace, fought back. It does reek of desperation, but would be expected in a battle between MLS and the USMNT; whose aspirations are almost never one in the same. So, are you Team Garber, or Team Klinsmann? Share your opinion in the comments section below.
Major League Soccer is growing rapidly, and the USMNT players like Michael Bradley and Clint Dempsey are a major part of that growth. Growth is also coming from players who are not USMNT fixtures, or even American, and that’s the nature of every soccer league in the world. However, Don Garber does need the US Men’s National team to be successful in order to grow his league even further. That’s where Jurgen Klinsmann comes in.
Despite Jurgen being a long-time resident of California, which now means that his sons are playing for US Youth Teams instead of German ones, he’s still married to how he was developed in German club academies, and married to the idea of the European game being the best development option. And he’s not wrong. However, he not only has to juggle the many facets of US Soccer, which include college soccer, lower leagues that often get overlooked, and the many quirks of MLS, but also the top of the game in Europe. American soccer is far more complicated and less streamlined than the game in every other country, especially Germany, so it would make sense that Jurgen would be married to his ways.
So when the two forces meet, it results in a hot take match. Don Garber has every right to be mad about Klinsmann dissing MLS because it does do damage to the league in the eyes of soccer fans on the fence, and he’s looking out for the growth of his own league. On the other hand, nothing in Klinsmann’s contract with the USSF dictates that he has to agree with MLS at every turn. He’s been frustrated and turned back by the league in many avenues, including the league playing games during international breaks so some of his best players are not available to him, not to mention watching some of his best players have a dramatic dip in form when they moved to MLS. Whether those two things are hand-in-hand are up to interpretation.