Garber addresses MLS schedule, playoff system, expansion and more

Don Garber (Getty Images)


By FRANCO PANIZO

HARRISON, N.J. — MLS Commissioner Don Garber held an informal press conference at halftime of the U.S. men's national team friendly with Ecuador Tuesday night, and he discussed a bevy of topics, including MLS scheduling and expansion.

The first thing Garber touched on were the comments made recently by U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann. The German-born coach believes the MLS season is not long enough to compete with nations around the world, and that it needs to be prolonged in order to help American players be competitive at the sport's top level.

"Listen, Jurgen's right, season's too short," said Garber. "I'd love to able to have global warming to take its effect and have the weather in our country change and be able to have a longer season. But I think our fan base is developing and we will have Saturday night 56,000 people in Seattle. That's not something we would've dreamed of two years ago.

"I think the time will come (when) we'll be able to spread our season out a little bit. I appreciate Jurgen's support, I know that Dan (Flynn, CEO/Secretary General of U.S. Soccer) and Sunil (Gulati, president of USSF) have been really engaged with Jurgen to have him supportive of the league. He's coming into the office tomorrow to meet with me and (MLS executives) Nelson (Rodriguez) and Todd Durbin and we're going to sit down and talk about how we can grow the game together."

With MLS ending in two weeks, Garber also addressed the league's current playoffs system, which has drawn heavy scrutiny ever since it was announced.

"I think it's what, seven teams that are still in the hunt. I think our playoff format has been very exciting," said Garber. "I know we got a lot of criticism for adding our play-in games, but at the end of the day, pro sports in America are driven by the excitement of their playoffs leading into a championship game. Having that, experiencing that with MLS this season, I'm very excited for it. i know our fans are; our television ratings are going up, so I think that speaks for itself."

Garber was also asked at length about MLS expansion, and how the search for a 20th team in New York City is going. The commissioner responded by saying strides have been made.

"The city has been supportive. We really appreciate the support of the Mayor's office," said Garber. "I've got two or three investors prospects in my box tonight. If we can build a stadium, we're going to have a 20th team in New York City. But we've got a lot of work before we get that stadium built."

One team that's been heavily linked with that coveted 20th spot is the New York Cosmos. But Garber said that the Cosmos have some wrinkles to iron out before being taken more seriously.

"We talk to them. I don't know that they're involved. They've got some things that they're trying to work out within their ownership group, but I've said many times I applaud what they've been doing," said Garber. "They're doing a great job building their brand, and when we're ready to get that team launched, if they want to be a part of it, we'll be happy to talk to them."

Garber also emphasized the importance of getting a stadium (preferably soccer-specific) in place for the potential second New York team.

"At the end of the day, we've got to get a stadium built. I believe that we'll be able to get that done," said Garber. "I feel better about it now than I have at any other point, but we've got a lot of work to do. It's a difficult market to get projects developed, as evidenced by how long it took to get Red Bull Arena built."

Garber later added: "We get a stadium built, we'll have no problem getting an ownership group for that team, so whether it's one group or it's a combination of groups, the stadium is the key to a second team in New York."

As for a location of a newly-constructed stadium? Queens seems to be a primary candidate in the commissioner's eyes.

"Queens would be great. It'd (be) great to have a stadium in Flushing Meadows (Corona) Park or to have it somewhere around Citi Field, but Randall's Island is a prospect that we've been spending a little more time looking at, so I think it will ultimately come to fruition," said Garber. "The question to me is, 'How long is it going to take and how much patience do we have?'"

Asked what other options there are for the league in terms of expansions, Garber responded by saying that the league could just sit and wait until the perfect fit comes along.

"Things are going well with the league, so we're not in a rush," said Garber. "We don't need to do it, I've said that many times before. I think in the past, starting in '05, we needed to expand. We don't need to expand now, we want to with the right owner, the right facility and the right market, so we'll do it when the time is right."

As much as the league wants a second team in the New York market, Garbed admitted that isn't the be-all, end-all in terms of expansion.

"We could only be committed to if we can get the deal done. We want it to happen," said Garber. "If we can get it done in a reasonable period of time, then we're going to go down a path to really focus on New York as a priority. But if we can't get it done, we'll continue to look at all those other markets that have been noisy about soccer, whether that's all the ones I've mentioned in the past, Minneapolis, Atlanta, Miami."

——–

What do you think of Garber's comments towards the MLS schedule needing to be longer? Agree that the playoffs system has been exciting? Happy/disappointed that the league is so set on making New York the 20th team?

Share your thoughts below.

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123 Responses to Garber addresses MLS schedule, playoff system, expansion and more

  1. DingDong says:

    The Russian league is switching to a fall-to-autumn schedule next year. I hear it’s cold in Russia.

  2. chris says:

    when did Russia get the NFL, NBA, NHL, college football, college basketball and MLB playoffs?

  3. Bob34 says:

    Yeah, I don’t get the whole, it’s too cold to play soccer in America during the winter. I’ve been to games in both Germany and England when it was less than 20 degrees and snowing. I also don’t buy the soccer comepeting against football argument either. Both are going on now and it hasn’t seemed to hurt attendance for soccer matches…

  4. Second City says:

    Memo to Don Garber: Global Warming isn’t synonymous with just “heat”.

    On the other hand: Absolutely love the hard stance of having stadiums built for entry into MLS. Great progess and step in the right direction for our country’s domestic league.
    ======

    While I appreciated Klinsmann’s perspective, living in California has apparently given him the false-impression we have playable conditions in places like Chicago, in mid-Dec/Jan.

    I would, however, like to see a mid-to-late Feb to Nov/Dec schedule. Starting late March isn’t really necessary if you ask me.

  5. Bill says:

    I’m pretty sure what The Soccer Don is arguing here is that if we’re getting 9,000 fans in Columbus and New England in April, they’d be playing to empty houses in December and January.

  6. DingDong says:

    Chris: I agree there are good reasons not to have a fall-to-spring schedule. I’m just pointing out that cold is not an insurmountable barrier to extending the current schedule, say, into December.

  7. ggujjyf says:

    The 20th team should be St. Louis or Atlanta or Miami/Orlando. No to a 2nd New York club

  8. DingDong says:

    I meant “fall-to-spring” of course.

  9. ggujjyf says:

    MLS should start from February and run to November. 9 months is all you need. That covers 30-35 league games plus cup ties.

  10. Second City says:

    Florida should be written off permanently. Across the board….all sports.

    The support for the Tampa Bay Rays all season and especially in the playoffs was pathetic. The support for the Heat is pathetic. The support for the Jaguars is pathetic. The support for the Marlins/Dolphins is pathetic.

    Unless it’s college football: Just Say No to Florida.

  11. Allen23 says:

    Season could easily be moved up 2 weeks and begin on the first weekend in March. Play games on the West Coast and Texas early on. Even here in Chicago games could be played into late late November. So you could take DEC, JAN and FEB off. Does not seem so tough to me and I would be one of the fans watching the game in 20 deg weather.

    As far as expansion, I would still prefer the 20th team to be in a new market, ST. Louis, Atlanta or Florida.

  12. Super Metro says:

    trust me, when it’s too cold, I won’t go out to watch a game; that’s probably the sentiment around the non-hardcore fan. So far the league is doing ok, let’s wait a little more for something like this to be implemented.

    NY Expansion:Randall’s Island doesn’t sound so crazy, it’s right in the middle of everything, traffic congestion is the biggest problem there…!!

  13. soccerfan says:

    NE Columbus Chicago could start out with 4 away games and end with 4 away games, resolve the problem stop making excuses

  14. NATO says:

    You sir are a genius. 100% backing thia

  15. SilverRey says:

    It’s less about whether the games can be played in January, but about the fans. How many people are going to be coming out to a 2nd or 3rd game of the season when it’s 20 and snowing?

    I agree that it is becoming irrelevant to say that playoffs are being compromised by other sports. There is enough of a fan base now that I think we’re doing pretty well competing for viewership/attendance.

  16. Rick says:

    Wanting global warming is the wrong thing to say Don….And it’s climate change. Unpredictable weather in all seasons. 2011 already has the most catastrophe’s in history.

  17. Rick says:

    Dumb comment by Don…Sounds like a big oil guy or something

  18. k says:

    He didn’t adress the problem with the playoffs, the problem is that you have the 3 best teams in the league playing each other before the final and giving lesser teams a clear and easy path to the championship game. The fans want to see the two best teams given the chance to face each other in the championship game, not eliminated in the first round.

  19. george3000 says:

    There was an interesting blurb I read the other day about the Silver Dome in Detroit possibly being renovated into a 30k seat venue for soccer. Though I suppose Detroit doesn’t have a prayer of getting picked over NYC, let alone St. Louis, I thought it was interesting nonetheless.

  20. Mark says:

    Or a greedy football or basketball guy

  21. Second City says:

    My sentiments exactly, Rick.

  22. Second City says:

    From what I remember: the renovation costs would outweigh the value of doing so.

    Wasn’t it bought by someone for just a few million and had plans to just hold Flea Markets there?

  23. Olly says:

    Pretty effing cold in Toronto in February/March too. Can’t imagine going to games in -20 weather. And it’s always colder at BMO Field with the wind coming off Lake Ontario. Having 4 away games to start and end the season is a poor solution. Not fair to northern teams to be at such a disadvantage at crucial periods in the schedule.

  24. DC Josh says:

    I would rather watch a game at RFK in 25 degrees and snow and be bundled up in DC United gear, than stand in 110 degree heat sweating through my clothes and being exhausted by halftime. The only problem would be tailgating. There isn’t a bar close enough to RFK for everyone to pre-game and walk to the stadium.

  25. DC Josh says:

    To think I despised Garber back in 2006. The guy has revolutionized soccer in the USA.

  26. Mike says:

    I don’t what stadiums that serve two sports, look at Vancouvers new stadium it’s too big! Even with the curtains it still seems cavernous. MLS needs only soccer specific stadiums. Like Livestrong Sporting Park, Red Bull Arena, Crew Sradium. F*** the American football stadiums for soccer. It kills the atmosphere unless you are Seattle. Also all current owners that don’t have a SSS, they should be mandated to have one built by 2015 or be forced to sell the team back to MLS where they can sell the team to new ownership willing to grow the sport.

  27. Second City says:

    Also……………grass surfaces mandatory.

  28. 99 says:

    Columbus and NE have 9000 show up for games?

  29. Matt says:

    RBNY is going to limp into the playoffs, win a few games in a row, and be dubbed the best team in all the land while the Galaxy fill their shield with tears.

  30. george3000 says:

    Article didn’t mention renovation costs – though I would have to imagine they would be substantial. Kind of like renovating RFK. The artist renderings were kind of interesting, though, and I think the league could benefit from having an additional team in the midwest (i.e. since Garber is always talking about creating more rivalries).

    I’m sure Chicago, Columbus and KC wouldn’t mind.

  31. Chris in Des Moines says:

    And almost every team in Russia plays on turf already. If you want that, fine.

  32. Goat Boy says:

    Danced around that one didn’t he. I agree it’s exciting to have so many teams still in the hunt for playoff seats. But there could be that same excitement with a single table playoff structure and it would avoid the problem we’ve seen the last few years where you have one dominant “conference.”

    Garber likes conferences because of the rivalries that develop. The thing is conferences are based on geography and just because you blow up conferences, doesn’t mean Seattle and Portland or DC and Philly move farther away from each other. Geographic rivalries will stay. And with a single table, you may get even more rivalries across distances (think Seattle and DC in recent years).

  33. Jayrod1111 says:

    Does anyone want to start an new MLS franchise with me?

    We will call it FC Boston, we will get a sweet 20,000 seat stadium in a surrounding area of Boston…

    We can get a nice new crest and cool uniforms with 3rd kits and a lucrative sponsor…

    Perhaps we can attract good players who want to play in front of a full house of rabid fans who would love to be able to see proffesional soccer in their backyard…

    I just need 5 million from 10-15 people and we can get this done!!!

    Forza FC Boston

  34. franky says:

    So many hippies on this site. The guy was joking.

  35. Dan says:

    I think MLS should look elsewhere for the next expansion. If you want to grow the sport then don’t put a team where you already have one (yes I thought the same with Chivas USA). My three choices would be St. Louis, Indianapolis, and North Carolina (Raleigh or Charlotte)

  36. PhillyMLS says:

    Yeah. We can never be a legitimate league like Serie A or Ligue 1 when we are playing games on turf. Stuff like that would never fly in Europe.

  37. Second City says:

    The “guy” is the face of MLS, by the way.

    Given how tactful & calculated he normally is, the comment just appeared as plain ignorance.

    If by “hippie” you mean intelligent, I appreciate it. Redneck.

  38. Juan says:

    MLS shouldn’t even be thinking about a 2nd team in the NYC area when you have so many other cities that wants MLS. Bring expansion to Miami.

  39. Angel FAN of USA says:

    That is all BS Garber know if we get really hardCore Fans and people that enjoy a great football(soccer) fans will attend to this games, Look what happen in NFL when teams like Vikings, Packers, Patriots, and other team in the East Coast will play in the Cold/snow weather and they are thousands of fan in the stadium. SO come on stop with the excuses Garber and bring us to the real international schedule instead of six month off make 2months off at least we be ready for other events like Concacaf Champions or our USNMT players can be fit. Please raise that damn salary Cap to 5million for each team at least so we can get better players.

  40. Kejsare says:

    Have you seen Miami’s attendance nowadays?

  41. Kejsare says:

    [I meant the Canes]

  42. Kejsare says:

    Word.

  43. Kejsare says:

    Does the pigskin have to roll on the snow at all?

  44. Felix says:

    Its built into the culture to attend games in the winter – like it is here in the NFL. But here in the US, that’s not the case. There are still clubs here that are strugglig for attendance, and now to put the league up against college football, NFL, NBA and NHL and to have to go to games in the winter?? You will set the league back in terms of attendance and atmosphere 10 years by making that move.

  45. john.q says:

    randall’s island is a possibility although there is no public transit. also i’d imagine they would take away a majority of the soccer fields already there to build a stadium. many leagues play there.. that would suck.

    still think flushing meadows next to citi field is the best idea. i took a bike ride through the park last weekend and there was soccer everywhere. leagues playing and kids kicking soccer balls as far as the eye could see. imagine playing in the park with your family and heading to the game in the evening. pretty dope.. and the infrastructure is already there.

  46. Scott e Dio93 says:

    Mid Feb through late Nov.

    Give two or three week MLS break, playing friendlies against top clubs.

  47. Felix says:

    I agree with the sentiment, the problem is how do you force someone like Bob Kraft, who was one of the original owners to make a move like that. What does he care about a SSS, he’s got a tenant for Foxboro to bring in revenue in the offseason – why should he have to run around hunting for a good site for a SSS (from his perspective).

    As a MLS fan, and someone who knows how passionate New Englanders can be about their teams, having someone treat the Revolution with the proper amount of respect instead of some minor league side like Kraft does would be great for the league. I believe they could rival the Union in terms of atmosphere.

    The only chance of something like that happening though is if someone bought the Revs off of Kraft and treated them with the respect they deserve.

  48. Felix says:

    I agree with Garber. I don’t know some MLS fans think they speak for everyone and wanting to switch to the international calendar. If you switch the calendar, attendance would drop big-time. No doubt.

  49. slyboy says:

    Philly, i know what you are trying to get at, but Europe is not some magical land where no one uses turf. There are several leagues that use turf, including the Russian league people were using as example of a league that plays in extreme cold

  50. chris says:

    I guess its sad that miami had a higher attendence then red bull arena last night

  51. Justa Guy says:

    It’d be soccer vs.

    NFL
    college football
    NBA
    college basketball
    NHL

    No competition like THAT anywhere in the world.

  52. Justa Guy says:

    plus, someplace like chicago, it might not be 20 degrees, it might be NEGATIVE 20

  53. Northzax says:

    You aren’t in Europe. Adjust.

  54. slyboy says:

    Come on man, THERE IS no real international schedule!!!!. Just because the EPL or La liga has a fall to spring schedule doesn’t mean that is the “real” international schedule. Go look at the mexican league, brazilian or hell all of Scandinavia.

  55. chris says:

    FC Boston??? Haha you lost me there. Probaly one of the stupidest names i have ever heard. We dont call it football and we are not european.

  56. slyboy says:

    Nancy and Lorient of Ligue 1 also have fieldturf pitches…. is France part of Europe??

  57. chris says:

    Hahaha quit b!tching. If you thought there was too many draws now just wait till its 20 degrees and snowing. We would go weeks without seeing a goal

  58. chris says:

    No late feb to late october. Get rid of the open cup and only one friendly. Shorten the playoffs to the top 8 teams

  59. Gazza says:

    BC Place (like Seattle’s) will not be too big in 5-10 years when they are sellouts of 50-60k regularly and 40k season ticket holders.

    And FYI neither CenturyLink Field nor BC Place are American football stadiums.

  60. Josh says:

    I hated the idea of more teams in MLS playoffs when it was first announced, but I have to be honest this playoff run has been fun. Maybe Garber isn’t so bad.

  61. Gazza says:

    You need way more money than that.

    This is not your older brothers MLS!!

  62. ryan says:

    Jesus it was clearly a joke. You people are taking it way to seriously and reading into to much. It was an informal press conference not the state of the union address. And you sound real intelligent calling someone a redneck to retaliate.

  63. RLW2020 says:

    +1 streching the season into earlier spring is fine. and scheduling those early games in domes/southern teams could be done easly.

    I like the idea of getting a 20th team in the geographic areas that are not covered, but NO team should be awarded with out a solid fan base, stadium and owner. Right now I don’t see that anywhere in the South expect maybe Carolina.. maybe Orlando.. either one is nothing compared to what the Cosmos could be.

  64. NATO says:

    ALL MLS teams need to have SSS’s which house 15-25,000 people

  65. Mark F says:

    Why they keep ignoring St. Louis as a potential expansion market is beyond me. It has a great history, passionate sports fans, and a geographic region to help fill out the midwest.

  66. gerald says:

    Water Ferry to the island. They were talking about this for the olympic plan a few years back

  67. Second City says:

    What was said were the conditions and the fan experience. To say nothing of the general ambiance of playing in a stadium specifically designed for soccer.

    Sad is the state of Floridian sports followings.

  68. rlw2020 says:

    watching last years MLS cup i was thinking BMO Field has got to be upgraded. Possibly with a Roof of some sort to block those winds. or just play the beginning season games in the Jays’ stadium like Montreal did in the champs league a few years ago.

    They play outside in futher north venues across the northern world, they just don’t play in fields that look like big high school football stadiums.

  69. gerald says:

    Get an ownership group with a plan

  70. bryan says:

    i agree! people act like no one wants to come out when it’s cold. but it beats mid-summer, especially in places like the mid-atlantic and texas. when it’s 100 degree, 100% humidity with a chance of thunder storms EVERY GOD DAMN DAY, i don’t get motivated to go. i’d prefer fall to spring.

    also, NFL plays on Sundays and Mondays. MLS is on Saturdays with a few games on Sunday. it wouldn’t really cause that much of a change. as for NCAA football, MLB playoffs and NBA, i think people are over reacting.

    MLB playoffs only go for so long and NBA isn’t all that popular anymore. NHL could cause an issue, but i think it would be ok.

  71. bryan says:

    who cares about new England. they don’t show up anyway. i wish that team would move…sorry boston, but i do.

    as for columbus, it’s a fair point. but i thin they could work it out.

  72. bryan says:

    but can they do that week in and week out?

  73. Joseph D'Hippolito says:

    +10

  74. Mark F says:

    I’m just responding to Garber’s comments:

    “…we’ll continue to look at all those other markets that have been noisy about soccer, whether that’s all the ones I’ve mentioned in the past, Minneapolis, Atlanta, Miami.”

    Nothing to do with ownership groups. Not to mention that they did have a pretty strong ownership group that was backed by Anheiser-Busch.

  75. Joseph D'Hippolito says:

    The New York Cosmos will never play in MLS. It’s nothing but a scam designed to sell gear for Umbro/Nike. Besides, Terry Byrne is involved with this and he nearly destroyed the Los Angeles Galaxy three years ago with his antics and those of 19 Entertainment. If I were Garber, I’d stay *far, far away* from anything that has Bryne in its management team.

  76. CrazyMike366 says:

    I’d like to see MLS move to a February to November schedule. Good teams should expect to play a lot of games. And with a 30 man roster, a bump in the salary cap, and an extra foreign player spot or two, MLS will be able to cope with it better than any league in the world.

    A big team in Europe that makes deep runs in every competition will play 60+ games a year over 10 months. If MLS wants to compete with those teams for fans’ money, they need to sack up and expand the schedule. We’re already darn near there. Such an expansion would only add an extra 2 or 3 weeks onto the schedule.

    Might as well make the schedule balanced, adopt Grant Wahl’s proposed playoff format, limit the number of mid-season (“Euro pre-season”) club friendlies, and bias the home/away schedule for weather while we’re at it.

  77. Gnarls says:

    Combined.

  78. CrazyMike366 says:

    And as far as expansion goes, I’d like to see any club that plans on jumping to MLS establish a big fan base in D2, put a title-challenging group on the field, and make the ownership groups prove they deserve it.

    Seattle, Portland, and Vancouver all did this, and they don’t look a bit out of place in MLS. Sabre-rattlers in theoretically good markets like NY Proper (looking at you, Cosmos) would do well to emulate them.

    And before the league starts expanding past 20, I’d like to see struggling MLS teams (looking at you, Revs) get their sh*t together and put a competitive team on the field in an SSS or face the prospect of relocation.

  79. hogatroge says:

    The Russian league is making a nonsensical decision.

    It gets a lot colder than 20 F in the winter there… same in Boston, Chicago, Vancouver, Montreal, Toronto, etc.

  80. hogatroge says:

    You can take NBA off that list…lol

  81. PurpleGold says:

    “You people” You People? WHAT YOU MEAN…YOU PEOPLE?!

  82. Robert Smith says:

    The Soccer Don’s global warming comment was pretty asinine… Another statement that should raise eyebrows is that Jurgen will be meeting with he, Nelson Rodriguez and TODD DURBIN!

    While the commissioner’s knowledge and appreciation of soccer has grown, does he really and realistically know what is going to grow the game and its players here in the U.S…. Me thinks not. Rodriguez is a good person to have in that conversation.

    Durbin, on the other hand, knows legal proceedings and contracts but is what’s best for the game really his focus and motivation? Me also thinks not.

  83. Kejsare says:

    Repeat with emphasis:

    “Get an ownership group”

    “With a plan”

  84. Cold says:

    I’m a pretty big DCU fan. I watch every game, with almost no exceptions. I try to go to as many games as I can but realistically make it to about 5 home games every year. Sometimes, I rather watch at home than go to the stadium. If its freezing outside I’m significantly less likely to go to a game and would be even harder to convince my less committed friends and family members to go and tailgate. I’d love to be on that calendar but its just not realistic. Ask a casual soccer fan what they think of the idea? Do they want to go in cold weather? Most of them follow the team through the summer and still keep them in mind once football starts.

  85. strider says:

    Sorry Dan. I live in Indy and we don’t have nearly the fan base for a team at this point. Even though soccer is growing here and there are lots of great travel teams in the area, there just aren’t enough adults who will pay to see games on a regular basis yet. I’m sure we wouldn’t do as well as Columbus, which isn’t too good, in terms of attendance. I’d still love to see St. Louis or Atlanta get the next franchise. Both are strategic cities that could grow the sport. Don’t know how St. Louis has failed to get a team so far.

  86. ELAC says:

    It is my gut feeling that Chivas USA will be sold to the New York Cosmos investment group.

    I have no facts or data. Just a hunch.

  87. Jeff G says:

    STL needs an MLS team. It’s a huge soccer town, and there would be a great (potential) rivalry with SKC and Chicago Fire.

  88. sciroccer says:

    You have to think of other problems. What about the condition of the pitch? And yes, other leagues are a big factor. The MLS is far from the support it would need to profit from those games. Maybe diehards like you, and I would go? But the other 10,000 fans that will show up in June, would’nt attend in November/December. Their money would be spent indoor at NBA, NHL games etc. The players wouldnt play as well, and it opens the window for more injuries. And let’s all face it America is not yet to the quality players it needs to make up for the expanded roster. Which the MLS cannot afford until the league is more important in this country. Owners would have to spend more on players/roster, and they would lose money because of low attendence. Give it 5-10 years then expand it!

  89. sciroccer says:

    Also, you really wouldnt want say, the CRapids with a summer home stretch, and a winter away type of season or Houston away thru summer, and home in winter. Plus most team location’s would kill that type of scheduling. Maybe the league should focus on getting every team in their own REAL GRASS stadium first??? BAN TURF DON!!!!!!!

  90. Jamie says:

    Word, it gets much colder here in the midwest.

  91. PhillyMLS says:

    No, you missed the sarcasm in my post. Hence the reason I used two prominent European leagues that have teams that play on turf. This is America, where we have to use a shorter season, use turf more often, and have (gasp) playoffs. I’d just like Klinsmann to remember he is in America and we do things differently. I’d also like him to, I don’t know, focus on winning instead of what “problems” MLS has.

  92. Powderhorn Pops says:

    The Miami does suck for sports…people are too busy doing things other than sucking down beer and sausages waiting for their next opportunity to SIT and stare.

  93. Jamie says:

    Word it was clearly a joke, some people are too uptight.

  94. nickbigsmoke says:

    One step Garber needs to make is the calendar change. Right now we are losing players to European clubs because they play more games over their for a longer period of time. And players just want to get recognized. The weather shouldn’t be an issue. Jan/Feb there is 8 weeks. throw in 2 or maybe 3 bye weeks depending on the club your only looking at 5 or some odd games in those 2 months. And games CAN be canceled if weather is out of control. Most leagues leave a couple weeks open at the end of the season for cancellation games. If you cant watch or play soccer in cold weather then your not a true fan. Sorry. The sport will grow as the consistency of play and scheduling grows. I think Garber should do a massive expansion soon and get 28 to 30 MLS teams in US and Canada. And keep the 2 separate conferences. That would make cross conference games alot more exciting kind of like NL and AL baseball matches.

  95. RFCSean says:

    I just don’t get the league’s fascination with another club in NY. The Red Bulls aren’t close to capacity while fielding a footballing legend, the cranky captain of the Mexican National team and a pair of up and coming USMNT players in what is a gorgeous stadium. Is there really that much demand for a second team in the New York market? I totally get that this is all about the Benjamins and the league is driving up the expansion fee by courting the Cosmos. There are surely better options for MLS to explore in cities like Miami, St Louis, San Diego or some other city with a organic, grassroots movement to get a team (see Sons of Ben, 2007).

  96. Jamie says:

    Every time they snap the ball.

  97. dhines says:

    responding to justa Guy

    by the lake? rarely . . . 30 miles inland, possibly. in december, not likely.

    that is unless you were referring to ‘chicagoland’

  98. Karlomabo says:

    I am a RB Season ticket holder and I go to the games with my wife or father… and I do not care if it is cold or hot.. but i know that neither of them would like the idea to watch the game in a cold Saturday of Jan or Feb!! and the people around my section at RBA are couples most of them with kids… not a good idea….

  99. nickbigsmoke says:

    The Arena was poorly placed. It was built in Jersey City so its hard to say that its a NY team. I think if the new stadium was built in a highly populated borough like Queens or Brooklyn than it might attract more fans.

  100. Dan says:

    Fair enough, I was just going off of the high school soccer scene in the suburbs (as told by family) and how many are now on MLS rosters.

  101. gigi says:

    A second team in New York would for sure be cool and hell they might even get more fans goin to their stadium than the red bulls, but only for a little while. What New York needs is not a second team, what they need is a winning team. Because New York doesn’t follow unsuccessful teams, no they follow winners. And until the red bulls can make it, it is in my dissertation that the franchise wouldn’t be as successful as one would imagine. Thats just my opinion though, I think Atlanta would be a safer bet.

  102. Rick says:

    Why split the small fan base of NY soccer fans? Doesn’t make sense. The 20th team should be in a new city.

  103. gigi says:

    And then Angel will score a hat trick against red bull on the first time the cosmos and red bull meet. Yup i can see it happen

  104. f3rgette says:

    St. Louis can’t seem to find an ownership group with the brains and commitment to make pro soccer work. There is a lot of competition for fans with Rams, Cardinals, Blues and SLU soccer, but I think the potential is there for it to be successful. Just need some owners with a good plan who won’t cut and run when things get challenging (ACSTL, I’m looking at you). And a stadium. Definitely need a stadium. Maybe in that giant empty lot next to Busch…

  105. f3rgette says:

    Exactly. A plan and commitment to make it work. Losing ACSTL and Athletica was just embarrassing and painful.

  106. Greg G says:

    No to Randall’s Island. There is absolutely no transportation there. It would flop.

    Plus, I don’t understand this need to build in Queens. Seems based, in part, on a false premise that, because there are Hispanic communities there, there will be greater attendance. They should focus on Brooklyn. It’s has a very diverse community (including Hispanic, which MLS will love) and tons of white nerdy hipster types (read: Seattle Sounder, Portland Timber – type fans) that will fill the stadium. There is also a LIRR terminal at Atlantic Avenue for Long Island fans. Manhattan is too damn expensive, and Brooklyn seems to be more forward looking. I say build over the Rail Yards at Stillwell Ave near Coney Island, the Waterfront near Williamsburg, Floyd Bennett field, the Navy Yard, or Red Hook.

  107. John says:

    November-January: Winter league of 6 teams in Arizona made up of players 15-26.
    January: Preseason
    Weekend after Superbowl: Start MLS Season
    July: Three Week Summer Break
    November: End Season

  108. Madnote says:

    I don’t get why all you people are going nuts over cold weather. Winter weather isn’t a problem for the teams in the southeast!

    oh wait…

    I forgot that MLS has a huge “Keep Out” sign pasted over us on the map. It’s almost like they’ve been getting drunk and throwing darts at the map.

    What’s next, Honolulu FC?

  109. Jayrod1111 says:

    To both of you who replied to my post….

    This was a sarcastic post to point out the fact that NE REVS need a rebranding and a new stadium…

    It has nothing to do with the proposed name of the club or the money required to start a franchise…

  110. NBizz5 says:

    I agree that they should look elsewhere. Why do they think having a second team in NY is going to work when the first NY team has a brand new stadium and can barely get it half full for the majority of their games?!

  111. Dudinho says:

    we need to be a bit more established until we move in that direction. were almost at every team owning their stadium. Big reason we haven’t done it already. And if you think attendance in new england is bad Ha! love to see how many folks are going to want to drive out to the boondocks to whatch them play in the winter. the Revs and United ironing out their stadium deals will move us closer to an international calendar. until thats resolved it aint happening

    if they do

    then i see MLS doing it towards the end of this decade assuming we all live past 2012 lol.

    Were probably going to have a one to two month break in the season something like ending the first half of the season in early December end of November and not returning until after the Superbowl

  112. ricky says:

    I’m pretty sure it was a hyperbole

  113. bottlcaps says:

    How many professional sports play regular season games OUTDOORS in January, February or March? None. Baseball has preseason in Arizona and Florida in March and the Super Bowl in January is a one-off event played indoors or outdoors in a warm sunny climate.

    Yet if FIFA had their way, we would be playing soccer those months…HAH

    Good for Russia!! Germany and Poland and the other eastern European countries should follow their lead.

    If the USSF and the MLS would like to “prolong” the season, they would be butting up against climactic barriers in most of the US.

    My suggestion: Extend the season til November and shoten the playoffs to no more than two weeks. START the season in March, with games in most of the warmer states AND hold the OPEN CUP as a preseason tournament and not extend it like it is now. This would allow more room for the CCL and other international tourneys and give the MLS some flexibility to reschedule games when the but up against WCQ or international events.

  114. Rory says:

    Yeah, I’m gonna have to call BS to that one. How does one measure “most catastrophe’s in history”… and how does one compare that to any year before the internet made every catastrophe a world news event. I’m gonna go with the Nasa folks down in Huntsville that explained that all the UN Models are horribly wrong for not taking into account the actual amount of heat that escapes the atmosphere (Dr. Spencer, U of Alabama-Huntsville–the boss when it comes to climate) and CERN who have demonstrated (not theorized, but actually demonstrated in controlled conditions) that the Sun’s increased activity and how it impacts cloud formations is to blame for the slight temp increases we have seen.
    These aren’t crackpots.. this is CERN (of the superhydron collider) we’re talking about.
    Sadly, Commish Garber, I doubt one tenth of one degrees average over the next decade will help much… might mean one more fat Seattle fan decides to go shirtless and paint his chest at a chilly October game, but that’s about it. Don’t see you playing a game in Denver in December anytime this decade.

  115. rory says:

    Agreed… when the commish can convince fans to show up for midweek game in the summer then maybe he can start thinking about winter games… maybe.

  116. cony says:

    What problems do our players have? Lack Creativity, first touch is weak, not comfortable with the ball under pressure, play too many long balls, weak decision making and I could go on and on. So Garber wants to control the weather and JK wants a longer season. Here is your solution. Start a MLS Futsal Pro league after the season is over. Futsal will help our players to improve 100%. This is a no brainer. But people need to think out of the box. The players will love it. We need a REVOLUTION in America. We need radical thinking. The status quo is keeping us chained to a fence. It is time to cut the chains of mediocrity and unleash the dogs of war. Our players are ready for change. Just ask them. They are not idiots.

  117. cony says:

    US soccer has come along way but still has along way to go. Klinsmann, Arena, Bradley, or whom ever else is out there is not going to make a huge difference. The national team will continue to do fine. They will qualify and do their best at the world cup. Coaches don’t win championships. Players win championships. We don’t have the players to win the big one yet. But we will one day if we start to put certain things in place. Eg., 30,000 futsal courts is a starter. Especially in the inner cities of America. We need Create a playing environment vs coaching environment for kids. Coaching is totally overrated. It is hurting our player’s development. Our players need a lot less of adult involvement. Read The Talent Code. Read the section where the Futsal coach is sitting on his butt while the kids just play. That is what we need from our adults. Be there but you are not there. That has always been a good sign of a great ref. He’s there but he’s not there. The future stars of the US will come from a playing environment and not a coaching environment. Coaches should have a place but later when players have learn the game by playing 7 days a week. It is the environment that needs to be revamped and not the coaching curriculm. I wish JK, his staff and the team the best and they will be fine. Meanwhile what are we going to do for the future stars? That is the question that needs to be resolved. And quickly before the rest of Concacaf catches up to us.

  118. inkedAG says:

    FLUSHING MEADOWS OR BUST!! :)

  119. Joseph D'Hippolito says:

    ELAC, do you have any idea why Vergara and Cue are holding on to the franchise? They certainly can’t be making money on it. Perhaps they use it as a write-off for both U.S. and Mexican taxes. It wouldn’t surprise me.

  120. Chiefs Fan says:

    The Atlanta Chiefs were in 3 NASL finals. We have the largest broadcast market without a team. There are no teams in the southeast. We want our team back. (Oh yeah, and they beat Manchester City TWICE.) They were awesome.

    ATL, ASAP. ATLANTA CHIEFS FC.

  121. Chiefs Fan says:

    ATL, ASAP. ATLANTA CHIEFS FC!!!

  122. Chiefs Fan says:

    Sorry for the double post. Didn’t think the first one showed up.