By FRANCO PANIZO
Goal-line technology is a hot topic in the world of soccer these days, and it could be implented in MLS as soon as this season.
FIFA is set to decide whether to change its long-standing rules of not using technology to aid match officials when it comes together to discuss the matter this July, and if the new approach is approved, MLS would not mind being one of the first leagues to use it.
"We're interested in being a test league and we hope that we could achieve that," MLS Commissioner Don Garber told the Associated Press Sports Editors on Thursday. "I would be open to whatever it is that could be done to ensure that we have goal-line technology.
"There's a lot more that we need to learn about it, understanding the process. The bottom line here is that I would be open to using goal-line technology as soon as it is made available."
Another topic of interest Garber touched on is expansion into the league. Garber said MLS is still focused on bringing a 20th team into New York, and that there are several ownership groups interested in purchasing the rights for that team should talks for a stadium lead develop into something more concrete.
Other markets that interest the league in expanding beyond 20 teams include Miami, Orlando, Atlanta and the Southwest. There was no mention of the Carolinas despite MLS officials recently visiting their to hold a public forum with fans.
Aside from expansion, MLS is currently working with Chivas USA to help find a new home in the Los Angeles area. Chivas USA wants out of the Carson-based Home Depot Center, which is also used by the Los Angeles Galaxy, and is hoping to relocate in the near future.
"We're got to work hard to figure out a repositioning and a re-energized approach," Garber said.
Garber, who once again reiterated the league is nowhere near promotion and relegation nor is it close to switching to the international calendar, touched on the league's recent decision to hand out retroactive suspensions by use of video review. Garber believes the new policy, which has its share of detractors, is working well, especially when it comes to eliminating simulation.
"Americans generally … view that aspect of the game as not fitting with our culture or our view of fairness," said Garber. "We have almost eliminated that unpleasant or unsavory aspect of the game from our sport."
Garber also revealed the league's interest in acquiring former Schalke 04 striker Raul. The former Spanish international said Thursday he would leave European soccer when his contract with the German club expires this summer.
Signing a player like Raul could help MLS attract more casual fans to the league, and that is something Garber desires.
"We've got to grow our televisions ratings in order to achieve our goals," said Garber. "We could turn that switch on if we wanted to invest in more David Beckhams, because we've seen ratings growth with (Thierry) Henry and Beckham when those two players are on national television."
What do you think of MLS possibly using goal-line technology this season? Would you like to see Atlanta and Miami get expansion teams? Think Raul would be a good addition to the league?
Share your thoughts below.