Don Garber has to do what is in the Best Interest of MLS

MLS Commissioner Don Garber said on Friday that he will continue to go after key members of the Unites States Men’s National Team despite the fact US coach Jurgen Klinsmann desires his top players play overseas.don-garber

Klinsmann was not happy when MLS clubs signed key top US internationals Clint Dempsey, Jermaine Jones, Michael Bradley, and Jozy Altidore who had all achieved success on the pitch outside the states.

Signing these players has renewed interest in MLS and increased attendance in its 20th season. Said Garber about American players:

“We will do whatever we need to do to ensure that we have the best possible American players here, because we have to be a league of choice for everyone that cares about the game – that is players and fans.”

Garber realizes his philosophy differs from Klinsmann, but believes he must make decisions in the best interest of the league.

“My job is to do everything that I can to grow Major League Soccer and to ensure that MLS is going to be a driver of the growth of soccer at the highest level in the U.S. It’s not a short-term goal. It’s a long-term objective. And I do believe our national team coach has a short-term objective. That’s what he’s hired to do. That doesn’t mean next week, but it’s to win the Gold Cup, it’s to have the best possible team in 2018.”

I wouldn’t expect Klinsmann to be happy that key players returned to play in a league that is not on the same level as the top leagues oversees. However, it also doesn’t make sense to have top American players receiving limited playing time overseas even if the league is better.

The US National Team still has a number of American players overseas like goalkeeper Tim Howard, defenders Deandre Yedlin and John Brooks, and midfielders Fabian Johnson and Alex Bedoya. There is nothing wrong with having a good mix of MLS and overseas players on the US National Team. Klinsmann has proven he will give anyone a chance if he can help the team succeed and improve the overall talent pool.

Garber and Klinsmann will continue to disagree on this issue, but Garber has to stick to his plan if the MLS is going to continue to improve the quality of play throughout the league even as expansion continues over the next few years.

And that’s as I see it!

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