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MLS Made Great Strides in the Garber Decade

My, how time flies. It was just 10 years ago when Major League Soccer was three and a half years old and "suffering through some painful growing processes," writes Steve Davis, with "one, lone soccer-specific stadium" and most teams "treading water at best," where "'diversity of ownership' meant the three guys sitting around a small conference table couldn't agree on the lunch menu," and "transparency in player acquisition was an increasingly prickly issue in what Bruce Arena would later call 'the Wild West.'"

The man to right the ship? Surely it wouldn't be "a senior-level suit from the NFL who might not have known Carlos Valderrama at the time if the two had shared a New York City cab on the day he took over as Major League Soccer commissioner." But here we are, a decade later, and despite his lack of soccer savvy upon taking perhaps the most important job in all of the sport in America, it's clear that Garber was "exactly what MLS needed to claw its way past the sticking point."

Off- and on-field victories and developments with Garber at the helm "read like an essential to-do list of guiding a national operation from wobbly childhood into handsome young manhood," with substantial progress in "areas of expansion, stadium development, growth in the collective ownership portfolio and the steady guidance of the league's breakthrough Designated Player rule," not to mention the creation of Soccer United Marketing, the league and U.S. Soccer's successful joint marketing arm.


Read the whole story at MLSnet.com »

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