What They're Saying: Don Garber

"I’m feeling a lot of ownership pressure to ensure that investment will start paying off.”

-- MLS Commissioner Don Garber on the "north of $50 million a year" MLS clubs are spending on player development but not getting back in terms of signing players to first-team contracts. He was responding to FC Dallas academy star Weston McKennie signing with Schalke 04. (SI.com)
6 comments about "What They're Saying: Don Garber".
  1. James e Chandler, September 16, 2016 at 9:47 a.m.

    That $50 million is coming from somewhere, isn't it, or they couldn't spend it.
    What I'm seeing is these academies taking over youth soccer, gathering other youth clubs under their umbrella. There's a lot of money to be made there from club, and coaching fees, and selling team gear not to mention the sense of club loyalty that strengthens the team's fan base which leads to additional advertising revenue..
    If you spread out all of the books, the investment's paying off.

  2. R2 Dad, September 16, 2016 at 12:26 p.m.

    When an MLS team sells a player to a foreign league, does that MLS team get 100% or does Garber skim? Last I read MLS gets 1/3 of the transaction. If that's the case, maybe MLS shouldn't insist on having their hand in every cookie jar. The youth development program in MLS is a good and necessary step forward. But MLS is mostly concerned with making money, and these kids see that. Look at all the slots that south americans 25-30 YO take. It makes for more attractive play, but if every team wants a vigorous development academy they're going to have to give some play time to these U-19s. These kids see Pulisic getting time at Dortmund, and while they all don't have his skills if Dortmund can make space for their youth players, so can every MLS team. And right now they're not.

  3. Margaret Manning, September 16, 2016 at 2:29 p.m.

    This is nuts and getting nuttier. I understand that this is a business, but it's also a soccer league. We've utterly lost the feel of the original MLS, where you actually knew the names of the players on other teams, and have gone down the road of selling franchises like hotcakes. This is just one aspect of the crazed focus on MORE MORE MORE.

  4. Ric Fonseca, September 16, 2016 at 2:42 p.m.

    Garber should not be crying over spilled milk! Instead he ought to be crying in his beer, simply and because most of the MLS teams prefer to sign players from most of the futbol-playing world, i.e. experienced players, many who don't mind in the least to come to the US and get paid in USD, and perhaps score a "workers wise" with immigration as a first step to get a green card. Now to some of you this may sound xenophobic, but I wonder if someone out there, in college majoring in pro-sports would conduct a research study or perhaps even write a thesis/dissertation on the "professional foreign-player phenomena" focusing on just how many of these players do come here, fulfill their contract and return home, or perhaps even finagle the processes to get themselves the paperwork to remain here. The point here is that Garber ought to work with the MLS owners, their GM's and HC's to encourage them to give the young players a chance to develop within the system, as opposed to see them sign with European, Liga MX, Central or South American leagues and then cry a river lamenting their loss - just as he's being reported as doing.

  5. :: SilverRey :: replied, September 16, 2016 at 5:45 p.m.

    If only there was a system in place where the club that developed the kid got some money... hmmm.... maybe like the rest of the world!

  6. Ric Fonseca, September 16, 2016 at 2:44 p.m.

    Ooops, above meant to say, "score a workers visa with immigration as a first step..."

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