MLS: Quotes from July 20 media teleconference

The following are quotes from the July 20 MLS media teleconference, which featured MLS commissioner Doug Logan, MLS Executive VP Ivan Gazidis, Tampa Bay coach Tim Hankinson and San Jose coach Brian Quinn. Doug Logan Opening Remarks "I'd like to start with topics related to the All-Star game ... I would like to give many thanks to the Tijuana and San Diego communities for the very warm reception they gave ... In addition thanks is given to our sponsors, commercial affiliates and TV partners ... MLS appreciates the affirmed commitment that everyone displayed last weekend" "From the standpoint of game, I feel it was the most exciting of three professional All-Star games of the three sports that participated last week... Our athletes gave 100 percent and I thought that their enthusiasm was contagious ... My hat goes off to all who participated." "The promotion of the game was a bit of a disappointment ... I take full responsibility and I feel that it was ill advised to go into a neutral site but we must all learn by our mistakes ... Our turnout in the stadium was disappointing and we see that our promotion could have been better executed... From this experience we have learned that the All-Star Game or MLS Cup probably won't be a in neutral site for a very long time or ever." "This week I am excited about the USA squad participating in the Confederations Cup ... I'm heading to Guadalajara tomorrow ... It is exciting to see the tough games the U.S. will face against New Zealand, Germany, and Brazil ... We are happy that Bruce [Arena] picked so many MLS players." "I am delighted that MLS acquired Chris Albright ... MLS, along with D.C., are grateful for the signing of this young player ... It is great when a fine young player has the quality, such as Albright, to be an impact player right away." "I am looking forward to the seven matches we have this weekend, with four on national TV ... Our first ABC match is Miami vs. the MetroStars ... We are looking at about 40,000 in attendance with an advance ticket sale around the 30,000 mark [31,500 as of 5 p.m., ET]." Ivan Gazidis Opening Remarks: "Outside of Albright and the Diaz Arce-Sequiera trade, nothing new is happening with player moves." Tim Hankinson Opening Remarks: "The trade took place yesterday afternoon and I was very pleased in getting the opportunity to talk to Raul ... We talked about his arrival and the concern of getting him as many minutes on the field with the team prior to the Kansas City game ... Raul told me he was ready to leave within hours and ended up training this morning ... His arrival sparked good spirits in the likes with Carlos Valderrama and Steve Ralston, as someone who knows how to take a cross and work well in the box ... It was a lively session to welcome their new teammate." "We are familiar with playing Kansas City since it was just a short time ago that we faced them (July 3) ... We played well enough to win, but just couldn't put it away when it counted ... Unfortunately we have become familiar with how the results have gone ... We've been unable to put away chances ... We are beginning a three-game road swing and away points become vital ... Everyone in the East is becoming close." "Musa [Shannon] has taken a lot of responsibilities as a young player and I hope that the two compliment each other [Diaz Arce] ... Musa is anxious to get on field after scoring two goals in the Open Cup." Logan on Chris Albright: "The issue about allocating him to Miami was one I was comfortable with ... The transaction had D.C. give up valuable players for Albright and I have no problem with that ... Issues about Albright were brought up by teams, some from Los Angeles and Hankinson ... Hankinson bent my ear, to say the least ... When we get good players you get one happy team and 11 unhappy ones." Hankinson on Project-40 Assignments: "Originally the thought process was that these players would be able to help a team two years down the road, but as we saw more experienced players come into the program like Ben Olsen or Scotty Vermillion, we saw these players can impact a program [MLS Team] ... Ever since the onset of that, the assigning of Project-40 players has become controversial ... Albright is one of the most talented players in the country and some of the talented players are going tp the strongest teams ... A new system of assignment would prevent the rich from getting richer ... Teams are looking for equality of the distribution of players." Hankinson on Diaz Arce and Offensive Skills: "We have made a transition from last year to this year ... Last year we were not a team that was so offensive ... This season has been a transition of going after attacking players ... Being able to acquire Valderrama was a step and if you have ever been stared at by Carlos for mishandling a pass you will know that players are going to be picking up their level of play." "We are finding out that our young players like Sequiera and [Jefferson] Gottardi, who are making transition, are taking longer than expected ... The experience of a Diaz Arce, who knows more about professionalism and pulling quality out of himself with a young striker such as Shannon, should help us turn around in the second half [of the season]." Logan on a New MLS Proposal for Player Distribution: "I think we will have some very interesting proposals in the future ... We are in the process of creating a series of proposals for structured player distribution ... About this time every year we discuss the wide variety of ways we play this game ... The first or second week of August is when we will continue those discussions." Logan on the Clock Running up at the MLS All-Star Game: "We were just trying to figure out if anyone was paying attention." [joking] Gazidis on the Project-40 Assignment Process: "The process of how players are signed by the league and assigned to a team will be made more understandable to the media, to the teams and to the fans... Whether it is either through Project-40 or domestic ranks, college or international assigned players, it will be done in a more transparent manner." Gazidis on Sasa Curcic and Henry Zambrano: "Curcic's and Zambrano's approval should be coming through and arriving by tomorrow ... They should be good for games this weekend." Gazidis on Scottish club Dundee United approaching MLS about a player: "Dundee does have interest in one of our midfielders but is not one that interests us ... I don't see anything coming to fruition." Gazidis on Lothar Mattheus: "Lothar is not going to New York ... He is Captaining Germany in the Confederations Cup ... He most likely will speak to Doug in Mexico." Logan on the MLS All-Star Game in San Diego "From the standpoint of promotion we are not pleased with our performance... I don't know if we used good judgement putting the game in a neutral site ... I thought the game was pretty terrific, but again the promotion was not well executed ... Since it was a neutral site we should have put five or six of our staff on site to do promotions." Logan on Next Year's All-Star Game [in Columbus, Ohio]: "We will use the resources of the home team and the promotion will be done far more aggressively ... The game will probably be a part of the club's season ticket plan." San Jose Head Coach Brian Quinn on the Raul Diaz Arce-Alejandro Sequiera trade: "You can't get quality unless you give quality in return ... I have watched him [Sequiera] closely ... With 14 games left our goal is to get into the playoffs and with Sequiera we will go from there." Quinn on Playing in Chicago this Week: "You go to Chicago and you don't get anything ... Still, the Fire has the quality that made them champions last year ... We need to establish that we need to beat a quality team and that's what we are looking for in Chicago." Hankinson on Caleb Porter: "Caleb has joined the roster and we are getting to know him ... I still have memories of him playing in Indiana ... He has a great commitment to working hard ... What he lacks in experience he makes up in aggressiveness and instinct ... He has good personality and character ... We acquired him based on roster cuts that needed to be made ... When a retirement of one of our players occurred, we added him on." Logan on Board of Governors Meeting -- MLS Cup 2000 and Other Issues: "The issue of trying to ascertain a firm date for MLS Cup 2000 is of the utmost importance ... Our championship game is probably going to be advisably earlier than the late date of this year ... We need to get away from qualifying games of World Cup ... We want to get away from Confederations Cup ... We want to use available ABC games, Saturday games ... We hope in the next two to three weeks to get a specific city on a specific day."
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