#Soccer - Transcript of @SBJSBD's Interview #MLS...
Q: Next year MLS will welcome a team in Montreal, which is the league’s 19th club. You have publicly said you support growth. What markets appear best for growth?
Garber: We are focused on New York. It’s a big market. The Cosmos have a great legacy and they have a great soccer history that so far the Red Bulls have not been able to tap into. For the most part Red Bulls fans come from New Jersey. The challenge for [the Cosmos] is to build a stadium, and as we all know New York City is not the easiest place to build. And we’ve put a high price on the 20th team. In 2007 we were asking around $7 million, and last year [teams] sold for $40 million. This could be in the $75 to $100 million [range].
Q: Is the Wilpon family still a viable option for MLS given their recent negative press?
Garber: We have talked with [the Wilpons] about MLS. They have a good situation when it comes to stadiums in the site around Citi Field. Willets Point is one of the largest pieces of undeveloped property in New York.
Q: It’s the elephant in the room. I have to ask you at television ratings. The league has had growth in attendance but in TV it has been relatively flat for the last three years. How do you grow those numbers?
Garber: I had lunch with [an NHL friend] and we spoke about their deal with NBC and Versus, and talked about our situation as a challenge and an opportunity. We have to convert those fans who are part of the global game. We are similar to the NHL; however they are not competing with Russian hockey like we are competing with the Premier League. We need a product to convert those fans, and we do it by having good stories in local markets and better promotion. You think about what has driven hockey, it was strong local teams that had great local TV deals and passionate supporters. The soccer audience is big. Chelsea versus Manchester United had 550,000 viewers this year.
Q: Kansas City will open a soccer specific stadium this year that is branded with the Livestrong brand. Are you worried that the brand may receive negative press given the [recent doping allegations against Lance Armstrong]?
Garber: It is a beautiful facility, one of our best. Think of a Midwest version of Red Bull arena. The ownership is great, they are young, technical-minded guys. They think differently. I think Livestrong was an innovative deal, and with the brand’s recognition in the cancer fight, I think they can do well with that. Clearly they will have something to manage if something does happen with Lance Armstrong. We are hopeful they won’t have to.
Q: Will they have the ability to revisit the [naming rights deal] if there is an issue with Armstrong?
Garber: Yes. I hope they don’t. Lance Armstrong has been a great story for Americans.
Q: You worked at the NFL for 16 years, and you worked alongside Roger Goodell. Did you ever envision him becoming the next commissioner?
Garber: I didn't think it would be him. He was a guy of few words and even in his mid 20's I don't think any of us thought he would be in that role. But 10 years later I think it became very apparent that [Goodell] could do it. He had great relationships with all of the owners and he really understood the brand. And he's very well spoken.
Q: How would you describe your leadership style.
Garber: I'm a walk-around-the-office type of guy. I try to be very accessible. I encourage taking risks. I remember at other jobs feeling like you were always looking over your shoulder, and that is not my style. To me, you can't win in this game or get to where you want to be by being pulled there. You have to be pushed there.
Great article that I came across on @epltalk... →
Blog Championship Talk came out with an article today about the regulation/promotion system and highlighting AFC Wimbledon’s rise though the English Football pyramid. Great read. -Pete
13 year old’s awesome bicycle kick.
Players that didn't make the #USMNT that should...
I’ve already written a piece sharing my thoughts on who got called up for the USMNT CONCACAF Gold squad so now I’m going to focus on who I think should be there. I’m basing it on the player pool on US Soccer’s web site just so you know. So, if they aren’t in the player pool, that means they would’ve never made it anyways. Keeper I would have called in...
Thoughts on the #USMNT roster
Here is the 23 man roster for the CONCACAF Gold Cup this summer as well as some comments from me: GOALKEEPERS-Tim Howard, Nick Rimando, Marcus Hahnemann There is nothing shocking about the selections here. Brad Guzan is getting married this summer so that’s why he’s not here. I wonder if that pissed off Bradley at all? DEFENDERS- Jonathan Spector, Carlos Bocanegra, Steve...
#Soccer - A slide show of today's #EPL action from... →
Click on the link above to see some great photos that demonstrate the drama surrounding the games that featured teams in the regulation battle. -Pete
Why a promotion/regelation system is cool #Soccer
As the season get wrapped up in most of the European soccer leagues, this is the time that we fans are reminded why a promotion/regulation system is cool. If you’re a casual and/or American soccer fan, you might think what’s the big deal? So, here’s the deal: Most of the top leagues around the world have so many professional soccer teams (no minors) and they use a...
#Soccer - Is Sampdoria the biggest flop of this... →
Sampdoria have been regulated to Serie B after their loss to Palermo. Now, you might be wondering why I think it’s interesting. Well, Sampdoria finished in 4th place last year which meant they played in the Champions League this season. To go from 4th to 18th is quite impressive (not in a good way of course) and I wonder how this happened since I don’t really watch Italian soccer...
#EPL - Blackpool’s Cinderella run continues as they beat Bolton is a 4-3 shootout.
#Bundesliga Trophy Handed Out Tomorrow
Borussia Dortmund will receive the championship plate for the seventh time after matchday 34 tomorrow afternoon in Germany. Captain Roman Wiedenfeller will get to raise the trophy at a packed Signal Iduna Park. Dortmund dominated the Bundesliga and have been waiting for a week to hoist the real trophy. The trophy, sometimes referred to as the salad dish, weighs just over 24 pounds. It was...
#Soccer - ESPN's OTL discusses Rio de Janeiro's... →
#FF Vote for Footysphere in the #EPL Awards Blog... →
footysphere: As the English football season nears it’s end we here at footysphere are humbled and honoured to be short-listed in the 2010/11 EPL Awards for best football blog of the year. Our tumblr compadres over at A Football Report are also nominated along with other denizens and luminaries from the…
#Soccer One blog's thoughts on which #USMNT... →
New York Time’s Goal shares their thoughts on which USMNT members should head to MLS.
#USMNT - Another Yank will be playing in the #EPL... →
Zak Whitbread & Norwich city are heading to the Premier League next season. This is great new for USMNT fans as Bradley recently called Zak but he declined due to some nagging injuries. I hope he gets a chance this summer to show if he can help add some depth to the CB ranks. -Pete
Help @grassrootsoccer win $25,000 #Soccer #Futbol →
Help an organization win some much needed funds. Grassroot Soccer uses soccer to stop the spread of HIV. Thanks to @JoinRed for the tip. -Pete
Is racial profiling happening in France with it's... →
The French Football Federation has suspended it’s technical director after media reports came out that the FFF was going to put quotas on Black & Arab players. -Pete