Here’s What Garber Said….
When MLS Commissioner Don Garber spoke with Sports Illustrated’s Grant Wahl after learning of Sepp Blatter’s criticism of Major League Soccer, he said he was “a bit surprised.”
He went on to say, “I know he’s aware of the progress being made. I look forward to inviting the (FIFA) president to an MLS game, and I’m sure when he does attend he’ll be very pleasantly surprised.”
Garber acknowledged the boost that FIFA gave to the United States by bringing the World Cup to America in 1994, and said that US Soccer had always enjoyed a good relationship with FIFA.
“Without FIFA and the World Cup coming here in ’94, there’s no Major League Soccer,” he told Wahl.
Garber won’t personally be seeing Blatter in the near future. He’s cancelled a trip to Zurich, Switzerland, for the FIFA Ballon d’Or, an event he has attended in recent years. Instead, he’ll go to Newtown, Connecticut for a soccer benefit event that includes over 30 MLS players.
Garber also spoke about the perception people outside the U.S. have of soccer in this country that has to compete with other major league sports. Many come from countries where there is only one major sport. Soccer.
Wahl asked if Blatter’s comments would have a negative impact on how MLS will be viewed around the world. To this he replied, “I don’t believe his comments hurt us in any way. But I think it’s important to stand up and say that Major Legue Soccer, while we have a lot of work to do, is now thriving and making an impact.”