Last week when Don Garber said USA and China are the next soccer superpowers you have no choice but to believe his words. The difference however is that USA has successfully completed the stage of grass root development and created a sustainable league in Major League Soccer, whereas China has just about started laying its foundations in becoming a world superpower (More on this in my next blog) with a new league that has seen some really heavy duty amounts of monies spent in attracting best of talent from Europe.
From setting up the league to making it a world-class league Commissioner Don Garber and his team has worked really hard to make MLS a household name in the USA and a popular destination for players from Europe.
In this process, Don has spent 17 years ensuring the league grows making him the second longest-serving sports commissioner in the history of American professional sport.
In its unprecedented growth MLS has seen increased revenues from television deals nationally and from international markets, it has seen an influx of quality talent, development of infrastructure and an increasing demand of new franchises who want to join the league. The last point – franchises wanting to join MLS is one thing in particular that keeps Don on his toes. Imagine dealing with future franchise owners and operational issues to even fans petitioning for franchise name changes (point in case being Minnesota United v Atlanta United – UNITED Gate controversy).
The good thing is Don is hand’s on with his approach and firmly believes that the best days for MLS are probably still ahead.
It’s also been said that Don does not celebrate past triumphs, but let’s take a moment to celebrate the achievements of ‘The original Don of modern US soccer’ in the following infographic.