Here’s something I wrote for the paper that got chopped up, so I thought I would post it in its entirety.
Garber celebrates 10 years as MLS boss
Major League Soccer commissioner Don Garber celebrated his 10th anniversary in that post on Tuesday, and was in Seattle for a couple of days earlier in the week.
Garber said the thing that stands out about his time as head of the league is how much the sport has grown in the U.S., in ways that he never would have expected.
“This team here in Seattle is evidence of that, and Wednesday’s game in a sold out stadium, and all of them, at least most of them, rooting for the home team as opposed to the international opponent is just a real indication of how far the sport has come,” Garber said. “We’ve always been a nation of participants but now we’ve turned into a nation of soccer fans.”
MLS has labeled this summer as its “Summer of Soccer,” with so many friendlies involving top European and Mexican club teams and the CONCACAF Gold Cup being played all over the country, including two Gold Cup matches and appearances by Chelsea and FC Barcelona in Seattle in the past month.
“It’s really unprecedented what’s gone on this summer,” Garber said. “Literally probably two million people attending 70 games over a month and a half, selling out huge football stadiums. Who would have ever thought years ago that you’d have 93,000 people at the Rose Bowl watching the Galaxy playing FC Barcelona, or 67,000 watching FCB playing the Sounders? It’s a real indication as to how high the water level for the sport has risen.”