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October 15, 2014 at 1:59 PM

Garber hits back at Klinsmann’s ‘detrimental’ comments on MLS

The rumblings began late last week, when rumors began linking United States men’s national team forward Jozy Altidore with a move back to MLS.

Altidore has struggled to find both minutes and goals with Sunderland of the English Premier League. But when asked about the possibility of a move back to his home country, USMNT coach Jurgen Klinsmann compared Altidore’s experience with that of Sounders FC forward Clint Dempsey and Toronto midfielder Michael Bradley.

“I made it clear with Clint’s move back and (Bradley’s) move back that it’s going to be very difficult for them to keep that same level that they experienced at the places where they were,” Klinsmann said earlier this week. “It’s just reality. It’s just being honest.”

On Wednesday, MLS commissioner Don Garber hit back.

“This is not a call that I want to have made,” Garber began his Wednesday afternoon conference call, “and it’s certainly not something I look forward to discussing.”

He spent the next half hour or so addressing Klinsmann’s comments, which he called detrimental to everything from MLS to the sport’s growth in America as a whole — “and not only are they detrimental, they’re wrong.”

“It’s personally infuriating,” Garber added. “And I don’t think this is part of the shared vision that the league has with the federation. …  It’s frustrating as hell.”

Some other highlights:

  • On Landon Donovan’s exclusion from the USMNT for the 2014 World Cup: “I believe that Landon should have been in Brazil … because his performance dictated it. … I believe his treatment was inexcusable.”
  • On Bradley and Dempsey’s reasons for coming back to MLS: “I think it is incredibly judgmental to say Michael Bradley or Clint Dempsey’s sole motivation for coming back was (financial).”
  • On player development and recruitment: “I believe that it sends the wrong message to other young American players. … I also think it’s going to send the wrong message to players we’re trying to sign from overseas.”
  • On Klinsmann going public with his concerns: “I think (he) needs to think very hard about how he manages himself publicly.”
  • And Garber’s finale: “I am just demanding that he refrain from making comments that are critical of our players and damaging to our league.”

More on this to follow in the coming days.

 

 

| More in MLS, Sounders FC

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