Don Garber elected to National Soccer Hall of Fame

IMAGE, DAVE MARTINEZ FOR EMPIRE OF SOCCER

Major League Soccer Commissioner Don Garber was voted in to the National Soccer Hall of Fame on Thursday.

Garber, 58, has been the commissioner of MLS for nearly 17 years, during which the league has underwent tremendous growth.

When Garber took over for Doug Logan in 1999, the league was living under the threat of a lawsuit from its own players. Attendances were struggling and after the 2001 season MLS contracted two teams. It nearly collapsed altogether during this time.

But with the USMNT’s quarterfinal run and the creation of Garber-led Soccer United Marketing, the league turned its fortunes around. Under Garber, MLS has doubled its number of teams, with crowds and fanbases that would have been unthinkable in 1999.

Despite the growth, Garber’s reign has not been spotless. He has come under fire for audacious goals regarding the league’s quality, for a lack of transparency regarding league rules, and for the nature of the league’s business model.

U.S. women’s legends Brandi Chastain and Shannon MacMillan, both of whom won Olympic Gold Medals and the World Cup as players, were also voted in in this year’s class.

After years without a physical location, the Hall of Fame will soon have a permanent home at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas. The home of FC Dallas, Toyota Stadium is one of 13 soccer-specific stadiums built for MLS teams during Garber’s time as commissioner, with several more in the process of being built.

 


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  • ApologyGirl

    A sweaty, back-room fixer with fake hair.

    Perfect

    • Big Hands Don

      No need to apologize for all the sweat you lady. I know I gave you quite a workout in that back room😀
      And while I loved the look of that long flowing wig, I knew first thing when I saw you that you were a natural red head.
      It was great

  • Robert

    What?!?!?

  • Sunil & Son

    The hall of fame is now totally legit.
    Cant wait to go. Will this be league owned too??

    • Larry\’s a Simpleton

      Don Garber makes me hot!!!!!

  • Jerry

    What the hell for????

    • Sunil

      He is the Don Almighty. Do not question my Dark Lord.

  • slowleftarm

    20 years ago there was no pro soccer league in this country and, as anyone with any perspective will tell you, it was unimaginable that MLS could be at the level it’s at right now. I don’t agree with everything Garber has done but he deserves some credit for the success of MLS.

    Cosmos fanboys will pretend MLS isn’t a success because they shunned the “global brand” but it’s pretty clear from MLS’s 21k+ average attendance (while Cosmos are lucky to get 5k and often get less) and $90m a year TV contract (while NASL pays networks to show its games) that Garber/MLS was right.

    • MLS is a business

      MLS didn’t shun Cosmos. Five years ago the Cosmo name and old trophy case was owned by two British hucksters that wanted into the league at a Major discount. MLS held firm and wanted a big fee for entry. NYCFC (Arab $ & the Yankees) paid $100 million to get in. The same price Red Bull paid.
      A number of rich businessmen risk takers created the league 20 years ago and now there is a real cost to buy into the corporation and share in the TV rights, the overall brand etc etc that has been built slowly over the past 20 years.

      • slowleftarm

        So you agree then the MLS has been a big success? And assuming your story is true (and I think it basically is) MLS told Cosmos to take a hike – which is exactly what I said. Thanks.


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