Major League Soccer Commissioner Don Garber held his annual State of the League address on Tuesday in New York. Fielding a roundtable of media members, Garber discussed a wide variety of topics, as per usual, and was asked about quite a few items.
Among the highlights of the prepared remarks, Garber said the league was hoping to schedule games on the final weekend of the season simultaneously, and was looking to introduce flex scheduling (changing game days/times or even perhaps changing actual opponents) late in the season.
Garber also reiterated the league's line that they are in a shaky position financially, and what a coincidence the new collective bargaining agreement with players is due to be negotiated in the coming months.
Chivas USA also (indirectly) came up, as did Los Angeles FC (directly).
Univision's Jorge Perez-Navarro kicked off the Q&A portion by asking Garber about whether Chivas USA striker Erick Torres would return to MLS next season.
"We'd like to," Garber said. "We haven't been able to make that decision yet."
He elaborated on the quality of the 21-year-old Mexican striker before concluding, "The decision hasn't been made yet, but we'd like to have him continue in this league."
Rob Stone of Fox asked Garber about the situation regarding Miami and David Beckham's expansion team, and when Garber said if the team can't find a stadium, the team itself would be in doubt, Stone asked a follow-up question, bringing up New York City FC and LAFC as expansion teams awarded without permanent stadium plans in place.
"We believe we have in LAFC a stadium solution that we believe can solve that [problem]," Garber said. He also explained that the league was very confident in one site, but that there were three other potential locations looked at in the past. Whether that means there are three back-up options or not is not clear, but the Commissioner is publicly confident about the prospects for LAFC's stadium.
Finally, Perez-Navarro asked Garber whether he had regrets about Chivas USA. Did he regret what he had done, or was it the right decision?
Garber refused to say he "regretted" anything about Chivas USA, and said at the time, he would have made the same decision about starting Chivas USA again.
He later elaborated that CUSA ownership was "half in, half out" about the team, and that was a fundamental issue. I think fans would agree with that assessment, unfortunately.
When asked if he was concerned NYCFC was going to be a carbon copy mistake of Chivas USA, Garber responded, "We'd have to be dopey to let the same thing happen again." Ok, then.
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