Don Garber Jurgen Klinsmann

An Open Letter to MLS Commissioner Don Garber

3:03 PMAleks Vee

Dear Mr. Garber,

Lets get right down to business. You blamed Jurgen Klinsmann, the best coach the US national team has had for years, for publicly critiquing the state of Clint Dempsey and Michael Bradley's fitness, and, in your opinion, the state of Major League Soccer. What Klinsmann really said - had you been listening - is that it is more difficult to maintain one's form in MLS in comparison with some of Europe's top leagues. A season of English football, for instance, can have about twice the number of possible games as MLS, depending on what stage a team enters, and how long that team remains in, the domestic cup tournaments and European competition. More games results in more playing time, and the high level of players in the Premier League in more competition between them for a spot in the line-up.

Last season's Barclays Premier League champions Manchester City played 57 games in all competitions, while the 2013 MLS Cup winners Sporting Kansas City played 45 games. A bigger gap is visible when comparing two teams that placed 7th in last season's EPL and MLS - Manchester United played a total of 55 games in all competitions, while the Vancouver Whitecaps played just 38 games.

What you should have pointed out instead of pointing fingers is that US internationals like Dempsey and Bradley who play or have played in the top European leagues bring their priceless experience to MLS, and only help to improve the quality and popularity of the league. Those who continue their careers abroad while representing the USMNT (Brad Guzan, Tim Howard, Fabian Johnson, Tim Ream...) improve the latter.

The fact is, Mr. Garber, that Jurgen Klinsmann has done a lot for the USMNT. Aside from tactical improvements and a Round of 16 finish in the World Cup, he brought and continues to cultivate a much-needed team spirit, something a lot of coaches cannot do.

Klinsmann has a right to truthfully comment on his players. There's nothing wrong with his statements, nor are they in any way against MLS - anything of the sort is merely your own personal fantasy.

In blaming Klinsmann for comments that are "detrimental" to MLS, you yourself have done that which you so unjustly blamed him for. So if anyone's "sending a negative message" to players, it's you.

Addressing his players' form and deciding to include or exclude anyone from a World Cup roster are his responsibilities as head coach.

Perhaps you should stick to doing your job without interfering with his.

Sincerely,
Aleks V
Founder, Editor-in-Chief
GoalChatter

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