I've written that Garber keeps his ideological cards close to his chest, but in fining DCU Prez Kevin Payne $5000 today for calling a spade a spade—that the onfield product in MLS is not good enough and won't draw in more fans until it is—means that the guy isn't hearing what needs to be heard.
This is really not good, especially in light of the fact Payne didn't even mention bringing better players with more money, everyone's favourite MLS bugbear. Payne instead said the league needs to move away from stiff formations, and slow, defensive play. This is at least in part what I've been trying to push lately—that tactically, MLS should be taking advantage of the current egalitarian set-up to experiment with more open, attacking football.
The gist of my frustration, and part of what Payne speaks to, is that if the league can't bring in the players, nor threaten teams with relegation, and include half the league in a knockout competition for the one trophy worth winning in the league, then bloody hell, why not open things up, why not bring in coaching staff worthy of bringing fitness levels up, dropping median ages so we can move away from league play that makes Serie A look like Space Invaders?
Whether it was for specifically calling out other clubs or not (we're all in this together everybody, even though we're different football clubs in direct competition in the league!), Payne is out of pocket for 5 Gs, and lord knows the rest of league isn't going to pipe up anytime soon. We can safely say Garber isn't on board with promoting these sorts of changes. But beyond that, managers throughout the world call out other clubs for parking the bus or not attacking enough; why should MLS be any different?
I dunno about this league.