Major League Soccer Commissioner Don Garber touched on a variety of topics during an interview with FOX Sports 1 at halftime of Wednesday’s AT&T MLS All-Star Game, expressing interest in using instant replay to assist in referee decisions and saying the league is considering an All-Star Game format change.
Garber and the MLS Board of Governors held their annual All-Star gathering on Wednesday, with the commissioner revealing to Rob Stone, Alexi Lalas, Eric Wynalda and Stuart Holden on FS1 that the league is a “supporter” of incorporating instant replay into matches.
“We spoke to the Board about how instant replay might work, we think it can work, we’d love to see it work,” Garber said.
“We’ve got to talk to U.S. Soccer, we’ve got to talk to FIFA, we’ve got to make sure the technology works, but you should know that MLS is a supporter of the idea.”
Garber also hit on the topic du jour: the All-Star Game format. The league used an East vs. West format in its initial years, but in 2005 switched to playing a European club opponent in its midsummer showcase. A handful of players and coaches were on record this week in support of the old format, with Garber saying Wednesday that it’s something the league is considering.
“We have [considered a format change],” he said. “I think there was a time when we needed to show the world that we could play against them. Now the world is kind of looking at us and wondering how can [they] be a part of it. So doing an East vs. West with all the great players we have probably makes sense, and maybe it’s time for a change. But we’ll go through a process through the year where we’ll try to figure that out.”
Of course, no interview with Garber is complete without an expansion discussion. The commissioner obliged on Wednesday, speaking about the progress being made in LA, Atlanta, Miami and Minneapolis.
“Well we’ve got two new teams coming in LA, and obviously the great news in Atlanta. They’ve got a new stadium that’s being built in Los Angeles, and in Atlanta 24,000 season tickets have already been sold. There’s a massive groundswell of support there. Minneapolis is still working hard, too.
“We’re as far as we’ve been [in Miami],” he continued. “[Miami Beckham United owners] Marcelo Claure and David Beckham have been working with the city to try and get a stadium project done – they get that stadium project done, we’re going to Miami. We’d like to make that happen.”