Portland Timbers owner Merritt Paulson has never been shy about giving his opinion on the state his club, the league and American soccer as a whole.
And on Grant Wahl’s Planet Futbol podcast released Thursday, Paulson took nearly an hour with the Sports Illustrated soccer writer to outline his stance on a wide range of issues, from MLS teams' runs in the CCL this year and to his love/hate relationship with Twitter (and one particular tweet he regrets).
(The podcast was recorded before Paulson's outraged tweet when referee Baldomero Toledo awarded Orlando a penalty for the tying goal in Portland’s 3-2 loss on Sunday.)
What to make of it? Well, for starters, it’s pretty clear there will be no schadenfreude at play for Paulson when Toronto FC face Chivas de Guadalajara beginning next week in the Concacaf Champions League final.
“When I think about MLS and where it is now … I think in terms of, we’ve got to be better than Liga MX,” Paulson said. “Unquestionably, we’ve got to be the best league in our region, and in South America too, for that matter. That’s something that I think is a goal that is achievable in the very near term.”
“I think MLS needs more personalities, to be honest, and I wish more players were bigger personalities,” Paulson said. “I get a kick out of Zlatan coming in and being himself.”
As for the Galaxy signing him with allocation money?
“I don’t think there’s anything untoward going on,” Paulson said. “They have an advantage because somebody wants to be in LA. I’d use it too if I were them.”
You can check out the full podcast on SI.com.