I'll give Major League Soccer commissioner Don Garber a ton of credit for spending just over an hour reading and responding to questions on the MLS Facebook page today. Considering some of the questions, I probably would have slammed my laptop closed and gone to rub elbows with all the smart people in Philly for the All-Star Game, but he stuck around.
You can read the entire chat here, but the format is really strange so it's not the easiest thing to follow. Essentially they posted an image and had the questions and answers posted as comments on the photo. With that in mind, I've mined the chat for the "best" questions because let's be honest, Garber wasn't going to say anything he hadn't already said before.
Just a quick clarification, anything in a quote box is a question posted on the Facebook chat, unless otherwised specified.
It took a couple minutes for the chat to get going and there were a few interesting questions/comments at the start.
Whats your favorite joke!
what's your favorite sundae?
Garber is a bastard (This one was deleted)
Thank you for doing this chat, but this is a terrible format.
Can't argue that point.
Here was my favorite question of the chat...sadly, no response from Garber.
How long until salaries, transfer amounts, allocation amounts, and salary cap space etc. is public information?
There were several questions concerning David Beckham's one-match suspension for kicking a ball at an opposing player.
How can Brek Shea get a 3 game suspension while Beckham gets only 1 for the same act?
Will you please address the obvious unfairness in doled-out suspensions for red cards? The Brek Shea suspension vs. the
David Beckham suspension for the same severity of foul is a perfect example.
Mr.Garber we are still waiting for an explanation on how Brek Shea gets triple the ban that Beckham got for the exact same act.
Why was't David Beckham's punishment for petulance consistent with the punishments handed out to Rafa Marquez and Brek Shea?
When is the disciplinary comity going to start treating all as equals (Beckham vs Brek)?
u havent answered the beckham/shea question
Hey man come one and answer the question about Beckham vs Shea suspensions! I think that has been the most common question and sometimes you have to just get over how embarrasing it is or whatever and tell what you think.
To Don's credit, he finally commented about Beckham.
The MLS DC viewed the incident with Brek as more egregious. They did not view the act as the same in that one involved a referee and the other did not. I can assure you that the committee is required to make decisions based on their interpretation (and video review) of the facts of an incident, without regard for who the player is...
Another popular topic was Garber's recent comments concerning the YSA chant and vulgar language coming from the supporter's groups.
Why are you trying to force censorship onto supporters groups chants, thinking that it's going to scar the kids that go to games? They have far more things to worry about like violent movies and such, saying the f bomb a couple times in front of these kids isn't going to mean anything. You can't take away the culture.
Don, how many fans are you willing to lose in order to keep swearing out of the stadiums? What would be an acceptable number? 5%? 10%? 20%?
While I think the YSA chant is classless, low-rent and unimaginitive, you have much bigger things to deal with, Don. Get over the whole "family friendly" crap. This is football. Besides, damn near every kid over 5 has heard and knows "asshole". Perhaps you should leave it to the parents to deal with it. And BTW, your argument about the "You Suck Asshole" chant and the FCC is completely invalid. The FCC no longer cares about fleeting expletives and nudity. Read a paper, Don. It was news weeks ago. Why don't you start working on stuff like supporter suppression in Colorado? How about a stadium for DCU? How about you continued bending of your own rules to pad LAG's and NYRB's rosters. Don, fix stuff that matters. And the word "asshole" decidedly does not.
Not all the questions related to languare were not so serious.
Do you think your sensitivity to cursing has something to do with your extraordinarily large ears?
Garber responded with "Maybe!"
Then there were plenty of questions about the officiating in the league.
Mr Garber... when will the MLS get good officiating and referees?
When do we get new refs?
ref's, why cant we get better refs.. way to many non calls and over calls for BS flops etc.. becoming a real problem for many teams.
There were a couple good All-Star Game questions.
Where's Andy Gruenebaum?
According to virtually all the local media, todays ASG is not happening. No local coverage at all. Was the Union responsible for local marketing?
Best question of the chat? Glad you asked!
Also while you are here for the chat... have you ever met someone who confused MLS with the real estate"Multiple Listing Service"?
From there the highlights include conspiracy theories, Olof Mellberg, fake turf, the national team playing in the Pacific Northwest and general nonsense.
Mr. Garber. I feel that having new soccer specific stadiums being built with a turf surface rather than natural grass is a detriment to the league, the game, and the longevity of the players. Do you foresee a future where all MLS teams are required to have a natural grass field?
Are there any plans for a league pass on ATT&T u verse? I hate direct tv
Hello sir. I what to know what u think of fernando torres?
Don, will MLS continue to "blackball" deals that it doesn't see as "good for the league", even if both teams and players agree on terms of a trade?
How come you never talk about Canada unless directly prompted?
Next time you see some USSF big wigs can you ask them to bring some meaningful national team games to the Northwest? It is a downright shame that the best supported region of America gets little to no national team games and watching the nat'l team play in half empty stadiums
How come the TorontoFC Mellberg deal was blocked? When will aritficial turf be banned from MLS? And why does LA and NY seem to have an endless supply of allocation money?
Why are Toronto not allowed to sign Mellberg?
Finally a question I just couldn't quite understand.
Mr. Garber....Are you aware that MLS management is not doing their best to DEVELOP FOOTBALL AS A SPORT IN THE USA....
So there you go, all the highlights from today's chat with The Soccer Don. Oh last thing, I believe the word "Cosmos" was mentioned at least 1000 times...I might be exaggerating, but it showed up frequently.