In an unprecedented teleconference with journalists today, MLS Commissioner Don Garber publicly nailed U.S. National Team coach Jurgen Klinsmann for not only his recent comments about Michael Bradley and MLS, but his treatment of LA Galaxy icon Landon Donovan before the World Cup last summer.
“I believe Landon should have been in Brazil,” said Garber, adding that his recent treatment for cancer prevented him from speaking out before on the issue. “His performance dictated it. … His treatment was inexcusable. I have concerns that his criticism, particularly of Michael, is following that pattern.”
Garber, who was clearly infuriated by Klinsmann’s comments and said as much. didn’t hold back in an unusually candid press conference that gave a peek into the relationships between those who hold the reins of power in MLS and U.S. soccer.
“I’m demanding that he refrain from making comments that are critical of our players and damaging to our league,” Garber said.
“Jurgen’s comments are very, very detrimental to the league, they’re detrimental to the sport of soccer in America,” Garber added. “Not only are they detrimental, they’re wrong.”
“Sending a message to any player and obviously to U.S. players that signing to Major League Soccer is not going to be good to their career or good to their form is detrimental to Major League Soccer.”
Garber said Klinsmann’s comments were “incredibly damaging” to the relationship MLS has with sponsors, fans and the signing of international players. He said he would send a “very strong” letter to U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati, but declined to say whether he would take the matter further as a board member of U.S. soccer.
What do you think? Was Klinsmann telling it like it is or was he just flat out wrong?