The Don Garber portion of the Supporters Summit just concluded. A few highlights:
* He began with praise for Seattle as the host city, and of course, the supporters groups who put this group together. "The Seattle experience was unprecidented in professional sports," he said. "… Our country celebrated what our league could be in Seattle."
* "I think we stay at a 20-team league for our generation."
* Owners have spoken to officiating group to improve quality of referees in MLS. He said he doesn't expect instant replay anytime soon. Says Henry incident shows officiating errors are worldwide, not just leaguewide.
Never miss a local story.
* He said the quality of league play depends on money and union issues. However he aded that "going out of business no longer part of the decision making." (Related to the league-quality experience, he said the league wants to improve player development, is talking about establishing minimum standards across league; volunteered that "Houston has to get out of Robertson Stadium;" said football lines sometimes still remain, but only due to unavoidable logistical issues and “I believe that we’re getting much better.")
* The league has made "big progress" in marketing and said 150 MLS retailers are having a summit as part of these Cup events. As far as getting more MLS merchandise into more stores, he said: "This is a very simple thing: It's about demand."
* Said "I think promotion and relegation is cool. It's the ultimate structure that makes every game count." ... But he added that the logistics of making that happen today and probably for many many years to come makes it almost impossible.
* Finally, Drew Carey said something interesting about the Sounders organization trying to buy seats/sections in Portland and Vancouver and selling those seats to traveling Sounders supporters.