Football

Don Garber.

MLS commissioner Don Garber weighs in on promotion/relegation system

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Many of the world's top soccer leagues use a system of relegation and promotion, dropping worse teams into a lesser league and moving the top teams from the lesser league to the top level.

Recently, there has been talk about Major League Soccer adopting that system, partnering with the lower-level North American Soccer League.

However, MLS commissioner Don Garber took a firm stance against the system on Thursday.

In an ESPN.com article, Garber weighed in on whether or not the relegation/promotion system would be coming to American soccer:

"I think we have been very, very clear in our views on our structure, and the fact that our structure has worked very well in helping to develop our league, and the sport in the U.S. in Canada," Garber told ESPN FC.

"We are playing the world's game but we are playing it here in North America that has a very, very competitive structure that has proven to work very well for the other major leagues that are in many ways the model for professional sports throughout the world."

Basically, it sounds like Garber doesn't think MLS owners would ever agree to a system that would potentially force them to be relegated.

Garber has a lot on his plate right now, with the league planning to work toward expanding to 28 teams. He said that's something he never envisioned and should signal that American soccer is in a good place without the promotion/relegation system:

"I don't expect we will go beyond [28], but I never thought that we would -- when I came into the league at 12 and went down to 10 -- that we would ever get to 14 or 18, let alone where we are now at 23, soon to be 24."

Right now, both the MLS Eastern Conference and MLS Western Conference have 10 teams, but that is set to expand.

For now, it seems like promotion/relegation talk is just that -- talk. However, when the league takes a more permanent shape, it could be a discussion worth revisiting.

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Topics:
MLS Eastern Conference
MLS Cup
Football
MLS
MLS SuperDraft
MLS Western Conference

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