Don Garber signs five-year extension to remain MLS commissioner

Don Garber

New York City, New York (Feb. 14, 2019) — Don Garber isn’t leaving Major League Soccer anytime soon.

The longtime MLS commissioner has signed a five-year extension to remain the league’s leader, lasting until 2023. Garber has held the role of MLS commissioner since Aug. 4, 1999, succeeding Doug Logan.

Don Garber signs five-year extension to remain MLS comissioner

According to ESPN FC’s Jeff Carlisle, Garber’s deal was up in 2018. However, “terms for the new deal were approved at the most recent Board of Governors meeting in December.” Early in February, the deal was made official. 

Since his hiring as MLS commissioner, Garber has overseen league operations. He has announced various MLS expansion clubs, including recent expansion clubs like Atlanta United FC, Minnesota United FC and Los Angeles FC. This season, FC Cincinnati joins the fold as an expansion club, from the USL.

Meanwhile, there are three clubs already under expansion, but will not feature yet this season. Inter Miami CF and Nashville have plans to join the league in the 2020 season. However, Austin FC will not join the MLS until 2021.

Even with the number raising to 27 clubs by 2021, Garber still has plans for expansion. Sacramento, Detroit, St. Louis and Charlotte have all been vying for MLS clubs.

The 61-year-old from Queens, New York, has also overseen the building of new stadiums. According to ESPN FC, only MAPFRE Stadium — home of the Columbus Crew SC — is the only stadium that was around when Garber originally took over. Meanwhile, 20 MLS teams play in soccer-specific stadiums. There are plans for new stadiums for Cincinnati, Miami, Nashville, Austin and Columbus in “the next five years.”

Garber will be 66-years-old when his deal expires in 2023. Before joining MLS, Garber worked in the NFL for 16 years. Garber is also currently on the U.S. Soccer’s board of directors.

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