Don Garber: Now Booking Weddings, Bar Mitzvahs and Kiddie Birthdays

I did a web search for a soccer topic this morning and got the following hits, in this order:

KUDOS TO MLS FOR FINALLY SAYING NO TO BECKHAM ESPN

TIME TO SHOW BECKHAM THE DOOR Toronto Star

DAVID BECKHAM COULD STILL JOIN TOTTENHAM AND PLAY UNTIL MARCH MirrorFootballUK

BRAVO BECKHAM FOR WANTING MORE THAN MLS USA Today

Now in truth the second piece consists of inane blather from a typically clueless Toronto writer - David Beckham has a contract with AEG and "MLS" can't simply cancel it, and the fourth one ranks a solid 90 on the Glasgow Stupid Scale for brain dead snark written by a jackass, but the point remains:

If you're confused about what's going on with this guy, you're not alone.

Here's anINTERESTING POST courtesy of BigSoccer Brooklynite MRschizoid21, who points out that "next year, 1/3 of the whole league will be based in the Pacific Time Zone".

Furthermore, when you add in the two Mountain Time Zone teams the percentage is a somewhat startling 44%, a geographical imbalance which is way out of line with the other major professional sports leagues.

This is particularly problematic in the case of FSC since now they'll have even more opportunities to broadcast MLS matches which start at 11PM Eastern and then bitch about the low ratings.

Of course, as several commenters observe, this is a temporary situation for a number of reasons, among them being the entry next year of decidedly Eastern Montreal and the fact that any foreseeable expansion to 20 and beyond will almost certainly be in the East (New York, Atlanta, Florida).

And of course there's the apparently mandatory "The Pacific Northwest is about to become the Mecca of American soccer" (I'll skip the fact that "Mecca" is one city, not three spread out over two countries you idiot) post, to which the standard reply has to be "When you guys start up a couple WPS teams I'll consider your claim. Until then it's just empty prattle".

You see, we have women in this country too. If you don't like them - not that there's anything wrong with that - that's your business. Go beat your chest with the rest of the Orangutans.

Still, the disparity seems mostly due to the lack of legacy teams. When your oldest clubs only date back to the Clinton administration you're not carrying baggage from the 50's.

When, not coincidentally, they too preferred their women baking pies and scrubbing floors.

No one is more sympathetic to the need for an MLS team in Florida than I am.

To be honest, I actually think Tampa Bay is a better potential location than Miami, but there's plenty of disagreement on that point and in any case there's a sizable school of thought which says that putting a team anywhere in that state is a huge mistake.

Be that as it may, it was darn nice of Cohiba Don to MEET WITH MIAMI ULTRAS while he's down there for the combine to discuss expansion possibilities.

(Ultras? Really? Surely you can do better than that.)

I also appreciate the fact that the Ultras (WEBSITE HERE; BUY A SCARF are sincere and all, but this "Let's show the Commissioner that we want MLS down here and urge him to give us a team" crap is just this side of pathetic.

Don Garber - he of the "Slow and Carefully Controlled" expansion blueprint which consists of a) if you have $40 million and a big bank account then b) welcome to MLS! - is as enthusiastic about having a team someplace south of DC as they are.

Our Don is a congenial hail-fellow-well-met type who's reallly good at working a room. At any moment you expect to hear him say "So what's the deal with airline food, anyway?"

And yes he sometimes says stuff that must surely send the media pros in New York running for the Wellbutrin but that's Don and he's going to keep right on promising things that don't materialize but what the hell.

(The latest one is the promise that all 18 teams will have shirt sponsors in 2011 which, with the defections of best Buy and Glidden has the number going down, not up)

But again, there's just no secret here; find a deep pockets owner and a reasonable facsimile of a soccer stadium and you're in. "Boy, do we ever have spiffy scarves" doesn't get the job done.

Sorry.