Dear MLS Commissioner Don Garber,
You do not know me, but my name is John Rosch and I am the Managing Editor for Burgundy Wave, a Colorado Rapids soccer blog. We are a small, but passionate blog writing about our Burgundy Boys and we are extremely happy and proud to have the MLS All-Star game back here in Colorado. It is bound to be an excellent event at a truly phenomenal soccer facility, Dick's Sporting Goods Park.
On Monday night I was watching the presentation of the MLS All-Star Game Fan XI and I was very excited about the players who will were voted in by the fans. Sure, you can always have a gripe here or there, but the fans did a darn fine job in picking players. Nick Rimando, DaMarcus Beasley, Clint Dempsey and Michael Bradley? At the home pitch of my Colorado Rapids? Count me as excited!
But then I saw your picks as commissioner. And Mr Garber I have to tell you, I am baffled. I see that you chose Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard. Yes, these are two players who are footballing legends and who have contributed to the game in ways that cannot be properly measured.
Contributed to the game, however, in England. Not in the United States. And certainly not in Major League Soccer.
In fact Mr Garber, as of this letter, they have yet to play a minute in MLS. Sure, Gerrard featured over the weekend, but it was in a friendly. Not in MLS play.
Now I have to ask. Why are they on this team? Have they helped to grow the game in the USA? Have they helped to push soccer academies in the USA? Was it their amazing goals in MLS that got them on the team. Oh, wait, they have yet to play.
(I am sorry for the sarcasm Mr Garber, but this strikes me as such a silly move on your part)
So Gerrard and Lampard are on this team. OK. What about the two players who do not make the squad because of this decision. What about them? Are we to tell them, "hey, you are having a heck of a year, but because we have two guys, who are legends in a foreign country, in our league now, we have to add them over you."
So Mr Garber, I really want to know. Why? How are Lampard and Gerrard deserving of this honor?
I will be at the All-Star Game and the Homegrown Game covering it for Burgundy Wave and if you want to talk about this, I would love to sit down for five minutes and go over your thought process on this decision. I respect what you have done for this game in the United States and Major League Soccer, but I have to tell you that I just do not see how this makes sense. If you want to chat, DM me at @patrickmac05 or contact the Rapids (they know how to reach me) and we can talk.
With kind regards,
John P Rosch
Managing Editor | Burgundy Wave