Garber: MLS to be one of world's top leagues by '22

Commissioner sets specific target should US land World Cup

NEW YORK – CommissionerDon Garber says that Major League Soccer would seek to become one of the topleagues in the world by 2022 if the USA is voted host of the FIFA World Cup.

The announcement ofthe hosts of both the 2018 and 2022 World Cup tournaments will be made onThursday morning at 10 a.m. ET (Fox Soccer Channel, ESPN, ESPN Deportes,Univisión & CNN International).

“We have a veryspecific goal,” Garber said. “If we get the World Cup, we want to be one of thetop leagues in the world by 2022."

The MLSCommissioner believes that the unprecedented 12-year plan that can be created arounda 2022 World Cup would allow the league to generate serious momentum in itsquest to be among the world’s best.

Garber indicatedthat the standard would be determined by the quality of play, the size of thefan base, the television audience and the overall interest and awareness in thesport.

“If we get the WorldCup, we have a 12-year plan,” he said. “And that's not just by our own measure,but how we're perceived by the rest of the world.”