Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Unsung Executive Finally Gets to Sing
MLS Deputy Commissioner Ivan Gazidis was named CEO of Arsenal yesterday. An original MLS staffer, Ivan has been the quiet, guiding force of all MLS competition issues since Sunil Gulati's departure almost ten years ago. We exchanged emails this morning and Ivan expressed true pain in leaving the League which "has been (his) heart and soul for so long." Getting into the spirit of his new club he even expressed regret over his boyhood club Manchester City's recent thrashing of his new side.
While the Gunner's gain will surely be MLS' loss, Ivan has already given the League everything he has to offer and MLS is much better positioned to absorb his loss now than it would have been at any other time over the last decade.
While Ivan's office has been responsible for signing more players (international and domestic) than any other team in the world, it has been his consistent intelligent design, which has maneuvered MLS into the mainstream of world soccer leagues. His vision and direction have improved the quality and credibility of the League tremendously through normalization of rules, an emphasis on player and referee development and easing the acquisition of international talent.