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SportsMore SportsFIFA president Blatter says MLS needs to adopt int'l calendar to compete

FIFA president Blatter says MLS needs to adopt int'l calendar to compete

Updated Thursday, June 18th 2009, 2:01 PM

PRETORIA, South Africa - FIFA president Sepp Blatter has a message for MLS: Adopt the international calendar if you want to see American soccer improve internationally.

Speaking at a pre-game press conference on Thursday before the U.S. played Brazil in its second FIFA Confederations Cup match, Blatter noted that most of the players on the American roster played professionally in Europe.

"This is not the right solution for MLS," Blatter said. "They have to play and to adapt themselves to the international calendar. If they do that, they can have success. 

The MLS season runs from March to November. The international calendar runs from August/September through May, which includes a Christmas and winter break.

Blatter added that "as long as they are in this procedure, I said no, no, they should (have] it the other way.

"They know it. I spoke several times on this item, more than 10 years ago when I was [FIFA] secretary general. Nothing has changed in the USA. But in the world of football, something has changed."

MLS officials or commissioner Don Garber were not immediately available for comment.

Blatter also stressed the importance of MLS teams having their own stadia.

"There is one big problem," he said. "As long as you don't have [their] own stadiums in MLS, then you have to use stadia from other sports, which is American football. Therefore, you play the season from March to October.

"You are not in the good international season, specifically in Europe and some other countries. What is the result? The result is that you do not attract star players to play for six-seven months with the exceptional case of [David] Beckham]. On the other hand, your best players are in Europe."

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