MLS still needs marquee players from Europe - Don Garber

Major League Soccer still needs marquee players from Europe, commissioner Don Garber has told German football magazine kicker.

During Garber's recent visit to Europe, he told kicker that MLS would welcome Manchester United outcast Bastian Schweinsteiger "with open arms" if the former Germany captain seeks to prolong his career in the United States.

"Big names continue to be important to attract more fans and sponsors," the 59-year old said.

Should the 32-year-old opt to join an MLS club when the transfer window opens next February, Schweinsteiger would follow top European players like Andrea Pirlo, Frank Lampard or David Villa, who have all moved to the United States in recent years.

"MLS should be league which is attractive for the best national players but also for those from abroad. And Bastian falls into the second category," Garber said.

He added that stars from Europe are still welcome in the United States despite MLS' growth in recent years.

"I think so. Even though we are not that depended on them anymore," he said.

"The league is coming of age. But big names continue to be important to attract more fans and sponsors.

"Just like [David] Beckham in the past or Pirlo, Lampard, Villa or [Sebastian] Giovinco right now. We also need quality players from, say, Brazil or Argentina, who are only starting their careers and can make a name for themselves in our league."

Garber also spoke highly of MLS' academy programme.

"We started it nine years ago, and right now some 200 players from it have made the squads," he said. "The next Christian Pulisic should become big in MLS."