SI.com: The only group publicly aiming to be the 20th MLS team is the New York Cosmos.
SI.com: They've hired Eric Cantona, Pel矇 and Cobi Jones, among others. What are their chances?
Garber: I have a lot of respect for what [Cosmos CEO] Paul Kemsley and his partners have done to relaunch the Cosmos brand. They'll be the first to say to realize their goals, they need an MLS team, and we've been in detailed discussions with them to see whether or not that's something that can come to fruition. Before we can do that we need a stadium plan, which we don't have at this point, though we're making progress with the City of New York, which is supporting us on trying to find a suitable location. There are others much less public than the Cosmos who continue to express interest. Sometime by the end of the year we'll have a better sense as to where we're going with the 20th team. But I'm committed to trying to finalize a deal so it can be here in New York.
SI.com: The Wilpons are in dire financial straits these days with creditors demanding as much as a billion dollars after the Madoff affair. Now they're trying to sell part of the Mets. The Wilpons have to be out of the running for the 20th MLS team in New York and any stadium at this point, right?
Garber: They're not. We remain in discussions with them. I spent almost a day with them this past weekend. They continue to have interest in MLS, and they also have a pretty darn good stadium site. I have a lot of respect for Fred and Jeff Wilpon, and I think there's more to that story that's still to be told. They are good people and real sportsmen. I hope they're able to solve whatever their short-term issues are. But everything with MLS is long-term. I'm sure they'll get through their issues, and our decision here is going to be one for a generation. We've got to be sure we've got the right owner for the long term.
SI.com: Speaking of which, where is the Cosmos's financial backing coming from? The word I hear is the Middle East.
Garber: You'll have to get that answer from them. Certainly we wouldn't be in discussions with them if we didn't think they had the ability to purchase the team and pay what will be a record-setting expansion fee and also fund the construction of a stadium, which will require a significant amount of money.
SI.com: What is the current expansion fee price?
Garber: It's going to be a heck of a lot more than the last one, which was $40 million [for Montreal].