SBI Live Q&A

It's Q&A Time (October Edition)

Jozy Altidore 11 (ISIphotos.com) 
                                                                           Photo by ISIphotos.com 

It is that time again. Tim for SBI readers to submit their soccer (and occasional pop culture) questions which I will answer in installments over the course of the month.

There is plenty to discuss, from the U.S. men's national team's successful World Cup qualifying campaign, to the current European club season, to the new slate of Fall TV shows.

Submit your questions below (and try to limit yourself to one or two questions) and I will answer as many as I can in the coming days and weeks. You can look for the first batch of answers to post on Friday.

Send your questions my way. 

  • Shawn

    Hey Ives,

    I would like your opinion on something I’ve noticed about Jozy Altidore. It seems that during most of his goal celebrations of late he has been inclined to focus more on his name on the back of his shirt. I thought the golden rule was that the name on the front of a jersey is much more important than the name on the back. I only ask, because during the national anthem he stands, although respectfully, without his Hand over his heart. I know I’m being a bit nit-picky, but is there some message he’s trying to send? Jozy is a gift and we’re lucky to have him. I just hope he understands the huge honor of playing for a national team.


  • meadowlands mel

    having been at the game and then seeing some of the posts i am coming to the following conclusionc.

    1. bornstein did not score the tying goal it was torres.

    2. bradley did not score the first goal it was torres.

    3. felhaber and bradley in the midfield did not set up at least seven good scoriung opportunities it was torres.

    4. bradley did not intercept all the passes in the midfield it was torres.

    when are these posters going to realize that torres only played about 25 minutes and he could not have done all those things.. get real…..


  • Strider

    Is there another national team that is dealing with as many injuries to starters or potential starters as the US right now? With Charlie, Clint, Gooch, Marshall, Demerit, Jones, etc. it just seems like an awful lot right now. I know a couple of these are relatively minor, but several (Davies, Gooch, Jones) are major and long-term issues.

    Secondly, what new players besides Castillo and Jones, if healthy, will get invited to the January camp for a first or new look heading into prep for WC 2010?


  • DJ Barnett

    Hey Ives, great site and awesome insight into my favorite sport. Here’s my questions: I am most interested in the amount that certain players get paid while with thier club teams or more interesting how much does a USMNT player get paid while on international duty? Thanks Ives keep up the great work.


  • Dutchie


    I understand relegation/promotion in MLS is not gonna happen. My question is, how common is it in the rest of the world? I know Europe has it, does South America? Asia?


  • JFC


    i remember a couple of months ago Kandji from the redbulls said he was interested in playing for the USMNT. Do you think there will be room for him in the future on the squad?


  • Corey

    Considering the Charlie Davies situation, who do you think Bradley should partner up top with Altidore. Casey and Ching are the most obvious candidates, but I think it would be a good idea to put Dempsey up top and let Holden and Rogers provide more width on the right.


  • Tyler

    With Davies out for a while, do you see Dempsey moving up to a withdrawn forward role (also helps with his limited contributions on defense), with longer looks at Stuart Holden and Robbie Rogers (and dare I say Beasley) to fill the vacant winger spot?

    I personally think Ching up to with Altidore and Dempsey on the wing is the way to go, but if we lose another forward and are left with HAVING to start Connor Casey, I for one will be concerned.


  • dbex

    1. Leaving aside Castillo and Jones, what non-capped players would you like to see getting a look in the next few months?

    2. What question do you get repeatedly asked in these Q&A sessions that drives you the craziest? 😉


  • N-Whit


    Since Davies is out indefinitely, do you think Bradley will look to strikers like Jemal Johnson, Jeremiah White, Jeff Cunningham, or Eddie Johnson to fill his spot up front? Or will he stick with the like of Connor Casey?


  • Zac in Indy

    Ives, Before you squashed it as an inane theory, the idea of CONMEBOL and CONCACAF merging had been bandied about. If I were FIFA the merger I would consider would be an Oceania and CONCACAF merger: CONCACOAF. CONCACAF doesn’t gain much as far as better competition goes, but New Zealand certainly gains a lot with this prospect. As a result give CONCACOAF a fouth guaranteed spot. Eliminating two .5 spots and a playoff game. With this you’re one step closer to insuring the best teams get are getting in. Your thoughts?


  • dan

    What has to happen for concacaf to get placed in the same pot as africa? Obviously we would like to be placed with them over asia so we could possibly play the noth koreans etc over the cameroons etc. Would it be as simple as costa rica beating uruguay?


  • kar


    With 16 teams, any chance MLS will go to home & away matches between all the teams (keeping the 30 game season)? If not, has anything leaked out around how scheduling might happen?


  • Eric Griesheimer


    The US has a number of players injured, but only Charlie Davies is expected to miss the WC. How do they other injuries affect the team heading into some friendlies and leading up to the WC?


  • Ghost of Clint Dempsey


    What US player(s) do you think is headed to Europe next and at what level of team? I’m thinking Holden and Torres but I am not sure if and when it will happen. When is the question I think.


  • mnmike

    Last year I asked for a breakout USMNT player. You gave me Davies and Spector. Obviously a World Cup year is a different year in the cycle, but do you see anyone emerging between now and June?


  • John V.

    With Davies out, what is the likelihood that Eddie Johnson gets himself back on the field for the US?


  • TJPierce


    1) Who could you see the US scheduling in addition to Denmark for pre-world cup friendlies? Have you heard anything about S.American or African possibilities?

    2) Have you ever seen the new American Gladiators show? Is Venom the hottest thing besides the sun or am I going crazy? How do you think you would fare in that competition?



  • jdsanfor

    Have you seen any reporting on (or do you know) what got CR’s coach ejected? What was he so hot and bothered about? His antics bought the U.S. just enough time to get the game-tier. And, if I can editorialize, I’m glad to see this sort of gamesmanship finally cost a team something. (One could also point to the CR defender’s wrist “injuries” at the end of both halves.)


  • Jeremy

    Should getting Omar Gonzalez capped be a priority?

    Any inside scoop on Philadelphia Union kits?

    PB&J sandwich- grape or strawberry jelly?


  • Johnny Club

    I’m interested in seeing what the experience level is for your readers. Have they ever played soccer? Did they play in HS, Club, College, Pro?

    Can you do a poll on it?



  • Frank


    We all would love to see soccer more in the mainstream media (ie ESPN Sportscenter). Any chances you would be up to starting a petition or providing a mailing address so we could overload the producers at ESPN with our desire for more soccer?


  • Sean

    What’s the thinking behind counting a portion of a Designated Player’s salary towards the salary cap? Why would’t MLS exempt the entire salary so teams’ cap space isn’t handicapped by having a Designated Player? To my knowledge, the Australian A-League has a system like that set up.


  • Mike @ GoSounders

    Hey Ives, can you provide any insight and the specifics on how MLS treats yellow card accumulation when a player receives two yellows in a game?

    I’m specifically referring to the two scenarios when a player is carrying 3 or 4 cautions into a game, and receives two yellows in a match.

    It seems this is handled differently from instance to instance.



  • DJ Barnett

    Ives, I know a lot has been made of the tactical acumen, or lack there of, of Coach Bradley. But could his sticking to a regimented tactic be a smoke screen for other teams to not know the “playbook?” For example in the World Cup next year could we see a more tactical diversified USA squad than what we have seen so far? My feelings are that Coach Bradley did not want to open up the playbook for other teams to be able to scout our team effectively. It would be like running a fake punt or field goal in the preseason of the NFL. It only alerts the other teams that you have this at your disposal. Please elaborate on your thoughts!


  • Randy

    Ives, do you think with Davies being out Bob will go to starting Holden and either Landon or Dempsey out wide, and Jozy with Landon or Dempsey up top?


  • rob

    By far this is my favorite soccer site so keep up the good work.

    Have we entered the Golden Age of soccer coverage in the US with ESPN covering almost all of the USMNT games, several Premier and La Liga games a week (with the HD feeds), FSC switching to HD (a little late on that though) and the great coverage for World Cups(senior and U20/U17)? What has been the ratings for espn during these matches and where will soccer coverage be in a year and 5 years?


  • brad


    Who are potential suitors for Donovan? He has raised the level of his game since the Confed Cup..


  • Carl

    My 21st birthday is saturday november 14th. I live in Ithaca, NY. what should I do for it?


  • Vigo the Carpathian

    The Netherlands had a great qualifying run and have some terrific players on their squad yet we don’t seem to hear much about them. How do you think they’ll fair at the World Cup?


  • Paul

    (1) With hundreds of clubs in Europe and thousands of players worldwide, how does the identification and signing of young players work? Agents can’t possibly be in touch with all clubs, and vice versa. If you knew of a talented young player, and wanted to get him interested in a particular club and/or get the club interested in him, what would you do?

    (2) What position will Dempsey be playing for the MNT in South Africa?


  • Gabe

    In your opinion, how much sense would it make to have Freddy Adu switch to striker. No, he’s not big and fast…but he definitely seems like a Charlie Davies’ type. What’s holding back this move?


  • Kevin

    With Onyewu and DeMerit out and Jermaine Jones likely coming in, do you see Bradley implementing a 3-5-2 with some combination Bradley and Jones sitting directly above Bocanegra with Dempsey, Donovan, and another attacking midfielder ahead of them? Also, when will we see Edgar Castillo at left back?


  • Jonathan

    What is the story behind AC Milan wanting compensation as a result of Onyewu’s injury while on international duty? Is it due to their financial woes? For one I have never heard of such a thing.


  • Paul D

    Holy crap, I asked about Jay Demerit coming back into the centerback picture (long week). What I meant to ask was about Frank Simek. He isn’t getting a lot of time at Shefield Wed but could he come into camp and contribute?


  • puzzled paul

    this has been puzzling me for a while:
    why do the British insist on calling a ‘centerback’ a ‘centre half’? it seems like a ‘half’ should be a midfielder to me.
    and why is everything so massive over there???


  • RLW2020


    Have you considered doing an injury or playing time update segment. Especially with most of our best players fighting to be healthy and higher on their clubs depth chart it would be great addition to a Americans Abroad piece


  • jsm3

    Who do you think will be the coach of DC United next year? Who do you see out the door from the team?


  • Some dude in nyc

    Hey ives, how do you see the concacaf teams performing at the world cup(costa rica included if they qualify). Do you see one or all three/four teams getting out of the first round?


  • Erik, NYC

    Love the site. Assuming he is able to get regular minutes in portugal, how realistic is Adu getting a look for WC, now that Davies is out? What is Bradley’s assessment of his skills? I get the impression he is not rated v highly…

    RE: podcast.
    Just get something going- People wanna hear your take on the soccer world and it’d be a shame to miss the run-up to this WC. You should aim for Bill Simmons podcasts, on ESPN.com. Since the WorldWideLeader is trying to fire up the massses for WC, couldn’t they hook you up with the same setup where you do it from home and a producer is on from Bristol?


  • ACE

    Ives. So glad I found your website in the past year.

    Question 1: With the sad news about Charlie Davies. I feel that the U.S. really needs speed up top and I believe LD should move up top and have Torres take LD’s place at left mid….What do you think?

    Question 2: How many people will be called into the January camp? I’m guessing 35.

    Question 3: Also which previously uninvited players do you think might get a look. I’ve heard some folks think Omar Gonzalez has a chance to be called up.

    P.S. Why not include Ryan Guy in your Americans Abroad section..I know it’s only the Irish Premier League, but he plays on a top 3 team-St. Patrick’s


  • Tim


    Am I the only one who gets annoyed listening to John Harkes announce USMNT games? Sure, he has tons of experience and knowledge, but every game he seems overly critical of the current team. Once a game he will inevitably make some sort of “back when we played” or “these players today..” comment. It is obvious he can’t let go of the memories of his playing days, and is really doing a questionable job calling games.


  • Some dude in nyc

    Hey ives, how do you see the concacaf teams performing at the world cup(costa rica included,if they qualify). Do you see one or all three/four teams getting out of the group stage?


  • Ted

    What are the chances Bobby Boswell and Geoff Cameron get a look in the camps leading up to the world cup? With the US teams’ new found problem with depth in the center of the defense, having two big guys who are used to playing together wouldn’t be such a bad thing. Did Boswell get any serious attention before his dip in form with DC United?


  • Nate Glass

    The U-17 MNT is using a more dictating attacking style as opposed to the usual counter attacking style that has been used by our teams for some time now. Do you see this becoming a new trend for the senior USMNT or is this just a phase for the U-17 team?


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