Good afternoon all. As promised, here is the first installment of Your Octobers Questions Answered.
There are several quality questions in the overall batch this month, with the U.S. national team being the obvious topic of choice.
It isn't the only topic covered though. We have some European soccer, CONCACAF and SBI-related questions in the mix. Sadly, none of the John O'Brien questions made it this time around.
Now, onto the answers:
NEIL– Any chance the US gets seeded? What are the odds?
IVES– No. The only way the USA had any sort of chance to get seeded was if Argentina, Portugal and France had all failed to qualify. Argentina is in, and while Portugal and France could still fall in the play-offs, the odds are still against the USA getting a seed. As for odds of getting a seed now? I'll say 100-1.
BILL– Hi Ives,
Love the site! Two questions: has Bob Bradley ever stated that he even intends to give Castillo and J. Jones a look? We all assume that they will be brought into the fold, but is that a safe assumption?
2: Could either Ricardo Clark or Maurice Edu be a possibility at center back?
IVES– I know for a fact that Bradley has spoken to Castillo and USSF officials have spoken to Jones so both have been actively involved in talks about their transition so I would say it’s safe to say they’re both in the mix and should both get looks.
2. Clark isn't a centerback and while Edu didn't look bad there for the Olympic team, I'm not sure if he is better suited to play in the back than in central midfield for the national team.
FORD DUDE– Great site Ives, I check it like 100 times a day haha
With the unfortunate accident that happened to davies, and the hot streak and improving play of jeff cunningham, do you see him getting a call up to the national team?
I think he could be a very good addition to the US
If he does get called in, how do you think he would perform?
IVES– I think Cunningham is definitely a January camp call-up, but am not sure about November. Cunningham has long had a reputation for being a bit of a locker room enigma, but he looks to be having fun with FC Dallas and just might be ready to provide the speed option the U.S. team needs now. I still have my reservations about how he will fit into the team and whether he will be a good fit in the lineup, but I do think he gets a look. He’s certainly played well enough to deserve one.
TOM SHARPE– Do you think Costa Rica's coach is at fault for the game? I mean the United States scored a goal in the fifth minute of stoppage time, and all of his shenanigans had to add a minute or two to that clock.
IVES– Rene Simoes didn’t do himself any favors with that dust-up with the officials, but ultimately his team broke down. You can argue that he put them into a shell too soon, but again, was that Simoes game-plan or was that the team falling into a shell on its own? I personally think Costa Rica made a mistake of firing Rodrigo Kenton, and have yet to see evidence to make me believe otherwise.
ANDOLINI– How does Gooch's injury affect the likelihood that he will leave AC Milan?
IVES– Before the injury there seemed to be an assumption that he would make a loan move in January if he wasn’t playing more, but now that won’t be an option and he will likely return to AC Milan in February facing a very uncertain future for his club.
TEDMONDS– What will happen first: an American refereeing the finals of a world cup or the USA team playing in the finals of a world cup?
IVES– Not that I think either happens soon, but I’d bet on the USA team playing in a World Cup final before we see an American ref in the final.
BEN– As of today, who will our Starting forwards be in the first game in South Africa?
(If you say Connor Casey, I will start a rampage of kicking small defenseless Golden Retrievers – P.S. I love Golden Retrievers – Dont make me do it)
IVES– Ben, your wording makes it tough not to say Casey. You asked “as of today” and since Casey has started the past two qualifiers, isn’t he the most likely to get called on by Bob Bradley?
I’ll spare the dogs by saying I think Jozy Altidore and Clint Dempsey are the starting forwards in June at the World Cup.
MADISON– Any chance Eddie Johnson gets a call back?
IVES– There’s always a chance, particularly when he’s at a club like Fulham, but he has to get playing time for that to even be a possibility, which he isn’t getting right now. I’m actually more optimistic about Johnson than I was a year ago (and any point before that) but playing time is still the major hurdle for him and a place on the 2010 World Cup roster.
CMBOND– I remember watching the US U-17 team play in the Dallas Cup with Spector as the Center Back. He was outstanding in that tournament. Is there a possibility of using him as a Center Back in place of our two injured CB's?
IVES– There’s a slight difference between the U-17 level and senior level. I really don’t see him as a better center back options than others in the pool. He really is better suited to play the fullback positions (and even some defensive midfield if the U.S. team wasn’t already stacked there).
JONATHAN BORNSTEIN– How does that crow taste, Ives?
IVES– It tastes pretty good, but it also helps knowing that I motivated you to play better (taking credit is what people do when they criticize someone and then the criticized plays better, isn’t it?). In all seriousness, it's good to see Bornstein play well lately, and while no one should be penciling him in to be the starter at left back come June, if he continues to improve I don't see why he can't be a starter and an effective one in South Africa.
NATE– When is there going to be a weekly podcast? Surely this is the next logical step in the Ives global takeover of media.
IVES– As soon as I build up the SBI stable of writers (which is the plan), I will hopefully have more time to explore the pod cast option. I know people have been asking for one, and while I have been tempted to start up a raw pod cast just to get something going, I feel like it’s better to wait until I’m ready to run a polished podcast first rather than rushing into a bare-bones one.
DARTH MAUL– Can you explain the failure of the Canadian national team? They should be qualifying at least every other year with the talent they have.
IVES– It really is mind-boggling that Canada hasn’t done better than it has. When I look at a country like Costa Rica I can’t help but think Canada just has more talent and should be playing in World Cups at least as regularly as the Costa Ricans. All I hear from the soccer minds up north is that the Canadian Soccer Federation is to blame, but I don’t know enough about the situation up there to know if that’s entirely true.
I will say this, if Canada ever sorts things out on the administrative side, and some real structure and quality coaching gets put in place, CONCACAF will be that much tougher to qualify out of.
FIREBALL– Costa Rica's U-20's have gotten to the U-20WC semis, while the US team went 1-0-2 in the group.
Is Costa Rica going to be better than the US in 8 years?
IVES– No. That’s a pretty absurd suggestion based on a youth tournament result. I would suggest going back and looking at U-20 results and see what sort of pre-cursor to success the U-20 World Cup results have been. It’s a flawed tournament where most teams don’t have their best players.
BALOOSH– Have you ever met Guiseppi Rossi's father considering he is a figure in New Jersey high school soccer?
If yes, did his son's nationality come up?
If no, what would you ask him when you did meet him?
IVES– I covered Fernando Rossi’s Clifton High teams for three seasons before he left. We had a pretty good relationship back then, and I recall Giuseppe being just a very young kid who would occasionally train with the team and was a special talent even back then.
MIKE K– 1) Will Ireland to qualify for world cup? (asked pre-draw)
2) Gooch to start the first game for the US at the world cup after his injury?
3) Will Richie Williams coach the first game at Red Bull Arena?
4) Will St Pauli win promition to the 1.Bundesliga?
IVES– 1. Yes. 2. Yes. 3. No (though if it were up to me the answer would be yes). 4. No.
BRENT– Ives Galarcep is hungry one night after writing 5 blog entries. He decides to grab some fast food. Where does he go and what does he get?
IVES– KFC and Chinese food are probably two main options (which Ives Galarcep should probably cut down on).
WERNER– Hey Ives, i love checking this website like once an hour (no obsession or anything)
What do you think about Eric Wynalda doing Fox Soccer Fone In?
If you had the power to put Landon Donovan in any European team in which he would thrive in, which would it be?
So You Think You Can Dance or American Idol?
IVES– Hey Werner, thanks for being an SBI regular.
I haven’t watched a single second of Wynalda on the Fox show, but I’ve heard more positive reviews than negative ones.
I would put Donovan on Sevilla.
BECKSTER– Thanks for the site. It is great and I check it all day.
After this last round of qualifiers, has Dolo replaced Spector as starting right back and if yes, could Spector challenge Bornstein for left back?
IVES– Thanks Beckster. I would say match-ups could factor in who starts between Cherundolo and Spector. Opponents with stronger and more physical wingers offer a better match-up for Spector (like Honduras) while teams with more traditional speedy wingers are a better match-up for Cherundolo. Ultimately, I think playing time in Europe could tell the tale because if Cherundolo continues to start and play well he will inevitably be sharper than Spector if Spector stops getting minutes at West Ham.
As for Spector at left back, as I’ve said before, a big part of Spector’s game is his crossing ability, which is negated on the left. Far too much has been made about his stint as a starting left back for West Ham. That stint was very much a stop-gap situation, but that doesn’t mean Spector won’t find opportunities for minutes under Gianfranco Zola.
MEMROOK– How long 'til SBI gets his own radio/tv show on ESPN or something like FSC???
Had you heard how AC Milan is looking for compensation from the US Soccer Fed for Onyewu's injury. They said they cannot afford to pay the wages of an injured player due to national team duty. Are they serious? Does compensation happen often? What's your take?
IVES– The radio/TV show thing isn’t a bad idea. I would say the next year will be a very interesting one for SBI so it will be interesting to look back on that question a year from now.
As for Milan’s request for compensation for Onyewu, it’s all just posturing. Big clubs have long complained about players being injured during national team duty, but FIFA will never back clubs with regard to those complaints. Consider Chelsea losing Michael Essien to injury last year while he was on duty with Ghana. Do you think Ghana’s federation was going to pay Essien’s wages while he was out? That whole idea will never catch on, no matter how much delusional club officials like Galliani complain about it.
BHO– If you were FIFA, how would you determine seeds for the World Cup Draw?
IVES– FIFA ranking combined with Confederation Cup performance. Okay, seriously, the current format isn’t terrible, though I think qualifying performance should be factored in as well, so if you win your qualifying group you get a higher ranking.
What do you think of these answers? Agree or disagree with any of them? Share your thoughts below.