It's November, which means it is time for SBI to crank out last month's Q&A installments.
While a few weeks have passed since questions were submitted, most questions are still just as relevent today as they were two to three weeks ago.
U.S. national team questions rule the day as usual, with more World Cup questions starting to filter in now that the Americans have qualified and the clock is ticking quickly toward South Africa.
Now, without any further delay, here are some more of Your October Questions Answered:
DAN– What would you do about the forward situation? Are we best suited to leave Holden at right wing and move Dempsey up with Altidore, or is the replacement for Davies going to come from somebody like Casey, Cooper, or Ching?
IVES– I think moving Dempsey up top will ultimately be the best option. None of the forwards have really impressed me as much as Holden has. In reality, the only player who can provide the sort of qualities Charlie Davies did is Landon Donovan, so the ideal scenario would be to have a left winger emerge who is worthy of starting so that Donovan could move up top. Unfortunately no such player has stepped up.
3VIL L33T– why is the website soccerbyives.net and not .com
IVES– Believe it or not, .com was taken and the holders were trying to score a king’s ransom. Ultimately, I think .net is more fitting because of the connection of net to soccer.
THIS GUY– I don't have a question. I just wanna say that SBI and TOW are the greatest 2 soccer sites ever.
IVES– Thanks a bunch "This Guy". The Original Winger is a pretty damn good site.
MATTHEW– What other friendly's would you like to see US Soccer schedule in World Cup preparation?
IVES– The World Cup prep friendlies should be dependent on what teams the USA draws in the World Cup. Without knowing that, it's tough to say which friendlies would be best. That said, I wouldn't mind seeing the USA play teams like Ivory Coast, Russia, Portugal and the Netherlands.
JOE K– what's your prediction on the average attendance at red bull arena next year? how many sellouts?
IVES– I’ll say 10 out of 15, though it wouldn't shock me if all 15 dates sold out. I honestly think Red Bull Arena will be a big hit with the great soccer fans in the area around where the stadium is located.
CHAD– Love the site. As you know the WC draw is Dec. 4th. As it stands now, what seeded team do you think we have the best chance of taking points off of? (assuming we don't get one…)
IVES– That's a pretty easy answer, South Africa. The USA, as well as most other nations, will be praying to wind up in South Africa's group. If Costa Rica makes the World Cup, there will be four CONCACAF teams with a chance to be drawn into South Africa's group. I think it would be safe to say that USA, Mexico and Honduras would all be good best to reach the second round if placed in South Africa's group.
JUSTIN– Give us your predictions on MLS Cup champs and MVP.
What is your take on Jeff Cunningham's ridiculous second half? Should Bob Bradley consider bringing him in for the Denmark friendly? Would that ever happen?
IVES– I'll say LA Galaxy win the Cup and Shalrie Joseph wins MVP (at least he should, but Landon Donovan may very well win the voting).
SMITS– Ching's recent contract with Houston was a bad deal to me considering his age, I'd prefer they develop their youth more, (whatever happened to Felix Garcia)? Your thoughts?
Name the 5 hottest (& famous) women on the planet today.
IVES– Since most MLS contracts aren't guaranteed I'm not sure how bad a deal Ching's new deal really is. He's a key player for the Dynamo and with the team set to lose Stuart Holden and Ricardo Clark, it only makes sense for the Dynamo to want to hold on to a key veteran.
As for five hottest famous women, that's a tough one. Here are some who would be on my list (though not necessarily THE Top Five): Adriana Lima, Christina Milian, Alessandra Ambrosio, Julianna Hough and the best twins in the world, Mariana and Camilla Davalos (They're not as famous as the others, but they should be).
AARON in STL– Ives – in keeping with the "What do we do w/o Charlie Davies theme" – is it possible with our dearth of talent that we go with one striker in front of 5 midfielders? I'm assuming one, likely Dempsey or Lando, play a Gerrard-like role and are allowed to roam freely.
I think it'd be a tough job for the striker and probably wouldn't suit Jozy's talents to the fullest, but I think he could still find a way to be productive.
IVES– You can call it five midfielders, or you can say Bob Bradley will play with a withdrawn striker, but chances are we'll see either Clint Dempsey or Landon Donovan up top with Jozy Altidore, unless a pure forward steps up in the next six-eight months.
SMILES– Will this Beckham loan be the last? It is the last World Cup I could feasibly see him playing in.
IVES– I'd say it has to be his last. He's too old to keep doing this beyond 2010.
KPUGS– Two questions, both brief and only one serious.
1. I had to eat some crow over the last two games due to Casey and Bornstein. My opinion is still that neither should go to South Africa (without getting too wordy, there are plenty of guys like Torres I'd much rather see playing). Having explained that, is it safe to say that both Bornstein and Casey would get smoked playing in a world cup match? For all of Casey's strength he is slow with average touch at best and a poor passer. Bornstein is all speed (though he is slowly getting better). Either way, I don't think either is good enough to face the world class teams in South Africa.
2. "Ohhhh US-AAAAAA. OH U-S-A OH U-S-A OH U-S-AAAA."
We ever going to get a new chant?
IVES– I don't think it should be assumed that Bornstein would get smoked in the World Cup. I still happen to think he did well against Mauro Camoranesi in the Confederations Cup and he's getting better with each match. He's not the finished product and isn't a star at left back, but he's getting better. As for Casey, I'm more inclined to agree that I can't see him being an impact player at the World Cup.
2. I do agree that it's time for a new chant. I thought the U-S-AYY chant with the long A was decent when I heard it in Columbus for USA-Mexico, but is that really a full chant? Someone needs to come up with some better songs ASAP.
ART IN TEXAS– Now that the depth in the backline positions looks to be a little questionable right now for the national team, can you see Bradley possibly trying out Omar Gonzalez or Sean Franklin anytime during the coming year? Both are still raw, but hopefully have more upside then downside.
IVES– I think Gonzalez is still too raw, and I don't think Franklin has the technical ability that several others at right back possess so I'm not sure where he would fit in. Both are more likely to be 2014 considerations.
ISAAC– Hey Ives, great site! Keep up the good work.
What is THE greatest national team goal for the USA you've seen?
Second, and you don't have to answer this one it's up to you, If the US national team is a football team, who plays where? Anybody who has been capped can be in this.
IVES– That's a tough one. In terms of combining importance and degree of difficulty, I'd say Clint Mathis' free kick against Honduras in 2001 has to top the list, but I also remember Landon Donovan's slalom run against Ecuador being pretty damn good. Then you also have Mathis' goal against South Korea in the 2002 WOrld CUp. I need to give this one more thought, but those three come to mind right now.
JEFFM– When Maurice Edu is healed, does he get integrated right back into the squad at Rangers, or does he end up on the bench? Same question for Jermaine Jones at Schalke.
IVES– I think Edu has a much better chance of making a smooth transition back into Rangers lineup. Jones was a key player for Schalke, but they have played well without him and he will have to beat out Brazilian Mineiro to win his job back. I can see both starting by the spring, barring any injury setbacks.
KPTX– Ives, what's the normal press contingent at a USMNT home game? 15, 20, 25? What about away games? How does that compare to prior World Cup cycles (don't know exactly how long you've covered the team).
Basically, I'm wondering about how the team's popularity has grown over the last few WC cycles and thought comparing the amount of press members at a game may be a good barometer. Also, do you have any insights on the ratings increases/decreases of the USMNT games over the last few cycles?
IVES– I couldn't begin to count up how many media attend games, but I do feel like there are fewer media traveling to the road qualifiers. I could be wrong, but I do think the decline of the newspaper business has put a crimp in how many journalists travel. That said, there is certainly more media attending home games. At least that's how it felt during this, my third qualifying cycle.
BP– The injuries to Davies and Gooch have forced me to ponder which players on the US Team can we least afford to lose to injury? (Assuming Donovan is number 1 on the list, who are the next four).
PS. Does Friedel's form alter Howard's place on this list?
IVES– If we can assume that Friedel would accept the invite if something happened to Howard, then yes, that does impact Howard's place on this list, but it really is a two-horse race between Landon Donovan and Tim Howard. Donovan is even more important a player because of the loss of Davies. I also wouldn't necessarily assume that going from Howard to Friedel wouldn't be a loss for the U.S. team. As good as Friedel still is, he hasn't played with this U.S. team and wouldn't have the understanding and working relationship with his defenders that Howard has. I also wonder if Bob Bradley would really just turn to Friedel and not give the nod to Brad Guzan, who has looked very sharp whenever he's been given a chance for club or country.
MAX RECLINE– 1. Why does US Soccer seemingly refuse to call in players that aren't developed within the US youth system? Our current defender problem begs the question: what do Frank Simek and Zach Whitebread have to do to get a call up?
2. Also, why wont they call up our other latino players? Torres is of such obvious quality, I'm shocked that anyone thinks we have a better midfielder. Let's not forget these guys were all born here!
IVES– I would imagine that Bob Bradley hasn't called in Frank Simek and Zak Whitbread because they've been injured for some time now. Also, Simek was getting call-ups before injuries sidelined him, so I'm not sure those two are the best examples for your suggested trend.
As for the "where are the latinos" question, I'm not sure there is this big number of Latinos being overlooked. You can probably point to Michael Orozco and Marco Vidal as two American-born players currently playing in Mexico who might merit a look, but I'm not sure that their lack of call-ups can be seen as some great crime, particularly when you consider that Jose Francisco Torres has gotten regular call-ups and Edgar Castillo is about to be called up.
AMIT– Are there any U.S. players that you know of that openly dismiss MLS as an option even as their career winds down?
IVES– I can't say that I've ever met an American player who would dismiss MLS as a final destination. You'll be hard-pressed to find many American players who don't want to settle their families back in the United States toward the ends of their careers.
JALEEL– A team has never won the World Cup with a foreign coach. Interesting fact, is it not?
IVES– Absolutely an interesting fact, but there will be challengers to that fact in 2010. Fabio Capello with England, Vahid Halihodzic with Ivory Coast and potentially Carlos Quieroz with Portugal (unless you count him as Portuguese despite not being born in Portugal, but rather the Portuguese Overseas Province of Mozambique) and Guus Hiddink with Russia.