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Good evening folks. Hope you enjoyed your Thanksgiving festivities. We took it easy on the posting front today as we enjoyed the holiday with our families and friends, but I couldn't let the day go by without at least some reading material.
The most recent Q&A took place on Monday, but with so many good questions still remaining from the October Q&A, I decided to work on answering some more of those before moving on to the November questions.
Here is Part Five of Your October Questions Answered:
DBEX SAID– 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? 😉
IVES– 1. Geoff Cameron, Marcus Tracy and Alejandro Bedoya are three uncapped players who who come to mind as players I'd like to see called up in the coming months. With central defense, forward and wing positions all needing some depth, I can see each of these players getting serious looks in 2010.
2. Questions about the starting lineup for the USA at the World Cup can be annoying since its so far away, while promotion/relegation questions can be pointless considering how many times they've been asked. Questions about Freddy Adu and why he should be playing for the national team have become pretty pointless as well.
SETH– what's happening with richie williams in ny? does he get his shot or what?
IVES– Williams is in limbo right now, serving as the Red Bulls interim head coach, but if I were a betting man I’d bet he isn’t being hired by New York (which is a joke in my book). If that’s the case, then I would imagine he lands with one of the other openings around the league, with D.C. being the most logical choice.
CHRIS A– What happened to Special 1 TV?
IVES– Setanta’s financial meltdown happened.
WONSAN UNITED– Why don't more American players go down to Mexico?
IVES– That’s a good question. I think a fair number of Americans go down, they just happen to be Mexican-Americans. The days of folks like Mike Sorber and Christopher Sullivan heading down to Mexico seem long gone and it’s probably due to the money Americans can find in smaller European leagues as well as the presence of MLS, where good American players can make good money.
I also think there’s an issue of style of play and how many Americans are really adept at playing the technical style that is played in Mexico. Obviously Landon Donovan is someone who can go down and play in Mexico, and I’m sure there are plenty of others who could as well, but the players who could go there and do well are already playing and earning good livings in MLS.
TONY T– FC Dallas FAN situation, The main reason I didn't get season tickets this year is because of the drive, they are around 30 miles away from Dallas. Do you think moving them back to the Cotton Bowl would draw more fans? I can see that they have invested too much in Frisco for that to happen but I don't think the 10,000(give or take) fans per game is paying the bills.
IVES– I’m really starting to wonder whether MLS is thinking long and hard about what to do with Pizza Hut Park. MLS commissioner Don Garber mentioned on multiple occasions the problem FC Dallas has with being so far from Dallas. I don’t think you’ll see FC Dallas leaving Pizza Hut Park any time soon, but if some semi-pro football team came along and offered good money for the stadium, something tells me FC Dallas would jump at the offer.
DAVID– Who's the next head coach of the Wizards? Are NYRB going to try and pry Vermes back home to Jersey as their technical director?
IVES– This obviously didn’t happen, which is unfortunate for New York. Vermes is now the Wizards head coach, but I have a feeling he’ll move out of that role sooner than later, as soon as he finds a head coach he’s comfortable handing the reins to. As for New York, they’ve already hired Norwegian Erik Soler to be the team’s general manager. His lack of experience with MLS and American soccer in general is frightening and Red Bulls fans had better pray the team hires a coach with MLS experience. Otherwise, the team is going to be an absolute disaster (again).
TEN-FOUR SAID– What's a realistic, good group draw for the US look like?
IVES– I did a mock draw last week and thought that a draw of Spain, Greece and Uruguay wasn’t the worst possible draw. Obviously in an ideal world the U.S. ends up in South Africa’s group, but saving that, the Americans will want to avoid the Netherlands or Portugal out of the Europeans Only pot (or France or whatever other fringe seeded team that doesn’t get a seed) as well as avoiding Ivory Coast and Paraguay from the African/South America pot (ideally the Americans land Algeria or Uruguay from that pot, but even those teams won’t really be pushovers).
The dream draw? South Africa, Switzerland and Algeria. If the USA scores that group, Sunil Gulati might start break dancing at the draw.
TR– After seeing some of the young talent in the WC qualifiers – Bryan Ruiz, Carlos Costly, etc – who are playing in "lesser" leagues in Europe like Holland or Poland (although Costly is on loan to Birmingham I guess) – is there any chance MLS can pry some of these young Central American potential stars away from Europe?
IVES– Holland’s a lesser league? Lesser than what, the EPL? Ruiz plays for FC Twente, the top team in the Dutch League and a Europa League participant. Costly moved to Poland on a big transfer deal. Until MLS gets into the business of spending money to buy players AND pay them the money they need to come, you won’t see those kind of young studs coming to MLS. I actually heard that Toronto FC inquired about Costly before he moved to Europe but his price tag was too high.
The harsh reality is the days of the Central American bargains are over. Now that players such as Wilson Palacios, Maynor Figueroa, Hendry Thomas and Ruiz are starring in Europe, scouts from across the pond are starting to spend real money in Central America, which has teams down there wanting more and more for their top prospects.
TICKLE ME FUNNY– What is your personal contingency plan in the event of a zombie apocalypse?
IVES– Having seen enough zombie movies for an all-day marathon, I’ve found that weapons, food and a big building you know your way around are key to at least surviving the initial onslaught. From there, you need to be able to secure a vehicle to get around (now if we’re talking night-time only zombies, ala I Am Legend, then you can travel quite a ways during that first daylight). I’d make my way to the shore and try to stock a boat and hit the ocean (I’ve never seen zombies be able to swim so I think I’d be safe on the water). And yes, I realize the question and my answer were absurd, but so what?
DANNY– Ives what's your view on young American players going to Europe?…It seems like the young guns are making the switch way to soon now a days, and really are damaging their career…Wouldn't you rather see them play in MLS then sit on the bench in Europe?
IVES– Yes, I absolutely agree that too many are simply taking the money and jumping into bad situations. That being said, the fact that MLS doesn’t have a reserve league makes it that much tougher for young prospects to consider MLS, with the logic being if you’re going to go somewhere to not play, it may as well be where they’re going to pay you very well. If MLS expands rosters and brings back the reserve league, then I absolutely feel that young American players will need to start considering MLS over the bigger payday of Europe.
WESTENDFC-Will there ever be a Team America in Europe like there was going be in Bari and will it be successful? I am not counting that team in the Belgian Fourth Division, Montegnee.
IVES– I don’t think we’ll ever realistically see that. Could we wind up having a team that imports two or three Americans and give us something like we saw at Fulham from 07/08? That is possible, but a team loaded with Americans? Never going to happen in Europe (and not just because many leagues have limits on foreign players.)
SHAWN SAID– 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.
IVES– I think you’re making WAY too much out of nothing at all. Let me ask you this. If you were a 19-year-old kid scoring national team goals I’m pretty sure you’d be pulling off some outlandish goal-scoring celebrations. I know I would.
SHANTZ– will EJ make the world cup team
IVES– Maybe. I’d give Eddie Johnson a 30 percent chance of making it right now, but that number won’t go up unless Johnson finds a way to score some playing time next year.
STEVE Y– How important is having a European passport to having a young US prospect sign with a European team? It seems like most of the prospect-level signings (e.g., Szetela, Arnoux) have been for Americans with access to a EU passport. If visa restrictions were lifted, would a LOT more American prospects find their way onto European squads?
IVES– If Americans didn’t need passports or visa eligibility to play in many European leagues, there would be countless Americans making the jump and MLS would be in serious trouble because it would have to increase salaries significantly to compete. Luckily for MLS, that isn’t the case.
BECKER– How long will it be before we have a young promising talent in the midfield like we have in jozy?….. i'd die to have some 17 year old come up and tear up mls and make it to europe.
IVES– It’s going to be a few years before we see a teenage midfielder come into MLS and be an impact player. The last teenage midfielder I can recall having any sort of effect on the league was Michael Bradley as a 17-year-old starter for the MetroStars in 2005, and Eddie Gaven before that. MLS is just a tough and physical league that isn’t easy for a young midfielder to do well in. That being said, Luis Gil is a special talent, and if he signs with MLS, and the league brings back the reserve league, he might be able to develop and be an impact player in a few years time. I thought Charlie Renken could be that kind of player as well, but injuries have slowed him down and now he’s signed with Hoffenheim.
SOME DUDE IN NYC– Hey ives how do you see the teams from concacaf(costa rica included if they qualify)performing at the world cup. Do you see one or all three/four teams getting out of the first round?
IVES– It all depends on the groups they fall in, but I can see all three CONCACAF teams reaching the second round given the right circumstances. Honduras is a strong team that could be one of the World Cup’s surprises, and Mexico and the USA are strong enough to reach the second round.
DC JOSH– The World Cup is supposed to include the best teams in the world. Unfortunately, some teams don't make it even though they are better than other teams that do (Croatia & North Korea for example). UEFA is loaded with talented teams and could use a couple more World Cup spots while other federations could lose some spots.
Do you think A: something needs to be done about this. B: FIFA will do something about this.
Also, did you travel to RFK? How much did you love the MAGNIFICENT amenities it offers???? I've often heard it compared to the Palace of Versailles.
IVES– A-No and B-No. The World Cup should be representative of the world and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with teams from weaker regions qualifying while some teams from stronger regions don’t. If you can’t crack the Top 14 in Europe then you don’t make the World Cup. It’s that simple. There’s always the European Championships.
As for RFK, I’ve been to RFK something like 30 times in my career covering the game and I love making that trip. The games are always fun and the fans are always great.
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.
IVES– I’d say Ricardo Clark and Stuart Holden are safe bets to make the move to Europe, with Jonathan Bornstein also likely to head over. They should all move to Europe in January.
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?
IVES– He’s not big and fast but he’s like Charlie Davies? Before his injuries, Davies combined blazing speed with uncanny strength and a nose for goal. Adu is neither fast or strong, at least not anywhere near enough to ever be a forward on the international level.
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?
IVES– Boswell is a very good MLS player, but he’s lacking in the speed department for the international game. I think that will always keep him from being a real option for the national team. Cameron is another story. He’s got the type of physical tools that scouts drool over, but he’s not a natural defender and is still learning the position (which is scary considering how well he did in central defense this year).