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It’s Q&A time

Good morning folks. If you’re stuck at home watching the snow fall like me, I feel your pain. If you are in Hawaii or any place else where the tempurature is above 50, I hate you (okay, not really).

It is that time again, time for you all to submit your questions for the latest Q&A session. Just post your soccer-related questions below and I will provide my answers, opinions and suggestions next week (I’m shooting for Monday).

Please remember, as always, keep the questions from being too long, limit your questions to two at the most and please consult previous Q&A sessions so we don’t get the same questions being asked over and over (If anybody asks about John O’Brien I am banning them from the site. Okay, I’m half kidding).

Fire away!


  1. Ives – Why is it that MLS (and from what I hear Scandinavian leagues) have a massively longer winter transfer window relative to european counterparts?



  2. Ives, I need your guidance…I lived in LA for 12 years, during which time MLS sprang up, and the Galaxy counted me as one of their first fans. During that time, I developed a healthy hatred for our bitter rival, San Jose. 3 years ago I moved to the Bay Area, and have watched my Galaxy devolve into a circus. But the colors get into your blood. But it was okay, as there was no local team to compete for my attention, unless you count the CA Victory. (RIP). But here are the Quakes! Born again, and playing just down the road. If the Galaxy wasn’t such a star-f**king joke, this would be no problem, but…as it is I am torn.

    Ives, tell me…what would you do?

  3. Who are the #3 and #4 teams in CONCACAF right now? Canada looked very strong in the Gold Cup and Honduras has some very talented players playing overseas and they beat Paraguay in a friendly during the last match day. Anyone else that comes to mind? Can our #4 win the play off spot against CONMEBOL for the World Cup spot?

  4. Ives,
    Fire fan here – first thanks to this whole Osorio/Conde crap, I’ve discovered your site which gives me lots of info I didn’t already have = good, thanks.

    Onto the question:

    Fire fans were warned about Osorio by fans of his former club Millionaros about the way he left, then how he took Conde with him. He did basically the same thing with the Fire (don’t know about Conde yet), don’t you think he’ll do the exact same thing to the Metros, if given half a chance?

  5. Is Neven Subotic going to play for the US or Serbia? What’s your guess? How good is he and do you think he would be in our plans?

  6. (1) Ives, what do you attribute Convey’s issues against Mexico to? Was this really a career ending injury? Do you think he will ever be the same?
    (2) Enough of the Red Bulls, how do you see DC United’s chances? Will Ben Olsen get another crack at the us team?

  7. Ives, love the new site. Two Questions for you:

    1. What’s the deal with Subotic? Will he play for the US at the Olympics if we Qualify? Based on what he’s done in Germany’s 2nd division it seems like he’d be a quality option center back.

    2. Don’t feel obligated to answer this one, but just because I’m a nerd; are you following the presidential race very closely? I’m also wondering if you have a favorite candidate? Once again feel free to pass on this one. I’d certainly understand if you didn’t feel like disclosing your political preferences.

  8. Ives,

    Do you think Landon Donovan should really be recognized as USA’s all time leading goal scorer considering that maybe about half his goals were from penalties he didn’t draw himself?

  9. Ives,

    Can you tell me why the USMNT won’t use a 3-5-2? Is it the lack of quality in the back? Not enough technical skill to maintain possession in the midfield? Something else. It would seemingly solve our left-back / 2nd string right back issue. and allow Landon/Clint to play free in the middle. What do you think?


  10. Ives,

    I keep reading snippets about Benny F. and his huge ego. I didn’t think much of it at first, but I’m beginning to wonder if he hasn’t pulled a bit of a Pearce and pissed off his employers rather than been outperformed by his competition within the team.

    Have you gotten the impression that Benny thinks a little too much of himself? Have an opinion on this slant on Benny’s story?

    Many thanks for the work you do.


  11. This question has probably been asked before, but why is it that Feilhaber hasn’t gotten any playing time at Derby? Is there a better
    player blocking him? Is there some other reason? I am truly puzzled. I watched a bit of a derby match the other day and they seemed terrible. I just can’t see how Benny wouldn’t get any playing time with a squad that bad.

  12. So, what’s the deal with Scandinavia? Why do so many American players seem to be going there? Do these countries have a higher incidence of English-speakers without the work permit requirements of, say, the UK? Or is it just that the level of play is more in line with American players, but with bigger salaries?

  13. I live in Florida, loved (and miss) the Mutiny and Fusion, but why should anyone believe a new Miami team will fare any better than the Fusion did? I know they will be closer to Miami, but does that really make all the difference? I found in Tampa that the Mutiny was largely a walk-up-day-of-game crowd, and the Florida summer thunderstorms regularly obliterated potential attendance. I really hope they get a new team, as long as it is viable. I’ll be fan 1.

  14. I just bought tickets to the final match of the CONCACAF U-23 tournament. Since the top two teams will be going to the olympics is this just a glorified exhibition? Is there anything on the line other than the title?



  15. Have you heard any rumors of who FC Dallas will be unloading? They seem overloaded at D-Mid, already have way too many internationals in camp, and have tons of cap space still to spend, probably on more international players (Ruiz replacement). What do you think it would cost an MLS club to trade for an extra an international spot?

  16. Thank you again Ives for the Q&A

    I wanted to know about MLS rebranding. Have you heard rumors of any new color/logo/name switches in the works? I’m thinking maybe KC when they get that nice new stadium. It’s hard to believe that all team identities seem to have survived the offseason intact.

  17. Thanks for doing Q&A Ives.

    Congrats to New York as they seem to have selected well in the draft, with Brunner, Roth (although he is injured now), Sassano and Borman each having strong training camps.

    However, given that you watched the combine and did research on some of the players, can you give your assessment of whether the Red Bulls should have selected other available players – based on talent and/or needs – such as …

    Yomby William, Eric Avila, Peter Lowry, Michael Videira, Ricardo Pierre-Louis or George Josten instead of Brunner;

    Joseph Lapira or Geoff Cameron instead of Sassano;

    Rauwshan McKenzie, Scott Campbell or Xavier Balc instead of Roth; and

    Pat Healey or Yannick Reyering instead of Borman?

  18. Ives,

    If a youth academy player is signed, does the full amount of his contract count against the team cap or only part of it similar to the way a Generation Adidas contract is treated; if the latter, do you know the specific terms of how the YA contracts will be treated for purposes of the cap (e.g., based on players age up to age X)?


  19. Ives,
    What are the top ten experiences (in priority order if possible) you would recommend mens’ soccer fans residing in the US try to do before they die?

    Commentary you can delete:
    Here’s my list which is unfortunately based on hearsay as I’ve not had the pleasure of experiencing most of these yet. For purposes of developing this list, I assumed the fan does not live near a MLS franchise (in such a case, I may have added a couple more MLS-related experiences factoring in convenience and cost). I strongly considered adding Celtic vs. Rangers; AC Milan vs. Inter; and AS Roma vs. Lazio and perhaps should have:
    10 – Attend the inaugural MLS match in a new soccer specific stadium (e.g., RSL, NYRB, etc.)
    9 – Attend a MLS Cup Final
    8 – Attend a Gold Cup Final
    7 – Attend Mexico vs. USMNT in Azteca Stadium
    6 – See Fenerbahce and Galatasaray play each other in Istanbul
    5 – See Sporting Lisbon and Benfica play each other in Lisbon
    4 – See Man U or Liverpool play an EPL game (preferably in Old Trafford or Anfield)
    3 – See Barcelona and Real Madrid play each other in a Primera division match
    2 – See Boca Juniors and River Plate play each other in Buenos Aires
    1 – Spend at least a week and see three soccer games live at a World Cup

    In a few years may add CONCACAF Champions League Final and even Superliga final…

  20. Over at the Sideline Views blog, Luis Bueno did pre-season unit rankings where he ranked how everyone’s keepers, defense, midfield and forwards ranked in MLS. Ours is as follows: keepers (9), defense (9), midfield (12) and forwards (1). Do you see these ratings as being accurate?

    The two ratings of 9 and one of 12 are pretty bad, who might get thrown by the wayside to make room for new players or do you think we’ve seen enough cuts?



    How did the Chicago Fire put together such a complete, competitive expansion squad in 1998 AND under a tighter salary cap? Why aren’t more teams following what they did as an expansion model?

  22. Any chance that the Revs use the DP slot to bring Benny back to the US? If not Benny, do you know who the Revs are looking at to fill the DP slot?

  23. any info on a possible USA-England or England-USA game and where it would be played if it’s in the US ?

    Would Robbie Rogers be a good signing for LA Galaxy (aside the whole cap issue) ?

    cheers for your news blogging

  24. Two Questions:

    1) Do you see Gooch going somewhere this summer and if so whats a likely fit for him?

    2) If Rochester ever got some decent financial backing would the MLS ever consider them, we do have a nice soccer specific stadium already, which is more than most of the MLS can say!

  25. A few weeks ago, maybe in a Q & A answer, you stated that MLS players would be wise not so sign long term contract extensions this year or next year pending the upcoming labor negotiations. That makes perfect sense.

    My question is, do you see owners trying to ink DPs before the DP rules or labor agreement changes in an effort to only have $400K count against the cap?

    More generally, what types of financial rangling, contract negotiating do you anticipate from the owners as the end of the current labor agreement approaches?

  26. What do you know about João Vieira Pinto and the signing possibility with Toronto FC? He’s old, but was one of the players of portuguese “Golden Generation”, twice Under’20 world champion (89 and 91).

    Can he be a good signing?

  27. Any idea where Atlanta stands in the expansion mix? I’m a fairly new soccer fan, and it’s hard to be that passionate about the league when you don’t have a team that you can call your own.

  28. Any idea how serious NYRB will take the Carolina RailHawks game, considering it’s their last game before MLS? Will they keep everybody out to avoid injury… or play the best XI to build chemistry?

  29. Ives:

    Any word on where Santino Quaranta may end up? He’s been working out in Baltimore trying to get fit. Any teams thinking about kicking the tires on him? He’s still only 23. I have to think he’s worth a gamble.

  30. My question is very simple, yes or no, so you’re welcome in advance.

    Is it just plain easier for goalkeepers to get an English work permit because it is so much harder for them to play the requisite amount of international matches, i.e. there are way more keepers in a given country than there are slots/matches/opportunities with the national team?

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