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It’s Q&A Time

Good afternoon folks. With the MLS regular season about to get underway I think it is a good time to have another Q&A session.

You know the routine. Ask your soccer-related questions and I will answer them next week. The following topics are off-limits: John O’Brien, promotion/relegation in MLS and Red Bulls stadium or practice facility updates (the stadium is being built, the practice site has hit a snag but nothing major).

Limit yourself to two questions and try to keep them a reasonable length and I will look to have them done for Monday.

Fire away!!


  1. I actually asked a couple questions earlier but now thought of a really good one and hopefully you will answer it.

    Why does the MLS season start in late March/early April? I understand the idea of not wanting to compete against the NFL, NBA, and college football for attention and ratings, but to me the MLS is missing out on the boring month of February. The Super Bowl ends, and it is still a month away from March Madness and two months away from the start of MLB. If the MLS started in mid-February it could get a lot of attention and excitement. Will this be considered at any point.

  2. i know he’s not exactly a star anymore, but could you see dwight yorke coming to mls soon? he could be a big draw in toronto with all the trini immigrants up there, and he can still play at a reasonably high level

  3. Is heath pearce 23 or younger? If so is there any reason he hasn’t been called to the U-23 team? Also when is nevon subotic of mainz going to get a shot with the national team he’s rated as one of the top defenders in the 2.bundesliga so i’m also curious why he isn’t with the U-23’s

  4. What are the chances of MLS clubs competing in the Copa Libertadores? And if the chances are decent, how long before it could happen?

  5. Hey Ives, great site!

    Looking into your crystal ball, who are your:

    1) top 5 goalscorers in MLS 2008?

    2) top under-the-radar newcomers to MLS (both signings and rookies) this year?

  6. regarding immigration status for players, has the mls ever had problems with the issue of not being able to bring players in because of that? is it an issue in Toronto?

  7. With Bob Bradley calling out Benny Feilhaber publically, do you see Benny’s role changing for the national team or having shot with the national team?

    I am of the opinion that our overage player for the Olympics should be Simek, Bornstein, and Guzan. Especially since we have to be sensitive to the senior team an their World Cup Qualifier during the Beijing games. What is your take on the overage players we will bring?

  8. 1) What European league do you see as a good fit for Donovan?

    2)Why haven’t any European leagues inquired again over Landon Donovan? I know he bombed in the Bundesliga, but that is a rugby league some of the time, and not suited to Donovan’s quick, openfield ability. He also has stated about being comfortable in MLS, but do you see a European move in the future?

  9. To Ives,

    Why doesnt MLS look more closely at African players like they do with South American Players? Please Explain.



  10. People always complain about a lackluster mls. to keep teams interested, has anyone paid attention to how the dutch second division does it? it’s broken down into “periods” of the season and those who win those periods make the playoffs. no team is ever out of it… teams are always competing. Do you think that would ever work for mls? better question to ask is: could you forward that on to the mls front office to get their take on it?

  11. To Ives,

    My question is why does MLS not look into African Players as much they look into S.Americans? Is it because of the travel distance or style of play? Please Explain..



  12. IVES,

    Is it just me, or does it look that the NYRB’s have the sexiest kit of the 2008 season? I think adidas did a terrible job this year on kit design.

  13. Ives – Who would you consider the best American soccer player right now? And in case you take the “easy” route and go with Howard, who do you think is the best field player?

    Also, who do you think will be the best player in 5 years? Adu? Altidore? Bradley? Or someone else?

    Love the site!

  14. Who do you think are the five–I’m just picking this number out of the air– best options at forward for the US Men’s team?

  15. Did I miss any news on the fate of Lider Marmol, or is his situation still floating around out there in the ether?

  16. Question 1. With the collective bargaining between the players and MLS ownership coming up I am hearing rumors that the players have a bunch of non-financial demands that are really important to them. Do you know what those demands are?

    I’ll get back to you if I think of a good question 2.

  17. Not sure if this is a question or just a complaint, but what happened to Eddie Johnson? In his last 2 Fulham games and during the Poland match, he suddenly has become pass-back Pete Vagenas. He doesn’t take people on, he doesn’t even try to make a cutting pass. He’s like a holdup player that doesn’t win high balls. Did Fulham do this to him? Has the EPL robbed him off all his confidence? I never thought he was amazing, but he looks pathetic at the moment.

  18. Who is the biggest American player abroad? Who has the largest contract? Who has the most starts for his team and who has the biggest effect on his team’s playing ability? DaMarcus Beasley? Brian McBride? Clint Dempsey? Freddy Adu? Oguchi Onyewu? Michael Bradley Bradley? Tim Howard? Brad Friedel?

  19. Before his injury, was DaMarcus Beasley starting for Rangers? What was his contract set for? 3, 4 years?

  20. Hey Ives,

    I’ve got a couple questions for you:

    What is the likelihood of a DVB trade?

    Any predictions (Final scores, who will be the hero/bum) on the US nats tour de force?


  21. Ives, with the dollar so weak, will MLS teams refrain from signing European players in favor of more South American talent?

    Also, do you feel that there’s a distinct lack of buzz for the new MLS season given there’s no Beckham’esque “marquee” signing so far?

  22. Another crystal ball question: Describe MLS 2018. Where is it played, what’s the quality, where are the players coming from and what is its international rep?

  23. Hi Ives,

    When collective bargaining comes up again next year, I think it’s safe to assume that the salary cap will increase, but do you think that the league will also allow more than the current 18 senior roster slots?

    Obviously bringing in players that command a higher salary and paying newcomers decent wages will help the league, but I just get the feeling that with so many competitions (MLS Cup, CONCACAF CL, US Open, SuperLiga) going on it would be great if the teams could have 20-23 players on their senior roster so they have more depth to win these competitions and stay competitive in the league.

  24. With the news that Demarcus Beasley is making a speedy recovery, do you expect to see him in any of our friendlies this summer?

  25. Hi Ives,

    q1) I follow european soccer, primarily champions league. I’m interested in watching some MLS. Which teams play attractive, attacking soccer in MLS?

    q2) Why do people say that soccer couldn’t survive in the fall/winter in the US? European clubs play outdoors when it’s snowing, don’t they? Is it because soccer will get no attention due to football/basketball/hockey? Please explain.



  26. eddie johnson. what gives? i’ve been wathing a lot of fulham of fsc and took in the nats’ game against poland as well, and he just looks lost. poor first touch, bad/no decision making, ill-timed runs, can’t finish, etc. it can’t be easy to adjust from the mls to the premier league… but he’s just bad. why so many chances for this guy? is he great in training? are the athletic assets too tempting for managers to pass on? what are your thoughts?


  27. 1) What league and team, in Europe, do you think would be the best option for Michael Parkhurst after his contract with MLS/Revs expires? Why?

    2) Which cities do you think will get and lose MLS teams in the next five years? Which cities are best suited for expansion and which are best suited for a relocation? What are the differences?

  28. Is there a chance of another Texas team in San Antonio? I think they’d do really well. The fans there want another team to support other than the Spurs. I assume the fan base would be like Houston and also they’d have an amazing youth academy for recruiting.

  29. How does Jack Warner still have a job with the non-stop allegations of unethical and illegal behavior?

  30. Ives,

    What do you think will happen to MLS once the Collective bargaining agreement is over ? what will happen to smaller teams like KC,RSL, or Chivas? what will happen to the salary cap?

  31. Ives,

    This question is kind of a shot out of the dark, but I was thinking about this on my way home from work.

    Considering the national team’s upcoming friendlies, and remembering how we got screwed in the last world cup draw (i.e. Mexico’s higher ranking resulting in an easier group than us), is it possible we might move up in the Fifa rankings with favorable results against these high quality opponents, or at least the opportunity to leapfrog mexico?

    I don’t fully understand the FIFA rankings, or how Mexico is ranked higher (despite not being able to beat us). I’m excited for these matches, and I think it’ll be a great test, but is there a motive to put us in a better position for the ’10 world cup draw?



  32. Let’s assume you’re Eddie Johnson’s coach. Is there any point where you just tell him if he gets the ball anywhere near the 18…’just shoot the damn thing’? Its hard to fathom anyone coaching him, in his current state, to hold up play as much as he does.

    Odds that Lalas loses his job this season?


  33. If you were an MLS GM, what position do you try to solidify first? Would your answer be different in Europe?

  34. Hey Ives- I’m curious as to what sort of attention Mike Bradley is getting in Europe with his current form….I know he’s sure to be moving on from Heerenveen, but where to? Also, when will tix go on sales for the now confirmed US-Argentina match.

  35. Is there anything like a shared ballpark estimate among the people who matter (say, Garber and MLS Players Union honchos) about how much the salary cap will increase under the new Collective Bargaining Agreement? I know that nobody on either side is going to say anything definitive before the negotiations really get started, but are you talking to credible people who have solid estimates of what kind of increase we might be looking at? (5%, 10%, 25%, 100%, more?)

    On a related note, what are the prospects of increasing the senior roster size during the CBA, especially given MLS’ apparent commitment to participating in extra-league tournaments?

  36. 1)Will US Soccer ever offer a live audio feed of the games?

    2)Has US Soccer/MLS looked at getting games onto satellite radio?

  37. Ives, what’s the current sentiment amongst the MLS ownership about raising the salary cap? Will the league continue to grow at a snail’s pace, or will david beckham only be the beginning of greater things to come as suggested by league officials’ language around the time of Beck’s arrival.

  38. 1. Oguchi Onyewu seems to be in pretty good form right now, and his team is on top of the Juniper League. Do you think interest in him from the top leagues will heat up again this summer?

    2. This past offseason, MLS lost players to Norway, Austria, and Greece. When the new CBA comes around, will MLS management be willing to agree to a significant raise in the salary cap in order to keep MLS competitive with these second and third-tier leagues?

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