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It’s Q&A Time

Good afternoon folks. It is that time again. Time for you to send your soccer questions my way and time for me to try and either give you an answer or give you my opinion on the subject.

You know the drill. Send one or two questions of modest length to me and I will try to answer them by next week (key word being try).

Also remember to check out the Q&A archives. Chances are if you aren’t a regular reader and you have a question, I may have already answered your question before. If you submit a question and I don’t answer it then it’s because I have answered it before.

Let’s get it started, Send your questions my way.


  1. How would you rank the top 10 leagues in europe besides the Big 4? We have all heard the comparisons between La Liga, EPL, and Serie A, with Bundesliga being right behind, but what about every one else? Is the Ligue 1 in France better than Portugal? How does the Belgian league compare with the dutch? is the Austrian league even worse than the Norwegian league? Are either better than Serie’ B or Engalnd Championship league?

    Thanks Ives, I love your site.

  2. How late in the game will FIFA wait before pulling the plug on South Africa in 2010 and asking the US to jump thru hoops to host the World Cup? Wait and see how the Confederations Cup goes?

  3. Can EJ turn everything around? How many goals or assists do you see he getting with Cardiff? Do you see Brian Ching or Charlie Davies taking his spot in South Africa if he keeps sinking low.

  4. You never got back to us on what question you wanted someone to ask but didn’t get a chance to answer (from the last Q&A)

  5. Given Newcastle’s recent implosion, and Fulham’s lack of Americans, who should a disgusted American Magpies fan now cheer for in England? I don’t want to hop on a Big 4 Bandwagon…

  6. Ives, you’re so knowledgeable and quite funny as well. You’re doing a good job. Remember that.

    Who do you think will qualify in the UEFA WC qualifying? Any top pics beside say Spain or Germany?

  7. Did the Fire make a mistake by signing Marmol this year (he makes good money for MLS)? Does Cervi have any prospects for a job?

  8. Which DP’s do you figure will arrive in 2009 and which teams? Does each team have enough dough to gain a respectable star like say of Blanco or Angel’s stature and fame? Perhaps every team needs to trade in and get at least 2 DP’s for their squad, might improve the quality of the team and attendance. Thoughts?

  9. Hey, Ives, long-time reader, first time with questions.

    1. Goalie jerseys – whatever happened to goalie jerseys in team colors? Matt Reis used to wear a grey and red combo that complimented the blue/red trim of the Revs’ home unis. Now most keepers seem to wear either the all-green or that sky blue shirt (like Doug Warren wears for DCU). There was a brief bout with the back with neon yellow trim last year, and Matt Reis wore a red long-sleeved late in 2007 and an orange/blue long-sleeved earlier this year. Did Adidas take over on the decision-making? Are they trying to reduce the number of keeper styles to reduce costs? What happened to team colors on keppers?

    2. Is there any perfect solution to the scheduling issues that have become evident this year? It seems to me that there’s a downside to every solution. You could schedule two games per week early in the season (say Tuesdays and Saturdays) to give teams a break later in the season when there are more competitions going on, but then you lose out because weeknight crowds are smaller than weekend crowds (in general, I have observed). The season can’t really be extended in either direction because of weather issues in the north. And I don’t see teams being all that willing to give up a few more games each season (say 28 or 26 games) and lose that revenue. Is there any golden solution, or do we just have to put up with hectic scheduling until roster limits increase to lighten the load on players?

    Thanks, Ives. Keep up the good work.

  10. When will our best players stop heading to the crappy leagues of Denmark, Norway, Austria, Belgium and especially to the 2nd divisions in those leagues? I realize we may not be able to crack the top division in say Germany or Spain, but still 2nd division is tons more respectable than say Austria.

  11. I asked this in an early Q&A, but I think your answer might have changed in the past few weeks. When will MLS start respecting FIFA international dates (at least some of them).

  12. In your best estimate and great mind, what will be the 17th, 18th, 19th and 20th MLS franchises awarded to?

    Im willing to bet Vancouver, St.Louis, Portland and Miami. But since New York wants a 2nd team i figure Miami might lose out. But also a great chance the number of teams will rise to 22 if not 24. thoughts?

  13. Who do you think would be the best coach for Seattle Sounders FC, given the fact that they have publicly stated that they are looking for an attacking-minded coach with MLS/USA experience? Thanks Ives, you do great work.

  14. As of now who do you see being our starting XI for World Cup 2010? Any chance Guzan will be in goal? And will Donovan still be starting?

  15. Whose the highest earning US player abroad? Is it Tim Howard or Clint Dempsey? Though i read Brad Friedel was now making 50,000 pounds a week with AV, surely makes him 1 of the highest paid players in the Premier League if not 1 of the highest paid keepers. What do you think? Are our players being paid well?

  16. SI reported on their truth and rumors section that Bayern Munich has been in touch with Donovan about him playing there. Is this “truth” or “rumor”? If it is true I don’t think it would be a wise move for Landon considering Euro 2008 star Podolski can’t even crack the starting lineup. I think his style is much more suited to La Liga or the Dutch league, maybe even French Ligue 1, Your thoughts?

  17. Do you consider the US to be a contender for the Confederations Cup next year? Also when is the next Gold Cup scheduled to take place? Also Merry Christmas! (since that is about the time it’s going to be before you get to answering these questions):)

  18. Ives,

    1. I was wondering what your opinion is on the idea of Demarcus Beasley playing left back instead of left winger for the national team. With Freddy Adu hopefully soon making his arrival into the starting lineup I think this would be a great idea. We could use his pace to make runs up and down the left flank, and he does defend well.

    2. I have become very impressed with Onyewu’s progress as a center back. Do you think he has world class potential? And do you think he could move to a big club in January?

  19. What are the chances that Christopher Sullivan ever gets Guillermo Barros Schelotto’s name pronounced correctly on the air?

  20. Where do you disagree with, or think that Bob Bradley is misguided?

    In terms of player selection (and timing of this), player positioning, tactics, etc.


  21. Your opinion on Jurgen Klinnsman. What do your “little birds” tell you about him turning down the job and is there a chance that we will ever have a second crack at him?

  22. Hey Ives,

    Wondering if youve heard anything with regards to Ottawa actually being a contender as an expansion team. I honestly cant think of a worse candidate. They will be a new KC or Columbus (as far as attendence is concerned).

    Also wondering (if this hasnt been answered a billion times, which im sure it has) what realistic changes to the CBA do you foresee now that the fifa scheduling went down recently (as well as the NYRB Striker from Atlanta scandal) recently occured?

    Also meant to mention the Revs/Chivas being beaten out in Champions League (with regards to schedule changes)

    Thanks and keep up the good work

  23. Ives,

    I really appreciate your having these regular Q & A’s for us. Your site is a must read for me….at least a couple times a day.

    On to my question…..

    As you’re aware…and probably tired of…many U.S. fans believe that Bob Bradley has squandered chances to build depth in a pretty weak pool of forwards…blowouts against Barbados and an understrength T&T aside.

    As always, you’ve been a calming voice in the debate and pretty much supportive of Bradley’s strategy in his call-ups so far. I think I’m fairly accurate there.

    My question to you is, being also a fan of USMNT, where do you personally reach the end of your patience? At what point would the alarm bells begin ringing for you? Would you use this platform that you’ve created to speak about your concerns?

    Thanks again,


  24. As a USMNT fan, should I be offended or pissed off that McDonald’s is advertising their support for the Mexican National Team in McD’s franchises, in the US, in English?!

    I understand supporting them in Mexico, but it seems a little over the line to advertise that fact in the US. Why not sponsor the USMNT? And if you are, why not make a bigger deal out of it?

  25. 1. Why doesn’t TIAS have DP banners on his front page like the rest of you?

    2. What is your opinion of Jack Warner as CONCACAF President?

    Thanks for the great site.

  26. Do you expect the new XSL to be a success (profitable) or is it doomed to fail? Also will you be following the progress (and going to games) of the Ironmen in the new season?

  27. Any plans on New England moving to a soccer specific stadium? Also is Quest Field planned as a permanent home for Seattle or are there plans for them to move to a SSS too?

  28. Do you think youth programs run by MLS teams will be a profitable venture within the next ten years? Is this the reason MLS teams are reluctant to invest more in youngsters?

  29. It seems that Bob Bradley doesn’t have any problems calling up veterans (Hejduk, Mastroeni, Lewis) on a regular basis. In your opinion why hasn’t Steve Ralston got more attention from Bradley? With the right wing midfield pool as thin as it is and Dempsey and Donovan not natural wingers, why not call up Ralston who still plays like he’s 10 years younger than he is?

  30. How makes the MLS Cup from the East? Does New England have serious problems or was the period between SuperLiga and Chivas (9/11) just an unfortunate result of fixture congestion and injuries?

  31. What do you think of Rojas so far with the RB? I am having trouble figuring out if he is a poor man’s version of C. Blanco or something worse.

  32. The USA / Mexico rivalry being what it is, which country has the better youth prospects to make a big impact in 2014?

    Altidore v. Vela

    Adu v. Dos Santos

    Rogers v. Guardado

  33. Do you anticipate MLS adding more cap space and increasing the number of roster slots next year?(or the year after?)

  34. Hey Ives,

    Yours is the best soccer site on the interweb, keep up the good work. Anyway, I was wondering why Suriname plays its WC qualifiers in CONCACAF instead of in CONEMBOL since it’s the group in which all the other South American teams play their qualifiers?

  35. One last question, do you think that Alexi Lalas was able to pull all of those crazy personnel moves because of his glorious red mane? Did the league feel bad because he was a ginger kid?

  36. During the telecast of the USA vs. T&T game, it was mentioned that Bob Bradley had given Eddie Johnson a spot on the team because he really like what he saw from EJ in training. Is this an opinion that is widely shared by other U.S. coaches and players? Or do most people within the infrastructure think Eddie has been given too many chances?

    (I’m wholly uninterested in the opinion of fans who have not seen the training sessions).

  37. I asked this on a Nats thread but not sure if you answered:

    If Donovan goes up top or stays in the middle (as he should) who are the up and coming options at right mid?

  38. First, an easy one. Which Prison Break character does Chicago Tribune writer Luis Arroyave resemble most?

    Second, can an American team (Nats or MLS) be successful offensively playing a 4-4-2 (or a 4-5-1, I guess) with two defensive midfielders? Would we done as well against Cuba with Edu or Clark instead of Sacha? That seems to be a common thread with American teams who have trouble finding the back of the net, in that you’ve got only four players truly committed to getting forward.

    And is the current crop of guys (Bradley, Edu and Sacha) starting to break that mold of pure “destroyers” or more conservative holding mids in the central midfield?

  39. ives,

    do you have any info on what is going on with a new stadium for the dynamo? they have talked about it but i don’t know if there are any plans yet.

  40. Now that we have a pretty good idea who will be in the hex with only Guatemala and T&T up for grabs, where do you think the US hosts each home qualifier?

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