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Your Questions Answered (Part 2 of 4)


Good afternoon all. It is time for another section of answers to your most recent questions. There were some popular subjects that kept popping up in this group, including potential young players who could and should get national team looks in upcoming qualifiers (like the four players pictured above), the looming end to the MLS Collective Bargaining Agreement as well as two different mentions of John O’Brien (seriously people, let it go).

Now, here they are, the second of four sections of answers to your most recent Q&A. Enjoy:

Altidore, Adu, Cooper, Szetela
Ching, Clark, Johnson, Lewis

who wins?

i say the kids win every time!

what gives?

And could you get in your time machine and tell us what REALLY happened to John O’Brien?


MATT– I have a friend who works in marketing for one of the MLS teams. She told me that upcoming expansion has already been decided and that St. Louis and Las Vegas are getting the teams. She said the MLS is just going through the motions of accepting applications from other cities so as to seem fair. Any truth to this?

BOB– When are you going to do another "you write the caption" I miss them. Plus will you still pick out the best 5?

SUSHANT RAO– With the US up 5 points on the 3rd place team in our qualifying group, a win versus Cuba ensures that we’re through (we’ll be up either 7 or 8 points with only 6 points remaining).

If we win versus Cuba, it presents BB with a unique opportunity to see who else in the player pool is capable of playing at this level.

1) For the away game vs T&T & the home game vs Guat (assuming we beat Cuba) – who would you take based on a focus of developing / checking out our up ‘n coming players (no current US starters or main subs) to see if they can play at this level?

2) To avoid the grief that comes with every post of American Abroad due to Rossi, Padilla, etc., would you consider having a section titled "Americans Playing for a Different Nation" or something like that so we can move on?

ANDREW KARL– What are your thoughts on the Revs new center back, Gabriel Badilla?
First, how do you rate him as a player?
Second, how does he fit in with this New England team? Do you see him as a complement to Parkhurst or more of a replacement for Parkies potential move abroad.

IVES– I haven’t seen enough of him to offer a strong opinion. I do know that he didn’t look good against Joe Public. I believe he was brought in to be a solid starter alongside Parkhurst in a 4-4-2 and a potential replacement if Parkhurst leaves this winter, which is possible considering he will be out of contract.

KUNG FU SOCCER– Ives, love your site. This may be too big of an issue for your quick q & a, but anyway… Sometimes I am astounded by the ability of players to endlessly sprint up and down the field for 90 minutes. Especially in the Euros I thought some teams were superhuman.

I recall in a cycling scandal (operation puerto in Spain) numerous soccer players were implicated as well, however, I don’t believe the names were released. Before there was regular and constant testing in cycling blood doping was rampant. The stamina boost would be a huge advantage in soccer. Is blood doping a problem in Int’l football? Does anyone even know? Is there an international protocol for drug testing for substances such as EPO, or other methods of blood doping?

RYAN– 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?

MICHAEL– 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.

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?

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

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

MATT– 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?

Altidore v. Vela
Adu v. Dos Santos
Rogers v. Guardado


  1. River Bank – clearly you go GK. Casillas and Buffon are 1-2 for GK’s, but Howard and possibly even Friedel are in the group a notch below. No US field player is close to being the best in the world at his position – Howard isn’t far off.

  2. I think you are wrong about the Altidore being better than Vela. Vela is in his National team starting 11, Vela actually plays at Arsenal, and he is being tutored by in my opinion the best manager for a young player to be with as. Granted he has been playing in Europe for a few years now, but I think he is and will be better than Jozy.

  3. Here’s a thought on right middie position. Since Dempsey does play over there and did so successfully at times with the Nats and Fulham, a very fast right back (like Wynne I suppose) who can overlap would solve the problem of Dempsey not being comfortable playing wide. If Dempsey is most comfortable in the Joe Cole slot as he plays it at Chelsea, the addition of a bombing-forward right back would surely deal with the problem.


  4. Do you make enough money in such a difficult economy to continue to dedicate yourself to this site or are we going to lose the greatest news sources that US soccer fans have!?

    I don’t sleep at night…

  5. LA did it with Myung Bo.. Korean that played Jleague and WC legend. I also welcome that idea of Asian players in the league they are quick, talented and hard workers. Imagine having Park from Man u? In a couple of years?

  6. Ives,

    Did you ever check A bunch of nobodies who started scouting became big time, anyways my point is that I would love there to be a website ranking american soccer players by their positions in lets say a 4-4-2 for starters. You could even break it down to what kind of d-mid the player type is. Shoot it doesn’t have to be an expert or maybe let fans vote. Okay well start small but do you think its possible? The reason I ask is that I would like to know by comparing how good those cats in Div-2 leagues are compared to say MLS players. Oh and vacationing in P-town(Portugal)for a day or so and the big argument with my people is who is the best american player? Help me, do I go GK, the guy who failed in germany twice, the guy that failed in P-town once, who?

  7. I’m still confused as to the Seattle Sounders MLS/USL situations. will there be both teams in both leagues or will the USL side be phased out? how does this work legally?

  8. Last I heard on the Houston stadium was that the city and the team were less than $5 million apart and are targeting an area that is close to Minute Maid Park.

  9. For Mitch to actually ask why Justin Mapp hasn’t been selected by the Nats the last two years, confirms to me that he has not watched him play in that amount of time. He doesn’t even start for the Fire anymore.

  10. Ives: Thanks for the answer – and I agree with you that it is the heart of the problem. If we had a winger on the right, a lot of stuff would fall into place. In addition to Beasley/Convey, what do you think of someone line Holden or Rogers developing into the role? (Some how I wish I could do to my lab and blend the two together into a single player…)

  11. “KATATONIA- When is LA going to sign John O’Brien?

    IVES- When they need real estate agent to help Bruce Arena find a house.”

    hahahaha made my day

  12. Hi ives, i love your work.

    We’ve seen many MLS teams get foreign players from South America, Africa, and a sprinkle of Europe. Why not Asia? They have solid leagues and some talented if not good quality players so i dont know why there arent that many MLS clubs scouting that area. I think Asia is the new untapped player market. Just imagine if MLS got shunsuke nakamura as a DP.

  13. Further to Matt’s question about Suriname – actually, there are three countries that are located in South America but play in CONCACAF rather than CONMEBOL: Suriname, Guyana and French Guiana. (French Guiana is actually an overseas department of France, although like Martinique it has its own soccer team – I guess it is somewhat the equivalent of Puerto Rico to the US).

  14. Ives,

    Do you know or suspect that anyone from the nats (coach included) reads your blog, or dunord, or bigsoccer?? Seems like it would be something they would do secretly…

  15. Hey, ives, I am not yet interested in who’s gonna get called up for the World Cup two years from now. That’s a long long time from now in soccer years. What i would love to see is speculation on who BB will take to South Africa for the Confederation Cup next summer. Would love to see some chatter on that.

  16. In addition Suriname (as well as the guyanas in general) are largely Caribbean in terms of history and culture, so it makes sense for them to play with that region.


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