Here it is, the final portion of the most recent Q&A session. Admit it, you probably thought you wouldn’t see it for another month, but here it is.
There are a variety of subjects covered, both MLS related and European soccer related. Among the questions are one about Eddie Johnson and whether he’ll ever have a reason to smile in a national team uniform again, as well as one about the future of the right wing position for the national team.
Here they are, the rest of your most recent questions answered (Keep an eye out for the next Q&A, which will be this week):
JIMMY BOBO– Yo, Ives. I heard the great story about the three Cuban soccer players who defected in Tampa during the Olympic qualifying tournament. I heard that they took a bus all the way from Florida to LA to be on trial with the Galaxy. My understanding was that the goalkeeper was pretty good. What ever happened with those dudes? Were they released by LA? Did another team pick them up?
Do you think that the USL could do Prom/Rel.?
Lastly what do you think how many more spots on the rosters do MLS teams need to compete in all these events,and what is a realistic bump up in salary cap?
This is hypothetical, if the USA and England were to switch places for qualifying, how do you think each team would do?
MIKE K– Yes or No time again!
1- Sunderland stays up this year.
2- Rangers break Celtic’s string of SPL titles.
3- Celtic gets out of the group stages again.
TOM M– Tomorrow you wake up and realize you’re the Colorado Rapids FO.
After therapy, you are tasked with hiring a new coach and shaking up the roster.
Who do you hire, and what roster moves do you make?
Great site- I visit several times a day. My #1 site for soccer updates.
ADAM– If you could be any household appliance what would you be and why?
IVES– I have no idea. I wish I had an answer for that one. How about a computer?
IRENE IS NO PIG– 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?
IVES– I wouldn’t know where to begin and I don’t know anybody who has a clue right now on what DPs will be targeted. I have heard from sources that the Red Bulls have identified Thierry Henry as a player they plan to go after if and when he becomes available. Beyond that I haven’t a clue. I can say that D.C., Toronto, New York and New England are prime candidates to add DPs in 2009.
DREW– 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?
IVES– Right now it’s looking like a waste of $80,000. I can’t write Marmol off yet because I saw a lot of him in pre-season and he showed me quite a bit as a defensive midfielder. It seems he has been used mainly in central defense for Chicago. He’s still young, but I can’t help but wonder if Chicago won’t be cutting bait once the year ends.
IRENE IS NO PIG– 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?
IVES– Thanks Irene, I appreciate that.
Here is how I see the groups finishing:
Darkhorses are Lithuania and Albania.
BRANT– 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…
IVES– Hull sure is looking like a fun team to watch. Same for Wigan, which even has a few Hondurans to give you the CONCACAF connection.
BRANT– 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)
IVES– Not sure about that one Brant. I might start opening up the Q&A to non-soccer questions just to spice things up, and to hopefully break up the monotony of some of the same questions coming over and over. I wouldn’t mind movie or TV show questions. Soccer wise, questions about my experiences as a writer wouldn’t be bad. I can’t think of specific questions though.
HENRIK– 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.
IVES– He’s still young and still physically gifted, but his head is a mess. That’s the only explanation I have for how far he’s fallen. Would it shock me if thinks clicked at some point and he became a viable international forward? Not really, but it also wouldn’t surprise me if he wound up back in MLS in two years and never returned to his 15-goal form.
As for who will be on the 2010 World Cup roster at forward, I would say that Jozy Altidore and Charlie Davies are both good candidates, as is Kenny Cooper. Ching’s a possiblity but he isn’t exactly a spring chicken and the tournament is still two years way.
BRANT– 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?
IVES– I think a decision will be made by the 2009 Confederations Cup. I think FIFA can turn things over to an alternative host with a year to go.
SCOTT– 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?
IVES– I’m pretty sure I did this same ranking at some point this year, but can’t remember when.
So you want me to rank leagues five through 14? Jeez. Seriously? I’ll leave it to UEFA, which has its own ranking system for its leagues. Here’s the Top 20:
The most surprising league in these rankings is Romania, checking in at seventh.
As for Serie B and the English League championship, I would probably rank them somewhere in the 12-15 range.
HENRIK– What new soccer specific stadiums should be up and running by 2010 and 2011?
IVES– Red Bull Arena, Kansas City’s stadium and Philadelphia’s stadium should be up and running. Those are the three that come to mind. That would give MLS the following soccer-specific stadiums:
That leaves DC, Houston, New England, San Jose and Seattle without stadiums in 2011. Could things change in three years? Possibly.