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Your Questions Answered (Part 3 of 4)


Good morning folks. It is time for the latest portion of the most recent Q&A session. There was a wide variety of questions this time around, including some about the U.S. national team, some about MLS, and the popular "Who are the best players in the world" question. I provide my Top 11 players list in the world, in the EPL and MLS, with Rio Ferdinand earning a place on the first two lists.

Now, without any further delay, here are some more of your questions answered:

MARK– Who 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?

IVES– Columbus looks very good so it’s tough to bet against them, but they have a lot of young players who have never faced playoff pressure and that could cost them. I do think New England will straighten things out and you have to give them the edge because of the experience factor. I also agree that their stretch of poor form had to do with injuries and fixture congestion. A New England-Houston final could happen for the third time, but I will wait to see how the league fixes things so we get the Galaxy-Fire dream match-up the league is still praying for (kidding Don, just kidding).


FREDDY– 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?

IVES– I like Ralston in MLS play, but he’s definitely lost a step and even before he lost that step he wasn’t necessarily an international level winger. You can argue that if Eddie Lewis merits a look than Ralston does as well, but I think Lewis has been a better player for longer and plays on the left, where the suddenly fragile DaMarcus Beasley is the only reliable option there (and the extremely fragile Bobby Convey has ceased to be a viable option for now). It’s easier to move someone like Dempsey or Donovan over to the right, where they can cross on their dominant foot, as opposed to the left flank.


TOM– 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?

IVES– I don’t think MLS teams are investing tons into youth programs because they can’t fully benefit from those programs just yet. MLS rules limit just how much teams can gain from those programs. Once those rules disappear I think you’ll see some teams step up their investments.


JACK– 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?

IVES– New England is a unique case because the Revs actually get all the revenue from their games despite playing in a football stadium because Robert Kraft owns both the Patriots and Revs. This probably leads to less urgency to secure a SSS. I don’t think it’s near the top of the Revs’ things to do list. (I stand corrected. According to a Revs spokesperson, the Revs are actively in the process of trying to secure a soccer-specific stadium and the team just hasn’t been as public about the process as some other teams. That’s good news for Revs fans, assuming it doesn’t take as long as The Big Dig to get done.)


TONY– 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?

IVES– In my opinion, the XSL is absolutely doomed to fail and is a complete waste of money for the investors. Now, I’m hoping that doesn’t happen, but I can’t imagine how a four-team "league" is going to work. I will keep tabs on how the Ironmen do but I’m not sure if I’ll be going to any games.


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

Thanks for the great site.

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?

IVES- Brant, it’s called targeted marketing. When you saw the ad did you happen to be somewhere that a lot of latinos live? I would also be curious to know just how many Mexican national team fans live in the United States. You would be surprised. I wouldn’t get too bent out of shape about it, but if you want to boycott McDonalds then go right ahead. It might do you some good.


BRANT– What are the TV arrangements being made for the CONCACAF Champions League and next year’s SuperLiga?

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

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


SEA OTTER– 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,


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

ROCKY– 1. I was wondering what your opinion is on the idea of DaMarcus 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?

  • Cristiano Ronaldo
  • Lionel Messi
  • Kaka
  • Fernando Torres
  • Rio Ferdinand
  • Iker Casillas
  • Robinho
  • Zlatan Ibrahimovic
  • Xavi
  • Cesc Fabregas
  • Marco Senna


  • Cristiano Ronaldo
  • Fernando Torres
  • Rio Ferdinand
  • Robinho
  • Cesc Fabregas
  • Steven Gerrard
  • Wayne Rooney
  • Frank Lampard
  • John Terry
  • Nemanja Vidic
  • Didier Drogba


  • Landon Donovan
  • Guillermo Barros Schelotto
  • Shalrie Joseph
  • Juan Pablo Angel
  • David Beckham
  • Cuauhtemoc Blanco
  • Kenny Cooper
  • Michael Parkhurst
  • Sacha Kljestan
  • Jaime Moreno
  • Wilman Conde

Now, if you wanted actual Starting XIs then I need to do that next time. And please people, I did these lists in 10 minutes so if I forgot somebody don’t blow a gasket.

WEATHERMANNX01– 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 keepers?

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?

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?

  • Montreal
  • New York
  • Miami
  • Vancouver

Here’s the four I would pick if I had magic powers to establish the next four:

  • New York
  • Montreal
  • Miami
  • Las Vegas


  1. In his answer to my question about Mexican nat’l team and McD’s, I’ve said “When you saw the ad did you happen to be somewhere that a lot of latinos live?”

    Actually it was Smithfield, NC… not a huge Latino community.

    I get target marketing (Master’s in Ad/PR and all that) but that doesn’t mean I don’t get irked by it.

  2. Vegas would be a nice road trip. I would fly out from NY for that one and I’m sure I will not be alone. If I had magic powers that would be my 1st choice probably Montreal would be my second as I had fun last year at the U-20’s

  3. What is this XSL? I tried to google it to no avail. P.S. and this doesn’t pertain to soccer but google chrome’s spell check keeps telling me that I misspelled Google. oh, it’s because I didn’t capitalize the “G.” The things that make you say hmmmmm….

  4. I think Vegas would be great. However, I also think Miami is a huuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuge mistake. We’ve tried it already and it failed…miserably. Even the USL side has an attendance average of 600 (i think) people. NYC should definitely happen…only if it’s actually IN the city. Wilpon seems to be very interested in building it on the Shea Stadium site. Anyone else with me??

  5. WoW, I love you Ives, but Vegas over St. Louis is embarrassing. Let’s have a team with serious support and not a bunch of drunk 21 years old mixed with the 40 year olds having a mid-life crisis.

  6. I like the idea of having a MLS team in Las Vegas !! I live here so I think it’s a good idea. But you can’t build it on the strip it would be a mightmare for traffic trust me they should build it outside las vegas kinda like the Las Vegas motorspeed waymore space and more room for parking !! make it a nice stadium and people would go watch the games and good players.

  7. “But seriously, I absolutely hate the habit of some announcers of trying to pronounce names in the accent of the country of origin. If you are announcing for an American audience then just use a standard pronounciation. I’m not sure what’s so hard about that. And where does it stop really? Do you say Oguchi Onyewu with an African accent? Do you say Clint Dempsey with a Texas twang? Tim Howard with a Joisey accent? David Beckham with a British accent? It’s silly.”

    Great comment Ives. It drives me crazy as well and is just one of the many aggravating things about Sullivan’s FSC work.

  8. But Ives! What about the HEAT in Las Vegas?!?! They’ll all burn!!

    lol just kidding

    $500 million dollar retractable roof SSS/hotel/casino on the strip folks! That’s all you need to know

  9. Huricano, I’m not sure how many times I have to say it but Las Vegas only happens if the owners get a dome built so the summer heat issue is irrelevant.

  10. Ives I don’t understand your desire to see a Las Vegas expansion????? How hot would it be there? I’d wager in summer it must be almost impossible to play. What ever happened to Portland? While I favor Montreal, it would be neat to have a Portland, Vancouver, Seattle circuit started (and I say that living in the Caribe). Miami is an important step, even though I would be worried about competing against UMiami and Dolphins football and the Marlins.

  11. Tom R, the list was 11 best players in MLS, Not a Best XI for the season. I don’t think Rogers is one of the 11 best players in MLS. I do think he’s had the best season among left wingers and would therefore get my Best XI vote.

  12. Come on people, you need to relax about my expansion suggestions. The four I picked were the four cities I would like to see get teams. That’s it. Not the four most deserving, or the four with the best soccer atmospheres or anything like that. Those are just the four cities I would pick.

    And the hate for Vegas is interesting (and who says only people with gambling problems like Vegas?). Here’s the thing people. Vegas only happens if the owners can come through with the domed stadium, and who is turning down the chance to have a domed MLS stadium on or near the Vegas strip? Seriously? Everyone keep their own local allegiances aside and think about that one. How many MLS fans wouldn’t be interested in that road trip? It’s four hours from LA, six from Salt Lake City, eight from San Jose. I’m going to go out on a limb and say more MLS fans would make a Vegas road trip than a Portland road trip. It would also expose MLS to all the tourists who pass through Vegas.

    It’s a long shot but hey, that’s what I would do. Sorry Portland, I don’t think it’s a crime not to be on the Portland bandwagon. Some of you should take a breath and accept that not everyone is on that bandwagon. If Portland gets a team then great. I’ll go to Portland and see what the city is like and if it wins me over I’ll gladly write that.

  13. “Ives:

    Why would Las Vegas be a good location for MLS? I think that’s ridiculous. Even the NBA avoided it.

    Posted by: Murphy | September 25, 2008 at 02:22 PM”

    I don’t think he said he thought it was a good location for MLS. I think Ives might be thinking its a good location for media covering MLS to visit if they get a team. How would you use your magic powers?

  14. The owner of the Timbers/Beavers has already said that he himself will be contributed the entire sum for the franchise fee. The other part of the budget will come from the city to renovate pge park and build a new stadium for the portland beavers. And so far the city seems extremely keen on the plan

  15. The NBA avoid it because David Stern has told Las Vegas they can’t have a team unless they take NBA games off their books. Even the Raptors had to convince their provincial government to get rid of NBA betting in order to get a team.

    A lot will depend on what ethical standards Don Garber has because for a league like MLS, betting is a good thing for interest.

  16. It might be a bit to late to ask this and its alot like the last question i asked. Which MLS player(american or other) deserves a transfer in January? In my opinion Sacha Kljestan would get alot out of going to Europe…Spain maybe. I think Netherlands has the best case for Americans that we’ve sent there to play. Michael Bradley has more goals than any other American in a top division European league and he was in that league when he set that record. So why not.

  17. Please get magic powers, Ives. I think your four picks are wise. The Vegas stadium plans come complete with AC and a retractable roof. I constantly hear people whine about the heat (which IS terrible in Vegas), but that would be a non-factor given the fore-thought that has gone into this. The ownership group has deep pockets and is excited to drop some cash on a Vegas team.

    The heat won’t be an issue. Let it go people.

  18. Vegas interests me as well. The whole $500 million dollar retractable roof SSS/hotel/casino on the strip idea will be hard for MLS to ignore. That’s a lot of lucrative revenue streams. We all know profitability may not be the highest priority for us fans but it’s the number one priority for Garber, the league and its owners.

  19. Folks, I don’t answer questions in the comments section (That’s what Q&As are for) but I’ll say this about Vegas. That’s just a city I would love see get a team (and that’s assuming the city could pull off the domed stadium it would need to have a team). An MLS team in a domed stadium in Vegas? SBI would be spanning the world of soccer with an American voice and Nevada flavor if that happened.

    As for Portland, is there an owner ready to pay the franchise fee? I also don’t think MLS considers it a big enough market. Vancouver joining the fray also hurts Portland (in my opinion) because it gives Seattle a rival in that region. Now, if Portland could find a prospective owner with deep pockets and Steve Nash-like sway, then maybe Portland would be a bigger possibility. Right now I don’t see it happening.

  20. My belated YWTC entry:

    EX-LAX — when you gotta go, you GOTTA go…

    But seriously any news about AJAX getting rid of van Basten? Bring Co Adriaanse back!!!

  21. Vegas?? In the summer?!? those games would be played at a crawl or would all have to start at 10:00 pm–not a problem for the locals but hell on the away teams… maybe the owners will shell out $300 million for one of those fancy domed stadiums where the field rolls out on wheels for a daily dose of sunshine.

  22. Do you see any left wingers or left backs now playing that should be called in to the U.S. camp say in January? I was thinking Robbie Rogers as a left winger to eventually replace Eddie Lewis. I was also thinking maybe Sean Franklin could be called in for a look at the left back position although he’s not a true left back.

    Do you see the Galaxy bringing in a true right back next season? I like Chris Klein but he’s a midfielder not a right back. With Beckham on the right Klein won’t see time in the midfield. If Arena brings in a true right back where does that leave Chris Klein?

  23. Ives,

    why don’t you think portland is considerd as a contender for expantion?…. They have the best atmosphere in the USA…. why don’t you show any love?

  24. Ives (or anybody),

    With regard to the USMNT weakness on the right side, did Brian Mullan ever see much consideration in the past? I seem to remember him getting a call up around Gold Cup time or something.

    Is he just not at an international level? If not, what parts of his game drop him down?

  25. Oh god, are we really talking about Edson Buddle again? The question answered itself With my emphasis: BRIAN- Edson Buddle–when will he get a chance AGAIN?

    How many chances does he need? Good for him, it’s nice that he is having a decent year. But leave it at that.

  26. ives- as for your comment about what best players are making 2nd division teams in euro, there are none… but you cannot shy away from the fact that the MLS would be ALOT better if we had players like Davies, Ferrari, Hill, etc. etc. on our rosters rather the likes of Carr and barrett…

    while i like Carr and Barretts work ethic, i would gladly exchange either of them for Hill or Ferrari…

  27. Why is everyone so high on Miami as an MLS expansion site?

    NONE of their pro teams have a good fan base, not even the teams that have won championships in the past (Dolphins) or recently (Marlins and Heat). I say until the fan base shows they can support the established teams, other markets should have priority for expansion.

  28. apparently the owner of the Impact is wavering a little bit now about whether he wants to join an MLS that requires a $40 million buy in and puts you under a cap when he already has the best team in Canada (yeah, I’m a TFC fan, but from what i’ve seen lately, they are better)

    It was written today in the Globe and mail (a Canadian newspaper)

  29. AWESOME photo !!

    I’m not a Man U fan, but I still consider using that as a desktop wallpaper.

    Gotta Love the PASSION that’s what life is about and that’s what this beautiful game is about!


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