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.
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?
- Cristiano Ronaldo
- Fernando Torres
- Rio Ferdinand
- 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.
Here’s the four I would pick if I had magic powers to establish the next four: