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Good afternoon everybody. It is time to start answering some of the questions you sent my way recently in the latest Q&A. I will be breaking up the Q&A into four segments, starting with today’s.
This batch of questions includes questions about Benny Feilhaber, the U.S. national team, the Seattle Sounders FC coaching search as well as MLS officiating. There were a few questions I couldn’t provide answers for yet, but I am working on them.
For now, here are some of your questions answered:
1)Who is the Original Winger? On his blog, he makes occasional references to having played with one current MLS player or another. But who is he, and more importantly, what is his soccer background? (Haven’t heard of his blog before the DP thing.)
2)Charlie Davies: to my mind, the most dynamic forward option USMNT currently has outside of Jozy. Seems to have it all: speed, technic, nose for goal. The Allsvenskan just might be a weaker league than the MLS, however. If you are BB, do you call him into camp ahead of Buddle (who also has talent but seems to be benefitting from playing with LD and Becks) and Cooper?
Sigi Schmid- 5/1
Paul Mariner- 10/1
Brian Schmetzer- 12/1
As for me going to their opener next year. i certainly hope to.
2. why were the women’s olympics soccer groups labeled group e, f, and g instead of a, b, and c? Also, why isn’t their an age limit (of 23 yrs old) for the women?
3. Not long ago, you mentioned some Prison Break lookalikes. So I assume you watch the show. What do you think of Season 4 so far?
Keep it up, love the site! 🙂
What are the chances of the Galaxy making the playoffs?
and, on a slow day, i’d like to see a feature on the best and worst refs in the league, it would be interesting.
thanks ives, keep up the good work.
YED HILL– The recent rumor of FC Barcelona establishing an MLS franchise in Miami. One, do you think it will happen? Two, Do you think it is a good idea?
BECKSTER– Thanks Ives. I was wondering what the status is of Jon Spector’s recovery. Have you heard anything and what are his prospects for playing this year for both the Hammers and the MNT?
IVES– Haven’t heard any updates but someone told me recently that he is in Chicago rehabbing shoulder and hip injuries. I will try to find out more.
MIKEMIKE– Prediction – Where is Hunter Freeman 2 years from now?
IVES– He’s starting for an MLS team. Possibly Toronto FC.
TIM– Can you give a breakdown of key dates for CBA negotiations (when it expires, etc.). How do you think it will unfold? Will a strike be averted?
IVES– The CBA expires after the 2009 season and I’m pretty sure negotiations will begin before that, so next spring and summer could be key for the negotiations. I see MLS giving some major concessions but it wouldn’t shock me if the player’s union falls well short of landing a CBA that will push salaries too far up. If you asked me to bet on whether a strike would happen or not, I would put good money on one not happening.
MIKE D-What coaches (not currently in the MLS pasture) do you see being up and coming coaching stars. We saw Dallas go outside the MLS ranks with Schellas Hyndman (sp?). Any other coaches you might see breaking the barrier and taking over an MLS team when vacancies become available?
IVES– Do I see a current college coach stepping into MLS like Schellas Hyndman just did? Not really. As for MLS assistants. The three that come to mind as the next generation of potential coaching stars, I would say Robin Fraser at Real Salt Lake, Richie Williams with the Red Bulls and John Spencer with Houston. I could see all three of them being head coaches by 2010 or 2011.
HINCHA TIM– What Mexican player do you think would adapt well, be a good teammate and be sucessful on the field and at the box office that might be available for an MLS team to sign as a DP?
IVES– I don’t know if such a player exists right now. A box-office friendly Mexican star worth DP money who would play in MLS? Jared Borgetti perhaps, although I’m not sure what box office impact he will have. He isn’t nearly as polarizing a figure as Cuauhtemoc Blanco is.
CONTRADICTIONS– Any bold predictions for the playoffs? And which teams are best poised for a big offseason?
IVES– It wouldn’t shock me to see a San Jose-Houston Western Conference final. That said, it would be pretty interesting if D.C. United got healthy and entered the playoffs as a No. 4 seed in the West. With a healthy Fred and Marcelo Gallardo, D.C. could potentially upset Houston and maybe even reach MLS Cup as Western Conference champions. That would a trophy they haven’t won yet.
STEVE– Ives, love the site, keep up the good work. I love the sport and talk about it as much as I can, but whenever I run into a person who doesn’t like/understand the game they always bring up ending major tournaments on PKs as a ridiculous way of ending anything, much less the world championships. When confronted with this I don’t really have a defense because it seems that there has to be a better way. My questions are: 1. Why did the powers that be decide that PKs were the best way to decide major tournaments? 2. How would you change/fix this problem if you were in charge? Thanks.
IVES– It’s not a great decider but you can’t just have them playing forever because the running involved in soccer makes playing more than the current 120 minutes of regulation and overtime a crazy proposition.
One idea I’ve had that I absolutely do not think would ever realistically be adopted, would be if each team were forced to sit two players after the first 30 minutes of overtime. You play 9v9 for 30 minutes. That would lead to some wide-open action.
KAREN– What ever happened to Rochester as a prospective MLS club? Is the ownership group there unwilling to pay the hefty price tag or did MLS turn it down as being too small a market?
IVES– I never bought Rochester as an option because the market is just too small and there are just too many large markets interested in MLS. I know Rochester has great fans and is a soccer-loving city, but money and market size talk in the MLS expansion game.
CENTER COUNTER– Ives, I imagine that when it comes to scheduling friendly matches that financial considerations are as important, or even more so, as competitive ones. Do you know what type of financial aspects come into play when the U.S. tries to schedule a friendly against one of the elite nations and how much the financial aspects affect who the USSF tries to schedule? Is the fact that we’ve schedule stronger nations a reflection of the USSF’s willingness to put up financial resources?
IVES– I think the change in strength of American opponents has more to do with a willingness to take on tougher competition than on the USSF being more willing to spend money to lure the big teams. I don’t think money was ever the issue as to why we didn’t see more friendlies against world powers.
WYO FAN– How has Osorio been received by the Red Bulls players? Do you think he was the right coach?
IVES– It is tough to look at what Osorio has done with transforming the Red Bulls and say he’s not the right coach for that job. He has shaken things up, added new players and worked with some of the established players to put together a pretty strong team. I think the players respect him, and if the adoration many of Osorio’s former players in Chicago have for him is any indication, Osorio is a coach that demands and earns respect, but also develops good bonds with players.
GAUCHO– Although I’m not in the FIRE BRADLEY NOW, NOW, NOW crowd, I do think that there’s a legitimate fear that we’re going to see a repeat of the 2006 cycle. By that, I mean that we’ll clean house through CONCACAF and then flame out in the group stage of the World Cup because we didn’t elevate our game to the level necessary to make the 2nd round.