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It’s Q&A Time (New Year’s Eve Edition)

Hello all. It is the last day of 2008 and it feels like the perfect opportunity to have the final Q&A of the year, especially since one of my New Year's resolutions is to not take so long to complete the Q&As.

It has been six weeks since our last Q&A, meaning there are plenty of fresh topics to discuss. Among the topics we DON'T need to discuss are: John O'Brien, Promotion/Relegation, Eddie Johnson's future, the Red Bulls stadium/training facility, World/CONCACAF/USA All-Time Best XIs, the U.S. team's starting lineup in any future World Cup, The best American players in any age group younger than 20, my favorite soccer teams, Freddy Adu's national team future or who the next batch of Designated Players will be. (I reserve the right to add this list as I remember other questions that have been asked dozens of times)

Those subjects aside, feel free to send your questions, either soccer-related or general pop culture questions, and I will look to answer them by Jan. 8th, with Jan. 9th being the date for the next Q&A (Yes, the plan is to schedule them in advance so folks can get their questions ready.

Now it's your turn, fire your questions my way.


  1. Hey Ives,

    since you are in the NY metro area, what are your favorite Peruvian restaurants? It takes me two hours from the Poughkeepsie area to make it to the RB games and I would love to take advantage of the situation to grab some tasty meals afterward.

    Any places in the nearby NJ region would be greatly appreciated.


  2. Hey Ives. Thanks for the site. It’s expanded my understanding of the sport largely and i really appreciate it.

    What, in your opinion, was the best goal ever scored in the MLS and for the U.S. national team?

    Where do you see U.S.A. In the FIFA Rankings come South Africa 2010?

  3. Hey Ives, thanks for doing this again,

    If Ike Opara is really staying in school is there a chance that MLS might look to replace him in the GA class? I know Ofori Sarkodie had looked to go pro after the 2007 U-20s, do you think he (or somebody else) could be added to the class?

  4. Hi Ives,

    Thanks for doing this again. I love your Q&A, especially the recent debate on Supporters Shield vs. MLS Cup.

    Can an MLS team win the US treble of MLS Cup, US Open Cup, and CONCACAF Champions League in a single season?


  5. When ESPN inevitably purchases the North American broadcast rights of the Premier League (and subsequently other European leagues), do you envision them using ESPN2/ESPNClassic as its platform or will they more ambitiously move to create a new channel (like ESPNWorld for example) that would be home to all soccer, as well as other sports like F1 racing, rugby, etc. This would make even more sense if ESPN/Disney buys Setanta (as is being rumored) and begins to compete with Sky Sports in the British market.

    And do you think ESPN acquiring the rights would be a good thing?

  6. Ives-

    I was reading an article recently where they discussed how the Bosman Ruling has all but wrecked team loyalty. My question is how were transfers/contracts done pre-Bosman?

  7. Give a rough estimate of the number of years before you think it would be fair to say that the quality of play in MLS puts it in the top three leagues in the Americas. My guess: 10-15 years.

    If you HAD to pick one or the other, which is more important to getting to that level, better foreign talent, better American (and Canadian) talent, or better coaching?

    Keep up the great work. I can’t wait to see the site redesigns.

  8. Ives, me being of Scottish heritage, I love to see Beasley and Edu playing or at least attempting to play in the SPL. What do you think about more Americans going to leagues like the SPL or League Championship where they’re guaranteed to get more playing time then most Premier league sides such as if like Holden, Rolfe, Mapp, Shea, Pearce would all be guaranteed to play for most of the SPL sides (remove Celtic/Rangers). Plus I’d be able to see more Americans play in my EUro League of choice.

  9. What do you think will happen with the new women’s league starting up? Stick around? Implode (again)? Will they fall victim to the marketing fallacy of the “soccer mom” (she drives the *kids* to soccer, people, she’s not a fan of any pro team or player…) ?

    The WNBA has survived in large part by being subsidized by the immense (though waning) popularity of it’s big brother. To my knowledge, there’s no connection between men’s/women’s pro leagues, is there? How stable is there plan?

  10. In the American sports scene, it seems a given that some teams will eventually pack up and move to a new city. What is your best guess as to the first MLS franchise to relocate, where will it go, and what is your estimated ETA?

  11. How likely is the following scenario? Beckham opts out of his contract following another dismal Galaxy season and signs a long-term deal with AC Milan to finish his career.

  12. Ives,

    It seems that the US has had unpropotional success (compared to other field positions) in delivering world-class goalkeepers to top stages of European football. How do you rationalize this success? Is it simply chance or does the hand-eye coordination culture of the US, evidenced by sports like baseball and football, explain this trend?


  13. Hello Ives,

    Some FSC programming questions for you…

    1. Why in the world does FSC tease us with these sylvania HDTV commercials that boast about watching the beautiful game in HD when FSC is not in HD anywhere?

    2. Does FSC hate Fulham? There are barely any Fulham games on this year. I hate watching soccer on the computer!!!

    3. Any more BPL to ESPN rumors?


  14. I know that the draft hasn’t taken place yet, and not many trades have been made yet, but what teams who didn’t make the playoffs do you think could make a good run next year. (If you think it’s too early too call this, then feel free to ignore this one.)

  15. Any chance of working loans from European leagues to MLS for players that are stuck on benches and needing some game time? I’m not talking about Americans, but someone like Shola Ameobi from Newcastle. He’s getting some game time right now with Martins hurt, but would Newcastle ever look into loaning him to MLS for part of their ‘off-season’ to get some games in while the squad is on break?
    Would MLS go for it at all?

  16. Also wuth the cba why dont they make the minimum developental 75,000 and 95,000 for senior roster. the salary cap allows it. Also why dont the mls scrap allocation and teams can spend 50% of the revenue of the club also the clubs own the contracts. Do you think its a good idea.

  17. Keep up the great work Ives.

    Do you think Rojas or Magee or Sinisa will play center attacking midfield for the Red Bulls or do you think the Red Bulls will find someone else to play that position? If the latter, who will it be?

  18. Hi Ives Great Site I Was wandering how much the salary cap they said a little how much is that 10,000 or 300,000 number please. Also i was looking at the salarys for the mls teams and why dont all the players in the senior roster make north of 100,000 because it’s possible i tryed making it its very easy if they make the salary cap 2.6 million. Alos why dont they pay for income tax.

  19. With Jimenez already gone, who else will not be returning to the Red Bulls in 2009:

    Terry Boss

    Danny Cepero

    Jon Conway

    Caleb Patterson-Sewell

    Andrew Boyens

    John Gilkerson

    Kevin Goldthwaite

    Chris Leitch

    Carlos Mendes

    Mike Petke

    Danleigh Borman

    Matthew Mbuta

    Michael Palacio

    Juan Pietravallo

    Dane Richards

    Jorge Rojas

    David Roth

    Luke Sassano

    Seth Stammler

    Sinisa Ubiparipovic

    Dave van den Bergh

    Juan Pablo Angel

    Oscar Echeverry

    Macoumba Kandji

    Mike Magee

    John Wolyniec

  20. Ives,

    Great site probibly the best for soccer in the tri state area. Ok so I have alot of questions so here it goes I would like to know about the following- John O’Brien, Promotion/Relegation, Eddie Johnson’s future, the Red Bulls stadium/training facility, World/CONCACAF/USA All-Time Best XIs, the U.S. team’s starting lineup in any future World Cup, The best American players in any age group younger than 20, my favorite soccer teams, Freddy Adu’s national team future or who the next batch of Designated Players will be.

    Just kidding, but in all seriousness I was wondering what is going on with Kandji in respects to him being on the Bulls roster, and just a little personal question who are you’re top favorite soccer players either playing now or all time. Thanks.

  21. Hey Ives,

    I know in the developmental academy, the us u17 mnt plays as a team in the league… and I heard that they did the same thing with the St. Kitss and Nevis pro league, by inserting their U20 mnt into their league

    don’t u think that thus wud be beneficial in the mls, having the us u20s as a team, atleast we couldn’t gripe about them getting match experience

  22. If FIFA or various FAs can review dangerous plays to possibly assess suspensions, why couldn’t that be done for diving as well? I know it’s a tough call to make in full speed for a referee. But once you break it down slowly afterwards, sometimes dives are pretty clear. I say suspend every diver one game for those clear instances, and the game will start looking a LOT better.

  23. Hi Ives, great site, I read it every day and it’s the first one I hit as soon as I get home from work as my employer has blocked your site, bummer. Anyway, my question is this: what is the official rule with regards to a deflection from a defender negating a player’s offside position. In other words, if a through ball is played and the player it is played to is offsides, a defender makes contact with the ball while trying to prevent the pass, but the ball continues through to the intended target, is said player still offside? I recently watched a high profile game (league name withheld to protect the possible ignorance of certain announcers), in which a defender did just that. He deflected the ball while trying to block the pass, but didn’t actually trap and pass the ball, and the announcer seemed to believe that the simple act of a deflection negated the other player’s offside position. I was under the impression that the defender had to actually “play” the ball, i.e. trap and pass the ball of his own accord. What is the official rule on this subject? Thanks for your time Ives! Happy holidays!

  24. Great site Ives,

    Has there been any more speculation/talk on where Beasley, Edu, and Yes Eddie Johnson may end up after the Jan. Transfer window?


  25. Do you think David Beckham will come back to the Galaxy on March 9, no questions asked, or will he try and stay in Milan?

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