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Your Questions Answered: Part 1 of 5

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Yes, I know, one of my New Year's resolutions was to start doing these Q&A sessions more quickly. It didn't quite work out that way, though to be fair, the MLS Combine and MLS Draft pushed a lot of things onto the backburner.

On the bright side, it only took three weeks to get around to these. Hopefully it doesn't take that much longer to knock out the other 80 percent of questions you have.

Let's get right to it. Here are the first batch of your questions answered:

BELLBJ8– I figure you don't get asked this much but it wouldn't hurt to know it offhand in case you have to pick a mushy one for a date or something. What is your favorite RomCom (romantic comedy) or chick flick?

IVES– Interesting one. Does Knocked Up count? I'd probably say Princess Bride was an all-time favorite. I can still watch that one if it's on. 40-year-old Virgin was pretty good and might be able to pass for a RomCom.


LANDIS– Hi Ives- great site. Question about Diego Jiminez. Will he be back in March or is he back in Mexico? On Teco's webpage it says he's returned from his loan at NYRB but I've seen no reports from you or MLS.

IVES– Hey Landis, as you know by now, the Red Bulls officially announced that Jimenez has gone back to Mexico. The club never did reveal that the Jimenez move was a loan but it makes sense considering Jimenez' salary was a minimum developmental salary, which seemed extremely low for someone who had played in the Mexican First Division a year earlier.

Jimenez showed some good ability and has a bright future, but he also showed a penchant for big mistakes and we don't need reminding of his blunders in the MLS Cup final. It is safe to say that the fee it would have cost to keep Jimenez was more than the Red Bulls were willing to pay.


PAUL– First off Happy New Year. I really enjoy the information found on this site and appreciate the hard work you put into it. With Subotic & Rossi spurning the US for different reasons will there be any fallout/backlash within US Soccer from this? Also are there any other players out there that could make a difference on the USMNT but could play for another national team? Thanks I'll hang up and listen.

IVES– As far as backlash goes, I'm not sure there will be any and I really don't think there needs to be. I know some folks are upset, and Thomas Rongen is facing a lot of the heat for Subotic's decision, but I have a feeling coaches will be careful about making public comments about uncapped foreign-born youth players in the future.


NJ GUY– Who would be on your MLS all-time all-journeymen team? I'm talking players who pop up on a new team every year or two, are middling to below-average at best, and somehow get significant time on the pitch.

IVES– Very good question. I need to make that a seperate post.


ADAM– The whole Subotic situation…I know, I know… Do you think Bob Bradley as a coach was a liability during the process?

IVES– Short answer is no. I've read some comments from fans claiming that Subotic might have played for the United States if the USA had a more high-profile coach. I find those claims pretty absurd and predictable because they usually come from the same people who never wanted Bradley hired in the first place. Subotic is 20 years old and could wind up playing in three World Cups when his career is done. For him to make a decision based on a coach would be a bit silly.

I just don't think Subotic felt a connection to this country any longer after returning to Germany when he signed with Mainz. As I have mentioned in the past, I heard that Subotic wanted to play for Germany and did everything he could to make that happen. When it didn't, it boiled down to Serbia and the USA, the country his family wanted him to play for and the country he had already played for but had moved away from. I'm sure that Serbia's strong crop of talented young players made the decision easier for him.


DANNYC58– 1)Whats the latest on Kanji? Will he be picked up by NYRB, I know you said ATL transferred the rights to Carolina I think. 2)What three teams do you think get relegated in the EPL? As always, your site rules.

IVES– Hey Danny, as you know by now, Kandji has been signed. As for which teams will go down in the EPL, I'll say West Brom, Stoke and West Ham (Kidding, I'll say Middlesbrough).


BONEALL– I keep hearing about all the "partnerships" MLS clubs are making with teams across the pond. My question is what is the real pay out? Other than FCD's Andre Rocha from CAP in Brazil I can't recall seeing anything benefit the MLS team(s). I've read about coaches trips to the club(s) but how much does that really help if you're not scouting talent? It seems to me it's more for the other team to get their name bigger in America…is there something I'm missing?

IVES– I've never been a fan of these loose associations either. I'm not sure what purpose they really serve. FC Dallas has seemed to make more use of it than most, but for now it's all still much ado about nothing.


MATT– Congrats on winning the Best in US Soccer award for '08 and best wishes for '09. MY question is rather plain and simple. Apparently Chris Birchall, T-n-T's white lightning, is headed stateside (according to BBC and Sky). Have you heard anything about it being MLS? Everything I've seen just says America.

IVES– Thanks Matt. The reports had Birchall signing with the San Jose Earthquakes. Obviously that didn't wind up happening as Birchall wound up signing with Brighton & Hove in England.


BRIAN– Just want to hear your take on the U20 team for 2009 assuming we qualify for the U20 WC. 1) Do you think Freddy or Jozy will play? Since the tournament is in September and October, every player will have club/country conflict. FIFA will strongly suggest players be set loose from their clubs to play. Otherwise they run the risk of the tournament being pointless. Maybe the the best handful of players in the world will stay with the clubs but players of Freddy and Jozy will and should play. Do you agree? 2) If Freddy and Jozy do play in the tournament how far do you think the team will go and which players do you think will gain the most attention from club scouts other than Freddy and Jozy? My bet is on Vincent Bernardo, Guiseppe Nazzani, and Peri Marosevic.

IVES– It's tough to say what will happen until we know how FIFA will handle it. obviously for the Olympics the Court of Arbitration for Sport ruled against players and FIFA and in favor of the clubs when it came to releasing players for the Olympics. That said, if Altidore and Adu played in the U-20 World Cup I would like the USA's chances of medaling, especially if the world's top teams had to play without their top stars, who might be more likely to be seeing playing time for their clubs than Altidore and Adu might in a year's time.


IGOR– I know Agoos addressed this, but he was vague as usual. Do you have any more info about the Michael Bradley allocation that RBNY got? Agoos said they got one but he didn't specify the amount. Keep up the good work on SBI.

IVES– From what I have heard the Bradley allocation wasn't a small one. It was a pretty decent sized one.


GABE– Greetings here from snowy NH. My question is simple. While it is obvious that MLS (and American in general) supporters are not quite as die-hard and rowdy as that of England, Italy, and Spain, do you think that the fan-bases in Columbus and Toronto are going to be the exception or the rule in 3-7 years in terms of rowdiness and overall passion for the game and their teams. Also, do you ever see US International supporters becoming a force to be "reckoned with" like in other die-hard nations?

IVES– I don't know if you should necessarily annoint Toronto and Columbus as the league's standard bearers for fan passion. There are other fan groups that are just as passionate, from the ESC in New York to the Screaming Eagles in DC.


J1mbr0wn– How do you see the new roster changes in the MLS impacting teams? I have to imagine that many teams will be stronger with more depth, but what about the development of players? Is the MLS getting better at negotiating with other leagues, so that they can afford to loose the contract controls of this many developing players? It seems to be quite the double-edged blade.

IVES– I think the roster changes are going to have an adverse affect on teams because teams will wind up missing out on players they might have found and developed if they had the extra slots. The whole thing is especially tough for young players like the rookie class coming in. Basically if you can't get minutes you are going to be out of luck and will struggle to develop like you would if you had reseerve team matches to play.


JIG– How do you see the 2010 WC playing out as an event. I know more than a few people living throughout South Africa who believe the tournament will be a disaster in terms of logistics, safety, etc. Your thoughts on these issues.

IVES– I think a lot of those concerns have existed ever since South Africa was awarded the bid. I haven't been over there to know the progress being made but having spoken to Danny Jordaan, he certainly makes a convincing case for South Africa being ready to host a great World Cup. I don't want to spend too much time thinking about how terrible 2010 is going to be. I suppose the 2009 Confederations Cup should offer us a good sense of how things are going in South Africa.


CHRIS– Obviously, feel free to ignore this if you've touched on it before. Once MLS reaches 20 teams, are they closed for business? What do you foresee happening with owners/cities that still want in?

IVES– As far as I know FIFA has never laid out a formal mandate that no league can have more than 20 players. FIFA has stated a desire to keep all domestic leagues at a reasonable size. Considering how big the United States is, and the fact that Canada is also a part of MLS, I could see MLS being an exception if ever that rule is passed.


KILMIER– What ever happened to Gold Coast Galaxy, the A-League expansion team allied with LA Galaxy? Last I heard they will be called Gold Coast United. Scared off by the poor LA "brand" perhaps?

IVES– I think they heard Alexi Lalas was heading to Australia to find a job so they changed their team's name hoping he wouldn't remember them.


EDB– When do you think the MLS will look into doing a winter break? It could be a way to lengthen the season while still skipping the coldest months.

IVES– MLS already takes off four months, most of which is the winter.


CSD– 1) What do you consider the biggest soccer events domestically and internationally in 08'. 2) What do you think the biggest soccer events domestically and internationally will be in 09'. I look forward to you keeping the SBI momentum rolling in 09'. I applaud your tireless efforts.

IVES– Domestically in '08? MLS Cup and the Cuba World Cup qualifier at RFK were moments that stood out in '08. 2009 will be marked by the Hexagonal and Confederations Cup. Thanks CSD, I'm hoping to keep the momentum rolling as well.


BENJAMIN– Ives, I love your site and check it more often than my email. Keep it up! 1. I was wondering what the best game/atmosphere you have ever been to? I don't know how anything would compare to the US/Italy game in the 06 WC for me ever…. 2. Who do you think has the edge in the EPL? 3. Who do you hate more: Lampard, Gerrard, or C. Ronaldo. Personality only of course!

IVES– Thanks for the kind words Benjamin. As far as best games I have ever been to, that's a very good question. The USA-Italy game was pretty unforgettable. USA-Portugal, USA-South Korea and USA-Mexico in the 2002 World Cup were all amazing as well. The Red Bulls-Real Salt Lake Western Conference final was pretty damn crazy. The Italy-German World Cup semifinal was also a great memory. Those are the ones that come to mind right now.


DAVID– David Beckham. Elaborate.

IVES– Aging superstar winger David Beckham?


MZ– what would you say furthers a players development more. Being in a intense training environment and playing with the reserves, or being in MLS and playing with the first team?

IVES– Did you mean playing in Europe with the reserves? I think the answer to that question depends on the player. Some players can't handle the competition and fight for playing time in Europe, as well as the mental battle when you don't get minutes. Some other players can thrive in that environment. I think both can be paths to success but I still believe that nothing can substitute for first-team soccer.


ERIK ABARCA– Happy New Year Ives, God bless you and your family. Who is, in your opinion the best No Limit Texas Hold Em cash game player, and the best tournament player? If you were at the 2009 Main Event final table and they had a break like they did this year and you can have someone mentor you to prepare you for the final table, who will it be? Thanks!

IVES– Cash game player? I would have to say Phil Ivey. Tournament player? As much of a jerk as he is you can't argue with the number of bracelets Phil Hellmuth has won. Watch out for me though, I managed to get 10 hours of table time in during my trip to the MLS Combine (Hollywood Hard Rock). The comeback is under way.


JJJ– Why has the movement of players to Europe from MLS shifted more towards Germany, Sweden, Denmark, and France, and away from England?

IVES– Good question. I'd say the difficulty with securing work permits make it tougher for American players to consider Sweden and Denmark and the German second division. I wouldn't say two players is a trend in France or one player in the Bundesliga.


COWTOWN– Who's coming up from the Championship? (hint: the correct answer is Cardiff, with the other two spots being reserved for other years where Cardiff might need them. No, I haven't read the FA's rulebook. Why do you ask?)

IVES– Wolves, Reading and Preston North End are my picks. Cardiff would be interesting if only for the chance to see Eddie Johnson possibly play in the playoff.


ARIS– Great site, Ives. I know you said no Red Bulls Arena questions, but I think mine's not what you had in mind: will they allow tailgating like at Giants Stadium? I'm wondering really if it's a New Jersey thing or a Meadowlands thing. Also, do you think we might see new kits with the new stadium?

IVES– As far as I know there won't be parking lots near the stadium, only a parking deck where tailgating won't be allowed. You'll probably have to trade in the grills for some pre-game drinking at the local pubs. As for new kits, it seems like adidas has new uniforms every year, with new ones already having emerged for 2009, so I think it's fair to say there will be some new uniforms in 2010.


MARCO– Heard anything about a potential Kenny Cooper transfer? It's been quiet, wondering if you've heard anything?

IVES– FC Dallas head coach Schellas Hyndman came out last week and stated that Cooper would be back in 2009, so he's got at least one more season with the club. Count me among those who were surprised to hear that.


That's all for now. I'll be working this weekend to get through some more of your questions. Please feel free to share your thoughts on these answers in the comments section below.


  1. Yeah, that was awesome when the Columbus fans fought with those two West Ham fans in that meaningless pre-season match…and when they started yelling the n-word at that New England player. Awesome.

    I’m all for passionate support and sold-out stadiums, but we have the opportunity to be better than some supporters groups in Europe (I’m looking at you, Lazio)–let’s not try to immitate everything we see. Hooliganism does not equate to “good support,” nor does racism.

  2. hey ives big fan of your site, check it at least 3 times a day.

    do you think San Diego will ever get into the expansion talk now or even later in the future. A Sporting San Diego maybe? Because i was aware that for a while Chivas USA was planning on using qualcomm stadium.

  3. Ives,

    What are your thoughts on Lee Nguyen signing a 3-year deal with a club in Vietnam? I know he was riding the pine for Randers, but wouldn’t he be better off (from a developmental standpoint) coming back to MLS?

  4. From all rumors I have seen Kljestan is going to Celtic…The even talked about it on London’s talksport radio yesterday during their Scottish Football talk.

  5. Tommorow is gng to be a the US 2nd/3rd team players against swedens 2nd/3rd team players. I am more excited for the US?Mexico matchup even though El Tri has alot of the stars injured. I think the US will make a good run in south africa and impress the rest of the world when its all said and done. People forget we are a country of winners…

  6. i have a few questions

    how likely do u think it is that onyewu leaves in this or next transfer season and to what club?

    how long into this season do you think it will take for Jeremy Hall to make a impact for the redbulls?

    who do u think starts next to angel this season mac kandji oduro or woly?

  7. EDB, don’t forget that there are other major sports too. There is a short window of time when the NBA, NHL, NFL, and MLB are all active at the same time or very, very close to it. MLS would drown if they extended the season into the fall. Maybe starting sooner might work, but then again they already start in March, about when baseball does.

    I think the MLS season (calendar-wise) is just a victim of being the little guy in America. Not that I personally wouldn’t love to see another two months of soccer here. Although that is a stretch with such a small league. I can really see both sides.

  8. take beckham….hand us (the galaxy) atleast $25 mill. and we will rebuild are entire squad

    Posted by: sean monaghan | January 23, 2009 at 07:36 PM
    I can understand the argument that having a DP taking 400,000 under the salary cap and the ego there isn’t beneficial to building a team, but that statement doesn’t really make sense to me. Anything beyond the 400,000 that he’s getting paid doesn’t affect how much can go to the rest of the team, and he has more than made up for his cost to AEG with jersey sales and sponsorship. The 25 mil back wouldn’t help rebuild the galaxy. Maybe the 400k

  9. If you guys are finding yourself looking for random news to entertain yourself….I can’t quite show you THAT. However this site is pretty good as far as the managerial experience goes:


    look for me in USA, division 5, group 12 (34 rounds).

  10. EDB, in other words, you want MLS to adopt a schedule thats inline with Europe. Just come out and say what you mean…….don’t tiptoe around it. And Sean, how would you rebuild the whole squad with that money if you still have a salary cap?

  11. whats with this new Cooper to Rosenborg jazz?

    Posted by: Adam | January 23, 2009 at 05:42 PM


    Nothing, it seems. The latest story was a scam with an incorrect Web address. Why anyone feels the need to scam a story on a forward being sold from one third-tier league to another is beyond confusing.

  12. From the USMNT Blog with a lot of nothing:

    Sacha Kljestan has returned from a training spell at current Scottish Premier League champions Celtic and will be on the field tonight for the USA’s final session prior to the match against Sweden.

    “I had really good experience at Celtic, and now I’m excited to back and getting ready to play against Sweden,” Kljestan told us. “The only future I’m focusing on right now is trying to put in a good performance tomorrow night.”

  13. The David Beckham answer was clever, but La Gazzetta dello Sport is reporting that Beckham can get out of his contract at the end of this upcoming season, and that Milan is looking for a way to get him sooner. Ives, any idea if this “out clause” is factual or just something the Italian press wants to see happen?

  14. my lineup for tomorrow night vs. sweden:

    ……….unknown young keeper………..

  15. Question for the next batch:

    If Landon Donovan keeps in good form one the season restarts at Bayern, and they want to pick him up permanently do you think MLS/Galaxy is going to block that move the way MLS/Revolution did with Twellman?

  16. “Yes, I know, one of my New Year’s resolutions was to starting doing these Q&A sessions more quickly. It didn’t quite work out that way…”

    In other words, this New Years resolution is like most New Years resolutions… That reminds me, I’ve got to go the gym today.

  17. I know there is a 4 month break, but I was thinking that they might be able to tinker with the schedule and start the season at a different time, or play longer season, or some way to alter the schedule to provide more weeks.


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