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It’s Q&A Time

Hello all. It is that time again. Time for you to fire your soccer-related questions my way and time for me to take two months to answer them.

Okay, so I'm kidding about that last part. A little. There will be a slight change to the Q&A, a change I am hoping will lead to a much quicker turnaround time on answering your questions. I will select the Top 100 questions and will answer them in four segments. This means your question may not be chosen so please make them good ones.

If you are new to the Q&A, or to SBI, I would suggest checking out past Q&A sessions. This might keep you from asking a question that has been covered before. Also, try to avoid the college thesis-like questions. If your question is longer than 50 words the chances are good it won't be chosen (unless you're discussing The Wire or Godfather movies).

As for those of you wondering about the final segment of the last Q&A. I will post those answers today, probably within the hour.

Now, let's get to some new questions. I'm looking for soccer questions, but if you ask a good pop culuture (movie/music/TV, etc.) question, chances are it will be chosen.

Fire away (and make them good).


  1. Nery Castillo is a quick fast dangerous and key striker for Mexico.He played well before bombing in England.
    Charlie Davies is bigger stronger and faster. He has had similar success in his professional career.

    So do you think the US should try and use him in a similar role as Mexico uses Nery? Do you think he will be a better player than Nery?

  2. Hey Ives, just wondering, do u ever see the MLS creating a second league to act as a second division, it would be great, seeing as how big our country is, and then maybe we can create the promotion/relegation they have in europe, just a thought, i know we have to complete the MLS first before even looking at the MLS, but the USL can also expand and act as that second division, thanks again Ives

  3. Ives,

    I was hoping for your comment on the quote from Greg Lalas from (Why U.S. Needs Mexico to win). His quote

    “CONCACAF and the U.S. need Mexico to be good… Otherwise, the entire region becomes the butt of a joke” seems to put us quite at odds to win respect in the world.

    So, should we consider a reorganization of the CONCACAF, maybe consider creating a super conference with CONMEBOL? imagine Brazil Vs U.S. for World Cup? Thoughts?

  4. What is your take on Managers especially in the EPL? Would the likes of Scolari, Adams, Big Sam when at Newcastle, even the firing of Mourinho at Chelsea have been likely to create successful programs given a number of years? Is sticking it out long term with a manager clearly better than quick firings to turn things around?

    Been absolutely loving this site for about two years. Sorry if you have already answered this question!

    let me know when you are coming to Tokyo!

  5. How much did Michael Bradley’s performance against Mexico raise his profile in Europe? With Borussia Monchengladbach the top contender for relegation in Germany, will he be on the move this summer? If he does move, will he have opportunities with clubs that are playing in the UEFA Cup or Champions League next year?

    Thank you for the great work. To paraphrase The Special One: You are blog Champion.

  6. How do you think Ryan Giggs ranks among the best players of all time? Do you think he’d be rated higher if he played for a more competitive country than Wales?

  7. Ives, could you do a post that has the national team regulars from each of the last five world cups and who they played for professionaly at the time. Would be a good perspective on how far US soccer has progressed.

  8. According to Forbes’ latest MLS rankings, we had two teams making money last year in a much better economy. This year, it’s easy to say the Galaxy will not be making any money regardless of what happens with Beckham because of softer attendance and less revenue overall. How long can this continue with 95% of teams losing money?

  9. what’s your take on what’s going on with duNord, and does it change the future outlook for the Designated Players ‘project?’

  10. What happens to Michael Bradley if Borussia Monchengladbach gets relegated down to Bundesliga2? Does he get sold on or go down with the ship?

  11. The west coast hasn’t hosted a final round WCQ since 1997. Doesn’t that seem a little bit ridiculous? The closest the west coast gets in Salt Lake City, which is nearly a dozen hours of drive time. The Bay Area did a fantastic job supporting the Nats in friendlies against China and Japan. Shouldn’t the Bay Area (Stanford Stadium) be a hex host next cycle? 30% of the country’s population hasn’t gotten a final round qualifier for three cycles now.

  12. Ives,

    Great blog, it’s a regular on my morning news update! Is Allen Hopkins as short as he appears on tv or is he just standing next to giant players?


  13. So the manager of copenhagen recently said that Manchester City was ruining football with it’s outrageous transfer offers.

    What do you personally think about money and football? Is Man City too much? Is soccer to commercialized?

  14. Any updates on Jose Angulo I thought he was a promising young striker? Haven’t heard about him in quite a while?

  15. 1. I saw recently that the Colorado Rapids have partnered with Real Maryland (USL-2) for player development, among other things. With the demise of the MLS reserve division, do you see more teams making such deals with the USL in the next year or so? Personally, I’m surprised that MLS and USL have remained at arm’s length of each other for so long.

    2. What’s your favorite fast food joint?

  16. Ives,

    1. What team in MLS has(had) the greatest home field advantage? Why?

    2. With the construction of new stadiums(BMO for example), why does the league not insist on grass surfaces? I can understand allowing teams to continue to play on field turf, or like Seattle, play on it in residence, but Toronto is considerably farther south geographically than St. James Park, home to Newcastle United. Premiership teams heat the field from underneath generally and this side of the pond we dont even play in december or january. If field turf can divert an international friendly (see FIU to Lockhart) or shorten the length of top player’s careers, why does an aspiring league allow new stadia to be built and turf laid down?

    Thanks, love the site, read it everyday.

  17. How do players for the academies and youth national teams get identified? Do the coaches scour local tournaments? Focus on traveling teams? Where do they get the kids that feed into the teams. Seems like they stumbled across Subotic, for instance, whereas Michael Bradley was never *not* going to get noticed.

  18. Hey Ives,
    One qeustion. Do you think all this adding on of speed will hurt the team in the long run? I mean sure we have alot of fast players but do we have a lot of quality players. We still haven’t replaced van den bergh with anyone who can cross. I just think we are adding quantity and not quality but maybe I’m wrong.

  19. Hey Ives, from your perspective, how good/bad is CONCACAF compared to say UEFA or CONMEBOL, obviously we’re not there yet but the reputation of CONCACAF has to be improving right?

    great site as always Ives.

  20. If you ran an MLS team looking for a coach, what coaching traits would you emphasize? Tactics, player development, scouting/talent evaluation, other.

    As a follow up, what coaching traits do you think MLS is lacking?

  21. Hey Ives,

    What’s your take on the Montreal Impact’s latest ticket sales for their CCL Quarter Final match against Santos Laguna currently around 42,000+? Can MLS seriously ingore Montreal? I personally think the league should do whatever necessary to get them in even if it means paying less of an expansion fee. Thanks for all you do.

  22. Hey ives love your site, first place i go to before class everyday. So glad i found this place. Where do you see michael bradley going if Borussia M’gladbach gets relegated this year? I know he has a clause in his contract that says he must be sold if they go down. Thanks

  23. Ives-

    2010 and 2014 will be the first time in history that two WC’s in a row will be held outside of Europe. What are the odds that 1950 gets repeated and for the 2nd (poss. 3rd) time, there is no European nation in the World Cup final?

  24. With a renoed BC Place approved as well as a waterfront stadium in the midst of approval, plus a rich ownership group and strong fan support why isn’t Vancouver’s bid getting more attention? Is this not the strongest bid for expansion right now?

  25. I’ve often heard about the importance of the MLS preseason, but the coverage of it is scarce. What steps need to be taken so that MLS fans can get insight into what’s going on with their favorite teams before the season starts?

  26. Isn’t it about time for US soccer fans to realize that not all players leaving MLS for Europe are going to end up in Real Madrid? Been reading this site for a while and every time some player goes to some smaller league (Scandinavian, Belgian, Scottish etc.) big part of the comments are something like “How many players from Norwegian league have ended up in EPL?”.

    Do the readers here have a bit bloated expectations of American youngsters? I mean, if you are super-talented, usually it’s pretty obvious and you don’t have to go to GAIS to grind it out for a couple of seasons before Liverpool comes calling.

  27. Ives, can you recommend any good books or other resources on different tactics and styles of soccer and on the history of the game? I just started following it a few years ago and am at a point where I want to learn as much as I can. Thanks

  28. It’s time to change the “advantage” rule. How about instituting a rule like in hockey, where the attacking team is allowed to play on until the defending team controls the ball? At that time, the foul would still be called at the orginal spot of the infraction. This would surely increase scoring, yes?

  29. Ives,

    Thanks for being my go-to site for all things soccer. Could you break down and describe the distinguishing characteristics between the top leagues (EPL, Bundesliga, Serie A, La Liga)? Do certain leagues have a tendency to use a certain attacking approach? i.e. Long balls, how wide they play, favored formations?


  30. Ives,

    Do you have any sense of how prominent Jemal Johnson might be on the USMNT radar? From all accounts, he seems to be the type of player who could make an immediate impact on the Nats–fast, skilled, young striker playing for a team poised to move up to the Championship. I would think he is at least as strong a candidate as some of the MLS strikers who have been granted bench slots in recent months.

  31. ARTICLE SUGGESTION – I’ve never been to South Africa, or a World Cup, but I’m interested in attending 2010. You should run a series of articles on how to purchase tickets, different groups to go with (Sam’s Army, etc), places to visit, city profiles, etc. The first round of tickets go on sale on Feb 20th!

  32. I just want to go on the record and say, that Joe K’s question about Dave VDB might be the dumbest one ever asked on here. Ever.

  33. Why did Lee Nguyen move to a team in Vietnam? Could he ever be called into the national team while playing in such an unknown league? What is the deal with him and all his bouncing around?

  34. It is obvious to me that Bradley will be coaching until the world cup, but the job could be and probably should be open after the world cup, no matter what happens.At what point do you see our USMNT hiring a foreign coach? With what we are seeing in mexico is that such a great idea? Who would be a good fit for the head US job? Love the site, I check it many many times a day.

  35. It seems like everyday there’s a new fan soccer blog. Some of these are good (the fan blogs you link), but many aren’t, and they try to pass off as “real” journalists. What do you think of these bloggers or all fan bloggers in general?

  36. What is MLS’s tipping point with Beckham? In other words, how much does the transfer fee need to be so that MLS/Galaxy will profit from his exit (not including endorsement/sponsorship deals)?

  37. A twist on the usual yanks abroad questions:

    How long do you think it will take for there to be an American coach managing either a major club or national team in Europe, and who do you think it will be? Do you think D. Kinnear or Jason Kreis (fairly young guys) have what it takes?

  38. Good Blog Ives, the salaries in the mls are almost unlivable. When the cba is renegotiated in 2010 and the salaries raise why dont they use this method.

    all players are on the senior roster no developmental. And the minimum salary is 75,000
    the way they do that is anyone making under 75000 is automaticaly upgraded to 75,000 and the salary cap is 3,300,000 anyone over the cap is grandfathered for that season everyone has a guarenteed contract. do you think this can happen, would you like and would it work

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