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It’s Q&A Time

It is (finally) that time again. Time for SBI readers to submit their questions and time for me to answer a few of them before I spend two weeks putting off the rest of them. Okay, I'm half-joking.

Seriously though, fire your soccer (or pop culture) questions my way and I will do my best to give you an answer, or at the very least my own opinion on the matter. Be sure to keep your questions from being too long, only ask one or two, and try to avoid topics that have already been beaten to death in past Q&A sessions. Don't know which topics those are? Look up past Q&As and you will figure it out.

Post your question/questions in the comments section below.

Fire away!


  1. any update on the saint benedicts player that almost signed w/ new england? (he graduated last year i believe)

  2. Is it too early to forecast how the USMNT will do in 2010, assuming they qualify of course? If not, how do you think they finish? Is the Costa Rica performance reason to worry?

  3. Is Jen Chang your ideological rival or is that my imagination? You seem to take distinctly opposite positions in few cases and give passing reference to other writers (he does it more) that disagree. It makes for fun soccer reading regardless. I realize I should cite particular cases but I already feel like enough of a geek.

  4. Two parts
    Why do so many US players have a bad first touch, “yarder”?
    I think there is a lack of creativity on free kicks, world wide. Why do you think so few free kicks result in shots on goal?

  5. With several MLS teams unhappy with their recent performance, it seems there are a few coaches who’s seats are getting hotter (NYRB, RSL, etc.) I was trying to think of coaches that were looking for jobs and I couldn’t think of any off the top of my head. Do you think organizations look inside for replacements? Which coaches are going to go and when?

  6. Ives, I am hearing so many people whine and moan about the poor support the US gets here and wanting to have the US play in BFE in front a few thousand all American fans just to keep the Latino immigrants from supporting their teams. Yet, the money collected from these matches goes to the USSF no matter which team is being supported. This is money that I imagine goes toward paying our players, coaches, staff, and helps support the youth programs.
    In your opinion, is US Soccer correct in hosting matches at venues like Soldier Field that make a ton of money but doesn’t give the US much support?

  7. If you were Spector why wouldnt you try and go to a team were they need a Left Back and and can play there on a consistant basis. I know he prefers playing on the right side but with the whole the USNT has at left back why not try and lock that position down at the club level and then (assuming we dont get Castillo) that would be his spot for the next ten years with the national team. It kills me to see the depth at right back and with him still fairly young it makes the most sense to switch over especially when he is naturally left footed and can push forward alright… What is your take on it?

  8. Watching how the US national team never has an advantage at home for world cup qualifyers(except for Columbus)do you ever see us just playing all our games in Columbus to gain an advantage like the Azteca. Would that be possible and what would be the pros and cons and money?

  9. How much of dropoff do the Nats experience in goalkeeper between Howard and the rest? In the event of injuries, etc. do you think Keller could still play well on the international level? Finally, could Jermaine Jones really just step into the top 11?? THANK YOU IVES.

  10. Assume that National teams were like club teams and could buy players from anywhere and work the transfer markets at will starting tomorrow. Who would be the best team in the world by the 2010 World Cup? What would be a rational investment? Who is the best player that would no longer play for his home nation because he was replaced by someone better?

  11. Hey Ives!! Two questions,

    1) What are clubs saying about not having the reserve league and do you think it will hurt the league in the long term not having it?

    2) What changes do you think RBNY need to make this summer and who would you like to see signed by them.


  12. Ives, thanks for the great site.

    (1) Apparently a couple of EPL teams interested in Gouch. Given the Newcastle problems, do you think the EPL is the best place for him? Can he be successful there with the speed?

    (2)As many of us expected, placing Convey in an attacking mid role was a disaster. Before his recent hamstring problem, though, he had one suberb game. Do you think he will stay with San Jose? What should he do to get back on the MNT roster?

  13. TFC cannot qualify for CONCACAF champions league through MLS, but are they eligible to qualify for Superliga?

  14. Ives, who do you think has the best national team kits and who has the best club kits? Anywhere in the world.

  15. How do you like the potential US lineup for 2010 as opposed to ’02 and ’06. Better, worse or a wash?

    Also, have you eaten at the Brasilia Grille in the Ironbound? Fantastic food!

  16. Love the blog Ives, keep up the good work. With Oguchi Onyewu a free agent now and teams from every top league in Europe interested,

    1) Where do you think he’ll end up?

    2) Where do you think he should go in order to advance his career and not sit the bench (Newcastle loan in 2007).

  17. Ives, you’re a great writer. Thanks for keeping this blog up.

    In terms of US soccer, where are we? Have we gone DOWN from 2002? Or was it a fluke? CONCACAF competitions are hard for us to score in anymore, it seems. We can’t measure up against real opponents.

  18. Ives,

    LA is getting better all the time and the Beckham Farewell Tour 1.0 ® is fast approaching. Beckham has a history of playing well when people doubt him (Madrid and England after signing with the Galaxy and again in Milan the past few months) what are the chances of a glorious run to MLS Cup paving the way for a Beckham return in the future?

    I for one think that LA will be a threat this year, if Arena can manage Beckham maybe the second half of this season will be what MLS always hoped and dreamed of…

  19. do you see the 4-5-1 as a possible lineup for the MNT? Jones (if he joins the MNT), Bradley, and Feilhaber as the central midfield, and Donovan and Dempsey on the wings, with Altidore up top?

  20. Any updates on Jose Angulo??? Haven’t heard about him in a while. He was a young promising striker from New Jersey.

  21. If the SBI roll call was the sole criteria for adding new MLS teams, what unrepresented metropolitan areas would be at the top of the list for recieving a new team.

  22. Thanks for the hard work Ives,

    1)How much disparity is there between the USL and MLS? After attending some Rochester USL games in person I don’t think it’s exactly top notch soccer.

    2)Did something happen between Torres and Bob Bradley? Was he injured? Personally, I thought he was the lone bright spot against Costa Rica, only to see him subbed out at the half.

  23. Any updates on Juan Carlos Toja in Romania? He kind of fell of the radar. Do you think it was a smart move or do you see him coming back to MLS?

  24. Sorry to throw so many at you…

    1. What do you think of Bocanegra (LB), Demerit (CB), Onyewu (CB), and Spector (RB) as a possible back line (with Cherundolo injured). Bocanegra, considering he plays LB for Rennes, is probably the best in our system. While Demerit is a slight step down at centerback, he seems more than competent. I think this might be our best possible back four at the moment and I don’t hear much talk about it.

    2. Ignore this one if you’ve already gotten something similar. Let’s pretend everyone who is in the running for a World Cup roster spot is getting significant first-team playing time and is in good form at the end of next season (I’m thinking of players like Adu, Altidore, Feilhaber, and Beasley, to name a few), who starts in 2010? (Please also account of another season of experience gained.)

    3. Last one, I promise. Prediction time! Who will be the three best players left out of the 23-man roster for South Africa?

  25. I’d ask a Jermaine Jones question, but it seems as thought 40-50 people beat me to it.

    If you’re part of the twitterati, who are the top 3-4 people that you try to follow based on their tweets? I picture you as a Kim Kardashian kind of guy…

  26. Ives, thanks for the Q & A’s! A site favorite–
    If Bruce Arena is the Larry Brown(NBA) of Soccer, then Bob Bradley is the ___________?
    And who would be our future Phil Jackson?

  27. What does FIFA require for a field to be approved for international play?

    In a certain way I enjoy the home field advantage issues for concacaf qualifiers, but there are standards, right?

    (And no I don’t believe that’s a good excuse for the ass kicking the U.S. received in Costa Rica).

  28. Ives

    With the news that jermain johnson wants to play for the US central midfield seems to be getting a little crowded. Obviously, you can never have enough depth due to injuries, card accumulation, and players being out of form but do you think we will need to adjust the formation to get our best players on the field? It is especially crowded if players like torres and feilhaber round into form, not to mention demarcus beasley.

    How do they work these guys into the lineup next summer?


  29. Who do you think should be the next two expansion teams in MLS? Ottawa had seemed to be a popular proposal, but that seems to be dying off in terms of support (especially since the city seems to be leaning toward a CFL stadium over an MLS stadium). Meanwhile, Montreal is back in the hunt, and Jeff Cooper refuses to give up on St. Louis. Are those two cities the next best bets for expansion (whenever that may be)?

  30. 1) best handful of songs that have been released within the last few years?

    2) list the 5 seasons of the Wire from best to worst.

    3) in light of the continued coverage of Quaranta’s recovery.. while Quaranta was up here in NJ, was there any inkling among the media that he was having serious issues? i don’t expect you to delve into anything personal for him, but i’m curious if it was something that was obvious yet not talked about in the locker room and/or press box, or if Quaranta just did a really good job of hiding what he was doing.

  31. I guess I’ll ask again. Do you ever watch/like fan made highlight videos? I really have fun making them and I try to do them for the US Soccer fans out there. By the time you answer this I may have done one or two more, but these are some of the best I have done:

    Like any of them?

    Posted by: arkjayback | April 17, 2009 at 11:32 AM

  32. Hello Ives, great site

    I was wondering which current young MLSers do you see being a factor for the 2014 World Cup, or even being a factor this cycle? Also, with Jermaine Jones switching to the US under the new FIFA ruling regarding national switching, which players do you see the US losing to other nations? (Alvarez, Findley, Buddle, Holden, etc.)

  33. Are there any examples in world football (or MLS/USMNT) you can think of where 2 players who play great together on the pitch are tight off it? I know Pirlo and Gattuso are chummy, but what about Xavi and Iniesta? Or Ferdinand and Vidic? Any other examples?

  34. Do think that since soccer in the US is kind of a subculture like indie music, that if soccer ever does become mainstream, it will lose some of the current ‘hardcore’ fans (the way some people stop listening to a band when it gets to big because they’re “sellouts” or whatever)?
    Or is the soccer world big enough to accommodate those fans with obscure foreign leagues and such?

  35. 1.) Barring Garber taking more crazy pills than normal MLS promotion/relegation has ZERO chance of ever happening BUT if it did how cool would it be on a 1-10 scale (temporarily ignore the situation with your NYRB)

    2.) Will/When will Stuart Holden and Arturo Alvarez get call-ups again?

    3.) What do you think of Conan as Tonight show host?


  36. Thanks for the best site out there. I check it 20 times a day.

    MLS makes player salaries public.

    1. Any chance you can find outs how much USNT players get paid by their club teams?

    2. Do you know if players get a percentage of their transfer fee and if so, what percentage?

    Thanks, Ives.

  37. Ives,

    This may be an amateurish question, but here goes: Any way you could provide a brief synopsis on the different styles of play that distinguish the top leagues (ie. England, Spain, Italy, Germany, France). I follow the Premier League closely (along w/ MLS), but don’t watch much of the other leagues.


  38. When discussion of future USMNT coach comes up, why isn’t Preki’s name mentioned more often?

    (sorry about the screw up question above)

  39. 1. Why is it that Brian Mullin has not really had a good look with the national team. He just seems to have so many characteristics which lend him to being a really good addition to the US team.

  40. When I hear European player salaries quoted in a certain amount per week, is that per week of the season, or per week all year around?

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