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Your Questions Answered (Part 2 of 4)

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Didn't think you would get a second straight day with Your Questions Answered, did you?

Welcome to the second installment of the latest Your Questions Answered session. SBI readers submitted a record number of questions and, after a month of waiting, we are finally cranking out some answers.

The U.S. national team was a popular subject this time around, with several readers wondering what young players might be able to sneak onto the U.S. roster. Stuart Holden is mentioned, as he should be.

Now, onto Part Two of Your Questions Answered:

JOE– Salary cap question. I believe that players can earn compensation from outside sources such as appearing in local tv ads, etc. Would it be against league rules for a very wealthy fan of a team (or a group of fans using pooled funds) to hand out checks to players for wins, etc. provided the individual or group was not connected with ownership? Could a local car dealer (assuming there are any still in business) let players use cars for free, etc.?

IVES– MLS would probably be opposed to this type of stuff but the league doesn’t exactly have the resources to police such things so if you’ve got money feel free to make it rain.


ADAM– We are a year out from the World Cup in SA. Should we make it to the finals, what starter will be the most surprising…ie Whitbread, some U20…?

IVES– If I could name someone then it wouldn’t be a surprise, would it? In all seriousness, I’ll say Chad Marshall. No, I’m not saying he’s better than Carlos Bocanegra or Oguchi Onyewu, but if there was someone who I could see forcing his way, and certain things fell his way, it would be him. Stuart Holden is another possibility.

ISAAC– What would you say to Beasley making a move down to Brazil? They develop some very good wingbacks/ wing-forwards down there.(Dani Alves, Robinho, Rafael da Silva, Fabio da Silva, Sylvinho) Plus the style and level of play seems to suit him. To add even further reason, Ronaldo and Adriano have both gone down there to somewhat rebuild themselves after things going downhill as of late. Beasley is too good and has played to important of a part in recent U.S. Soccer for us to just let him fall apart.

IVES– Interesting idea, but I don’t see Beasley passing up the chance to still make money in Europe, unless he tries to come to MLS for a year to re-gain his mojo and being playing regularly before the World Cup.


JOE– A red bull arena question: Have you heard anything about an away supporter section? With the new stadium, there will probably reasonable numbers of fans from DC, Philadelphia, New England, Toronto, and maybe ever the further reaches. I haven't heard anything about this though. Do you think they'll be forced to make one if they don't have one?

IVES– I don’t see Red Bull Arena having a separated away section from what I've heard, which would be a bit sad considering the original Red Bull Arena has just that in Salzburg (complete with protective netting to stop projectiles). That said, while there may not be one constructed, the Red Bulls absolutely must have a section just for away fans. It’s a necessity if they want to complete the feel of a real soccer stadium.


ANDOLINI– Why did Lee Nguyen go to Vietnam? What's his deal?

IVES– After bouncing around Europe I think he was faced with one of two possibilities. He could either come to MLS and not make that much money, or go to Vietnam and be a star there (I’m sure there are some ‘Lee Nguyen-international soccer star’ billboards somewhere). The move is obviously not great for his prospects of returning to Europe, or breaking into the national team, but if it’s a chance for a big payday I can understand the decision.


REKRO– Finish this sentence: In10 years MLS will be ________________.

IVES– A 20-team league with better players and more fans (hopefully).


TODD- Why isn’t Stuart Holden part of the senior team? He is a muchy better player then Sascha Kliestjian.

IVES- As we are seeing in the Gold Cup, and saw from Kljestan in the Confederations Cup, this opinion is looking pretty accurate.


YOSSARIAN- It's become obvious (much to our dismay) that the boring longball, target forward, 2 d-mids, 4-5-1/4-4-2 is the only way the USMNT can succeed with our current talent base. My question is this: is this a chicken or egg problem? Do we have players who can only play in that system because that's the system played throughout the youth leagues, youth national teams and USMNT teams and we've created this type of player with our system, or is that just the type of player the U.S. will always produce. If a top, experienced coach came in and reformulated the U.S. developmental system from soup to nuts, could we produce players capable of playing a different system/style?

IVES- Again, this question came before the Confederations Cup, a tournament that showed an America team capable of playing attractive and effective attacking soccer. That said, there is something to be said for this country’s youth system being too simplistic in terms of teaching young players the game. That’s more a problem of past generations. Every impression I get about the current state of youth soccer is that more and more intelligent soccer people are leading the way on the coaching level and players are benefiting because of it. I suppose it’s no coincidence that we’re seeing more American players moving to Europe at young ages.


BP- Prior to the 2002 WC, Beasely was a unknown commodity and did not get his first appearance until 2001. Pablo Mastroeni went to the 2002 World Cup without playing a single minute in qualifying. In 2006, Jimmy Conrad made his first national team appearance July 2005 and Gooch did not become a solid starter for the US team until Sept. 2005. Ben Olsen went to the WC without playing a single minute in qualifying, at least for the 2006 WC. It is June 2009, one year before WC 2010. Who will breakout over the next year and become a solid contributor for 2010? Who will make the 2010 roster without playing a single minute of qualifying?

IVES- Just because it happened before doesn’t mean it will happen again, but that being said, I’d say Chris Pontius has to be considered a candidate. I also think that Bob Bradley has used a much larger pool of players than Bruce Arena did, so the odds of some new player emerging are that much less likely.


STAN- RBNY director Erik Stover talked about not using the club's 2nd D
P until the CBA (and salary cap) were revised/solved. You stated that you couldn't see the cap being raised significantly in this economy. Do you think a power struggle exists amongst the owners concerning issues like the salary cap, the number of DP's and the future of the league in general? Do you think the owner's concerns/wants may be more important than the needs of the players (free agency, increased rosters, pensions, etc.)

IVES- It’s not exactly a surprise that some MLS owners see things differently than others, that some owners are more prepared to start spending big money on their team than others. In a league with so many more owners than in years past, it is going to be that much tougher to make changes to the league’s make-up.


DANNYC58- 1)Would you rule out the Red Bulls doing well in CONCACAF Champions league? With the latin influence on the club it might suit their style of play more. Wondering if you agree? 2) Predict how the Hexagonal standings finish… Thanks, The site freaking rules! -Dan ps Can you send out a "Suck it" from me to all the people on the website that told me West Ham would be relegated this past season?

IVES- Danny, I don’t think anybody really thought West Ham would be relegated. I think people just wanted to bust your chops because you’re so easily tweaked about the Hammers. 1. The Red Bulls season is in a tailspin, but they are getting healthy now and they have a winnable series against W Connection in the play-in round. Unfortunately, I don’t see the team getting very far beyond that first series.


EUGENE T- Given Conor Casey's resurgence, will Casey and Kenny Cooper be battling it out over the next five years for the target striker role in the 2014 World Cup? Or is there another player that could take Brian Ching's spot?

IVES- If Jozy Altidore and Charlie Davies continue to develop they will the forward tandem come 2014. It also wouldn’t shock me if someone like Marcus Tracy or Preston Zimmerman didn’t emerge in the next five years.


MENTZ- Who do you see that can be brought in to save the Red Bulls' season during the summer transfer window? Can the Red Bulls make a run in the CONCACAF Champions League this year?

IVES- Moses? John Connor? This season is over for the Red Bulls.


DC JOSH- Ives, good luck getting through all of the questions, better you than me! I've always wondered why there seems to be a disconnect between the US youth teams and the USMNT. The US team looked great in the olympics, competing with top teams from the world like Netherlands, and it was basically our U-23 team. The US youth teams always do very well in international competitions. But then there is the USMNT, who seem to have not progressed at all in the last four years in terms of competing at the highest level. If the US youths are beating up on other countries, then why do those same US players not progress as well as the other countries' players of the same age? This is very hard to get across in a post, but I hope you get my point. Thanks, and I check your site more often than is sane.

IVES- I would argue that part of the reason for U.S. success in youth tournaments is because the world’s top teams have young players who are already playing for important clubs and therefore don’t even take part in all the youth tournaments. Almost all young American players take part in every tournament. I also happen to think that the upcoming young generations of Americans are poised to help the U.S. team make some noise on the big stage, as we saw in the Confederations Cup.


KEVIN IN FRISCO- Ives, lovin' the site. Though I know it's an established partnership between Carlos Bocanegra and Oguchi Onyewu, do you honestly think Onyewu is a smarter, more talented center back than Jay DeMerit? DeMerit is a proven center back in England and is absolutely adored by the Watford faithful. Do you think he deserves more of a chance than what Bob Bradley has given him?

IVES- Kevin, as you know by now, DeMerit got his chance and made the most of it. Right now he’s projecting as the starting centerback alongside Onyewu, with Bocanegra at left back. Will that stay that way? DeMerit needs to keep playing regularly.


STEIGS- In your experience, who are the best interviews among the MLS coaches? Players? What makes them the best?

IVES- MLS coaches? I’d say, in my experience (which may not be the same as other people’s) Bruce Arena, Denis Hamlett, Sigi Schmid and Dom Kinnear. Players? I’d say Landon Donovan, Amado Guevara, Joe Cannon, Jimmy Conrad and Dave Van Den Bergh are some who come to mind.


TEXAS1836- We both know the following idea is impractical and not realistic. Now that we've got that out of the way… If you were going to choose one existing stadium in the U.S. to serve as the national team's home, factoring in location, weather, ability to attract a rabid pro-U.S. crowd…Which stadium would you select? Seattle, D.C., Salt Lake, somewhere else?

IVES- I want to say Chicago because Soldier Field is great, Chicago is a great soccer city, and I love going to Chicago, but as we saw in the 07 Gold Cup final and June’s qualifier vs. Honduras, it’s not always easy to draw a true pro-USA crowd. Seattle just might be a place to consider, but it’s a bit too far west for my taste (at least until I move there in 2011).


WEAVER83- Can/will the NCAA ever consider adapting the college game to be similar to professional/international soccer? I'm talking more along the lines substitutions & game clock.

IVES- Good question. That’s a change that needs to happen. Badly.


TEXAS1836- Last question. For now. Speculate what year Charles Renken will begin to make appearances for the U.S. MNT, assuming he does. Thanks for what you do to encourage American Soccer.

IVES- 2013


BEN- Ives, Two quick(ish) Q's. 1. Do you think that the U.S. will win a World Cup bid for 2018 or 2022? 2. If you were to pick one player not on the Confederations Cup roster that will START for the 2010 World Cup team, who would it be? (can't be Ching, Edu or 'Dolo since they would be there if not for injury). My guess… Robbie Rogers.

IVES- 1. Yes, I'd bet on 2022. 2. Jermaine Jones


NateinSF- I see that Italy has played warm up matches against both New Zealand as well as a local South African team. I don't believe the USMNT has had any warm-up scrimmages or friendlies. Why is that? Further, do you feel like Bob Bradley adequately prepares his players for competitive matches?

IVES- Unlike some of those other teams, the US national team had intense World Cup qualifiers just days before the Confederations Cup, so the team got its share of work in. As for Bradley preparing the team, I think the past two tournaments have shown that he does.


PAUL- Ives, Ginger or Mary Ann?

IVES- Mary Ann


DJB- What's the chances Spector steals a starting role by the 2010 World Cup?

IVES- I think he has already stolen it. Now the question is can he keep it.


J- 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 exp
ect 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.

IVES- 1. Hmm, not sure how to even begin answering that one. 2. Wire seasons- 5, 3, 4, 1, 2 (I think 3-5 were all amazing. Two is the worst, but even that one had its great value). 3. I can’t say I ever suspected. I remember watching Quaranta in training and thinking what a waste of talent he was. I thought he was great in the 2005 Gold Cup and destined for special things, but then he spiraled and showed up with the Red Bulls completely out of shape and unfocused. In retrospect I regret being so hard on him knowing now what I didn’t know then, but I call it like I see it and he was a mess.


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

IVES- I’d say Ivory Coast’s is pretty snazzy, as is the Dutch national team’s. Brazil’s is classic. As far as club kits, I’ve always found the Roma uniforms to be pretty stylish. Arsenal and Barcelona also have nice ones.


AC- Hands down, best 80's action movie of all time?

IVES- Die Hard, followed by Terminator.


MEXICAN BLUE FISH- 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.

IVES- There’s a pretty considerable drop off from Howard to Brad Guzan, but Guzan is very talented and showed in the Confederations Cup match vs. Egypt that he can step in and do the job. Could Keller step up for 2010 if needed? I’m not so sure about that one. I might be inclined to see if Brad Friedel were interested in one more run.


WALLY- 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?

IVES- I really don’t think the national team has to go that far. You can’t just have all the qualifiers at one venue. This country is too big for that and you’d keep too many people from having a chance of seeing the national team live.


JON- You never seem to get to my question(s), but hopefully this time you do (although being commenter 164 isn't very promising…). My Q. I know you're fan of PB. What did you think of the finale? And what did you think of the standalone movie? Also, what did you think of this past season of 24? Thanks, and keep up the awesome work!

IVES- I really liked the finale of Prison Break except for the whole Michael dying thing. I felt that was a bit of a downer. The way all the loose ends were tied up was good, although I think they could have squeezed at least one or two more episodes out of it. I still can’t believe it lasted as long as it did. A movie? Not sure about that one. As for 24, I missed the past season. I missed the first few episodes and never jumped on during the year. I’ll need to buy it so I can catch up.


  1. Ives,

    Not sure if you are still answering.

    Great showing by USMNT in the Gold Cup. While the current group is considered a B team I wonder how much better the A team is. With the exception of Donovan and Howard, I think the rest are at par. The nice thing is we have more depth than ever before, however the depth is not world class. As the Honduras Coach mentioned, we play great with combos and set-pieces that creates good results. Beat Mexico on Sunday – I’ll be there with my son.


  2. UEFA getting ANOTHER bid before CONCACAF is typical FIFA BS. 🙂

    USA in 2018. Even though a trip to England would be fun.

  3. IMO, season 4 was the best and 5 was the worst. I’ve always argued that Season 2 of The Wire is extremely underrated. It gets overlooked because it’s connected less with the rest of the show, but it was a fascinating look into that world. Seriously, I don’t know about you guys, but driving past a port has never been the same for me ever since. It’d be hard for me to rank all the seasons though. Everything with the kids in season 4 was heartbreaking and compelling. Season 3’s Hamsterdam experiment was brilliant. Season 1 couldn’t help but blow me away since it completely raised the bar for the cops and crime genre. The only season that disappointed me at all was season 5, which was a little too rushed and didn’t have space to flesh out all the new characters, and it also dropped some threads like Cutty that I really wanted to see continued. And of course, the plot started to become a little absurd. That said, the worst season of The Wire is probably still better than the best season of any other crime drama ever.

  4. if Nguyen is getting paid $10,000 a month, than thats not alot at all. So that would be $120,000 a year. He could have easily gotten a salary of around 85K to 100K in MLS given his skill, potential and european experience. How much is Convey getting paid these days by the way? around 150K? Way too much thats for sure. Plus more importantly, Bob Bradley can keep an eye on Lee if he played in MLS thus improving his chances of getting callled up for the Nats

  5. Wire season 4 was by far the best season. Followed by Season 3. Season 5 was pretty bad- but I guess from a journalist POV it was rewarding for you.

  6. My questions: What do MLS teams need to do to convince the NCAA to allow soccer players to sign youth contracts with MLS clubs while still maintaining eligibility? The idea being to allow MLS teams to keep their youth players from being picked off by European clubs without transfer fees. Do you think this will ever happen? How hard will MLS push for this?

  7. Has there been any talk about cross-pollination between the USMNT and the USWNT? I’m talking about breeding the next gen of players. Any Date nights? Dances? I know the Abby Wambach is a foot taller than Landon D. but it could work. Stranger stuff has happened. I’m just saying.

  8. Strongly disagree about Season 5 of “The Wire” being the best. Only a journalist would have found that plot compelling instead of absurd and heavy-handed. Season 4 was the best, Seasons 1 & 3 are both great, and Season 5 was the second-worst ahead of Season 2.

  9. weaver/ives –

    in 2003 the NCAA did limit subbing (at least in D3, but i am pretty sure all divisions) to no re entry in the same half. It went back to unlimited subbing the next year so I am guessing there was some backlash from people about it so I don’t see it happening anytime soon.

  10. best national team threads: Dutch orange, portugal, croatia
    best club team threads: Udinese with the little stripes, colorado rapids, celtic stripes

  11. hah Ives the last season of 24 was absolutely hands-down amazing, make sure you get to it-the only reason I wanted mondays to come..

  12. Regarding J’s question on Santino’s drug use while in NJ. There were always rumors of his drug use during his first run with DCU (on big soccer). Most just dismissed it as phooey and trashed the rumor starters. It turns out those rumor starters were right. Yet, somehow, MLS clubs and players never knew either. I can understand that though. Parents often find themselves in denial about their kids’ drug use despite strong evidence. There was only rumor in Santino’s case.

  13. I read somewhere that Nguyen was only making $10,000 a year in Vietnam. I’ll have to look for that now.

    The best club kit has got to be Galatasaray’s red and orange kit.

  14. Actually, Larry…

    I likes being in a bar without having to buy the next round, and that statement requires no correction.

  15. Sorry, I channeled Borat for a moment there. It should read, ‘It’s like being in a bar without having to buy the next round.”

  16. I really enjoy all this discussion about U.S. soccer. I likes being in a bar without having to buy the next round. Thanks Ives!

  17. I thought it was just the China friendly, but I see now he played in Copa America. Good call everyone. I missed that/forgot about it. Gee, how did I erase that tournament from my mind?

  18. I don’t know how many people are counting on Johnson to step in and start in 2010. I’d still mark it as a long shot, but he could potentially have that breakout second full season that Dempsey and Convey experienced…I’d mark him as more likely than Marshall. That’s just me.

    B. Dortmund have had some nice kits over the years. Best international kit? Obviously the Cameroonian unitard. Can anyone argue with that? It had effin claw marks!

  19. seattle should host more WCQ games. they would fill the stadium with pro US fans. as should portland in the future. it tough here on the east coast there are a lot of forgien born and latin americans to create a US Homefield.

  20. “Speaking of Lee Nguyen, any chance he skips out on the U.S. national team to play for Vietnam? He wouldn’t be cap-tied under the new FIFA rule. Any idea?”

    He played in Copa America ’07. Isn’t that an official FIFA event, that would cap tie him to the US?

  21. Speaking of Lee Nguyen, any chance he skips out on the U.S. national team to play for Vietnam? He wouldn’t be cap-tied under the new FIFA rule. Any idea?

  22. Best national team kits:
    Germany white shirt/black shorts
    Argentina dark blue shirt/white short
    Spain red shirt/black shorts.

    Best club kits:
    Inter blue-black shirt/black shorts
    Werder Bremen black-green shirt/black shorts (3rd kit)
    Villarreal yellow shirt/yellow shorts

    Worst international kits:
    Mexico white shirt/green shorts
    Spain gold shirt/black shorts
    Russia red shirt/red shorts

    Worst club kits:
    Juventus white-black shirt/white shorts (looks too much like an NFL ref)
    Manchester City blue shirt/white shorts
    Seattle Sounders green shirt/green shorts

  23. Wally saying Colombus is the only Pro US crowd is pretty small minded, you must be C-bus fan. SLC was very VERY Pro USA when we had the WCQ against Costa Rica. Plus we had about 20,000 more people out to the match. There are other options and the matches need to be spread around.

  24. On the subject of best kits…..Ivory Coast, Brazil….OK. Barcelona, liked last year (have the #6 Xavi!) but think this coming year’s is pretty weak. Roma? I guess they’re sharp, but a little too trendy – maybe I’m just tired of seeing Totti with his freakin’ ascot. Arsenal, to me, was a disaster this past year, both home & away. Looked like AYSO unis or something (IMHO).

    I’m probably alone, but I kinda dug Italy’s retro kits from the Confed Cup. Portugal’s always look pretty sharp too, and I like the current USA away jersey. As for clubs….I’d have to go with Barca, Inter and ManU (this coming season excluded!!) as my usual faves.

  25. Ives,

    Thanks…but you give the quality of user on this site too much credit.

    When WHU were 3 points off a relegation spot, there is no chance people were saying WHU was going down to bust my chops…


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