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Your October Questions Answered (Part 1)

Jonathan Bornstein ( 
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Good afternoon all. As promised, here is the first installment of Your Octobers Questions Answered.

There are several quality questions in the overall batch this month, with the U.S. national team being the obvious topic of choice.

It isn't the only topic covered though. We have some European soccer, CONCACAF and SBI-related questions in the mix. Sadly, none of the John O'Brien questions made it this time around.

Now, onto the answers:


NEIL– Any chance the US gets seeded? What are the odds?

IVES– No. The only way the USA had any sort of chance to get seeded was if Argentina, Portugal and France had all failed to qualify. Argentina is in, and while Portugal and France could still fall in the play-offs, the odds are still against the USA getting a seed. As for odds of getting a seed now? I'll say 100-1.


BILL– Hi Ives,

Love the site! Two questions: has Bob Bradley ever stated that he even intends to give Castillo and J. Jones a look? We all assume that they will be brought into the fold, but is that a safe assumption?

2: Could either Ricardo Clark or Maurice Edu be a possibility at center back?


IVES– I know for a fact that Bradley has spoken to Castillo and USSF officials have spoken to Jones so both have been actively involved in talks about their transition so I would say it’s safe to say they’re both in the mix and should both get looks.

2. Clark isn't a centerback and while Edu didn't look bad there for the Olympic team, I'm not sure if he is better suited to play in the back than in central midfield for the national team.


FORD DUDE– Great site Ives, I check it like 100 times a day haha

With the unfortunate accident that happened to davies, and the hot streak and improving play of jeff cunningham, do you see him getting a call up to the national team?

I think he could be a very good addition to the US

If he does get called in, how do you think he would perform?

IVES– I think Cunningham is definitely a January camp call-up, but am not sure about November. Cunningham has long had a reputation for being a bit of a locker room enigma, but he looks to be having fun with FC Dallas and just might be ready to provide the speed option the U.S. team needs now. I still have my reservations about how he will fit into the team and whether he will be a good fit in the lineup, but I do think he gets a look. He’s certainly played well enough to deserve one.


TOM SHARPE– Do you think Costa Rica's coach is at fault for the game? I mean the United States scored a goal in the fifth minute of stoppage time, and all of his shenanigans had to add a minute or two to that clock.


IVES– Rene Simoes didn’t do himself any favors with that dust-up with the officials, but ultimately his team broke down. You can argue that he put them into a shell too soon, but again, was that Simoes game-plan or was that the team falling into a shell on its own? I personally think Costa Rica made a mistake of firing Rodrigo Kenton, and have yet to see evidence to make me believe otherwise.


ANDOLINI– How does Gooch's injury affect the likelihood that he will leave AC Milan?

IVES– Before the injury there seemed to be an assumption that he would make a loan move in January if he wasn’t playing more, but now that won’t be an option and he will likely return to AC Milan in February facing a very uncertain future for his club.


TEDMONDS– What will happen first: an American refereeing the finals of a world cup or the USA team playing in the finals of a world cup?

IVES– Not that I think either happens soon, but I’d bet on the USA team playing in a World Cup final before we see an American ref in the final.


BEN– As of today, who will our Starting forwards be in the first game in South Africa?

(If you say Connor Casey, I will start a rampage of kicking small defenseless Golden Retrievers – P.S. I love Golden Retrievers – Dont make me do it)

IVES– Ben, your wording makes it tough not to say Casey. You asked “as of today” and since Casey has started the past two qualifiers, isn’t he the most likely to get called on by Bob Bradley?

I’ll spare the dogs by saying I think Jozy Altidore and Clint Dempsey are the starting forwards in June at the World Cup.


MADISON– Any chance Eddie Johnson gets a call back?

IVES– There’s always a chance, particularly when he’s at a club like Fulham, but he has to get playing time for that to even be a possibility, which he isn’t getting right now. I’m actually more optimistic about Johnson than I was a year ago (and any point before that) but playing time is still the major hurdle for him and a place on the 2010 World Cup roster.


CMBOND– I remember watching the US U-17 team play in the Dallas Cup with Spector as the Center Back. He was outstanding in that tournament. Is there a possibility of using him as a Center Back in place of our two injured CB's?

IVES– There’s a slight difference between the U-17 level and senior level. I really don’t see him as a better center back options than others in the pool. He really is better suited to play the fullback positions (and even some defensive midfield if the U.S. team wasn’t already stacked there).


JONATHAN BORNSTEIN– How does that crow taste, Ives?

IVES– It tastes pretty good, but it also helps knowing that I motivated you to play better (taking credit is what people do when they criticize someone and then the criticized plays better, isn’t it?). In all seriousness, it's good to see Bornstein play well lately, and while no one should be penciling him in to be the starter at left back come June, if he continues to improve I don't see why he can't be a starter and an effective one in South Africa.


NATE– When is there going to be a weekly podcast? Surely this is the next logical step in the Ives global takeover of media.

IVES– As soon as I build up the SBI stable of writers (which is the plan), I will hopefully have more time to explore the pod cast option. I know people have been asking for one, and while I have been tempted to start up a raw pod cast just to get something going, I feel like it’s better to wait until I’m ready to run a polished podcast first rather than rushing into a bare-bones one.


DARTH MAUL– Can you explain the failure of the Canadian national team? They should be qualifying at least every other year with the talent they have.

IVES– It really is mind-boggling that Canada hasn’t done better than it has. When I look at a country like Costa Rica I can’t help but think Canada just has more talent and should be playing in World Cups at least as regularly as the Costa Ricans. All I hear from the soccer minds up north is that the Canadian Soccer Federation is to blame, but I don’t know enough about the situation up there to know if that’s entirely true.

I will say this, if Canada ever sorts things out on the administrative side, and some real structure and quality coaching gets put in place, CONCACAF will be that much tougher to qualify out of.


FIREBALL– Costa Rica's U-20's have gotten to the U-20WC semis, while the US team went 1-0-2 in the group.

Is Costa Rica going to be better than the US in 8 years?

IVES– No. That’s a pretty absurd suggestion based on a youth tournament result. I would suggest going back and looking at U-20 results and see what sort of pre-cursor to success the U-20 World Cup results have been. It’s a flawed tournament where most teams don’t have their best players.


BALOOSH– Have you ever met Guiseppi Rossi's father considering he is a figure in New Jersey high school soccer?
If yes, did his son's nationality come up?
If no, what would you ask him when you did meet him?

IVES– I covered Fernando Rossi’s Clifton High teams for three seasons before he left. We had a pretty good relationship back then, and I recall Giuseppe being just a very young kid who would occasionally train with the team and was a special talent even back then.


MIKE K– 1) Will Ireland to qualify for world cup? (asked pre-draw)
2) Gooch to start the first game for the US at the world cup after his injury?
3) Will Richie Williams coach the first game at Red Bull Arena?
4) Will St Pauli win promition to the 1.Bundesliga?

IVES– 1. Yes. 2. Yes. 3. No (though if it were up to me the answer would be yes). 4. No.


BRENT– Ives Galarcep is hungry one night after writing 5 blog entries. He decides to grab some fast food. Where does he go and what does he get?

IVES– KFC and Chinese food are probably two main options (which Ives Galarcep should probably cut down on).


WERNER– Hey Ives, i love checking this website like once an hour (no obsession or anything)

Three questions
What do you think about Eric Wynalda doing Fox Soccer Fone In?

If you had the power to put Landon Donovan in any European team in which he would thrive in, which would it be?

So You Think You Can Dance or American Idol?

IVES– Hey Werner, thanks for being an SBI regular.

I haven’t watched a single second of Wynalda on the Fox show, but I’ve heard more positive reviews than negative ones.

I would put Donovan on Sevilla.

American Idol.


BECKSTER– Thanks for the site. It is great and I check it all day.

After this last round of qualifiers, has Dolo replaced Spector as starting right back and if yes, could Spector challenge Bornstein for left back?

IVES– Thanks Beckster. I would say match-ups could factor in who starts between Cherundolo and Spector. Opponents with stronger and more physical wingers offer a better match-up for Spector (like Honduras) while teams with more traditional speedy wingers are a better match-up for Cherundolo. Ultimately, I think playing time in Europe could tell the tale because if Cherundolo continues to start and play well he will inevitably be sharper than Spector if Spector stops getting minutes at West Ham.

As for Spector at left back, as I’ve said before, a big part of Spector’s game is his crossing ability, which is negated on the left. Far too much has been made about his stint as a starting left back for West Ham. That stint was very much a stop-gap situation, but that doesn’t mean Spector won’t find opportunities for minutes under Gianfranco Zola.


MEMROOK– How long 'til SBI gets his own radio/tv show on ESPN or something like FSC???

Had you heard how AC Milan is looking for compensation from the US Soccer Fed for Onyewu's injury. They said they cannot afford to pay the wages of an injured player due to national team duty. Are they serious? Does compensation happen often? What's your take?

IVES– The radio/TV show thing isn’t a bad idea. I would say the next year will be a very interesting one for SBI so it will be interesting to look back on that question a year from now.

As for Milan’s request for compensation for Onyewu, it’s all just posturing. Big clubs have long complained about players being injured during national team duty, but FIFA will never back clubs with regard to those complaints. Consider Chelsea losing Michael Essien to injury last year while he was on duty with Ghana. Do you think Ghana’s federation was going to pay Essien’s wages while he was out? That whole idea will never catch on, no matter how much delusional club officials like Galliani complain about it.


BHO– If you were FIFA, how would you determine seeds for the World Cup Draw?

IVES– FIFA ranking combined with Confederation Cup performance. Okay, seriously, the current format isn’t terrible, though I think qualifying performance should be factored in as well, so if you win your qualifying group you get a higher ranking.


What do you think of these answers? Agree or disagree with any of them? Share your thoughts below.


  1. Ives, great site, I am a die hard nyrb fan, but this year made it hard to continue supporting. You have been at practices and know the organization, is everyone there bad at their jobs? I am not talking on the field, it just seems like their Front Office doesnt know what its doing, their team staff (not just coaches) changes all the time (i read they had three team administrators the last three years) where other teams have consistancy in those departments. Thoughts?

  2. Ives, great site,

    I was wondering who you think can hit the best direct free kick of all US players. I’m talking a shot on goal, over or around the wall, not a cross into the box. I know Eddie Lewis can hit a good one, but who else? Is Donovan the best we got? I’ve seen Clint and Michael Bradley hit a few, but they tend to just hit the wall. I heard Jozy spent some time working on them. Thoughts?

  3. KFC? Surely there is a local South American (Peruvian) rotisserie chicken place near where you live…

    And I’m sick of Chinese take out, the sauces are getting to sugary for me…

    (SBI-Well, I was thinking more of what’s quick and easy, and there’s a KFC nearby where I live. As for a good Peruvian chicken place, I have to drive a bit to get to one.)

  4. Having anything more remote in the past than the last world cup is a fscking joke if FIFA purports to care about the state of the game.

  5. @ jonathan “…and to address Adu more specifically, he’s got the best ball skills in the national team pool period.”

    Your point might be valid if the ball handling was confined to a gym without any pressure. Did you watch much of the Gold Cup? Adu, the guy with “the best ball skills” was routinely and easily tackled off the ball by some of our CONCACAF brethren. He may not even the best ball handler on the bench.

  6. Wow, I would loooove to see LD at Sevilla. I agree- perfect situation for him with those forwards and Sevilla’s gorgeous attacking play!

  7. Wynalda is a disaster on FFF. Obnoxious, abrasive, rude to callers. Doesn’t speak in full sentences. Doesn’t know what he’s talking about. Pretty much talks out of his a$$. Guess you could say I don’t much like the guy.

  8. Hi Ives,

    Love these Q&A sessions. Regarding WC seeding, what do you think the chances are that FIFA seeds the first 16 teams or better yet (there’s my bias) all 32.

  9. FIFA regs are clear on the point — Club teams are required to carry their own insurance for players on national team duty, if they want to be protected. They cannot come after the national federations. It has nothing to do with making a convincing case. The rules are the rules.

    Ives misses the legal structure here in his answer, however he does set out the logic behind the FIFA regulation. There’s no way third world federations could afford the insurance to cover players like Essien, Drogba or Yorke — and they surely couldn’t cover the salaries out of pocket. Sorry, AC Milan. I assume they have insured Gooch’s contract. If not, they’re idiots.

  10. Texar – he answered the podcast question in the post.

    Ives – Donovan at Sevilla would be awesome, is there some sort of voodoo ritual chant thing I can do to make that happen? I’m assuming he’ll get a loan, and I’m hoping it’s not to freaking Germany again…

  11. @ K.P. if you don’t know “what the heck” is with Freddy Adu, then you don’t know much about soccer. Dos Santos to a lesser extent, Kerlon, Jao, and Adu are all players who were “youtube’ed” tagged to be great 5 years ago, adn who all have enormous potential… Hopefully we’ll be able to see all three of them become stars in the next 10years.. emphasis on the 10 years: and to address Adu more specifically, he’s got the best ball skills in the national team pool period. If we had a true holding midfielder, and let Lando play a left wing (floater) diamond with adu playing cam (and if jozy’s first touch improves) we’d have one of the top 10 attacking forces in the world… unfortunately that’s a few too many ifs.

  12. Paul summarized the effect of WC seeding formula perfectly; however, let’s keep following that train of thought.

    By making seeding self-perpetuating, the famous teams stay, well, famous.

    After all does FIFA really want to risk their gravy train by allowing Denmark, Paraguay, S. Korea, or, perish the thought, the US to become a temporary power due to a golden generation, a lucky tournament or a great qualifying campaign?

    I believe the term is “working as designed”…

    Maybe you want corroboration that they feel a lucrative FIFA *is* for the good of the game?

    Exhibit B: FIFA decides last minute to seed UEFA to maximize the chances of France and Portugal competing in SA.

    Clearly they care who is in AND who does well. I’m sure they like Cinderella’s too, as long as they mix it up with the big boys.

  13. I can see Dovovan playing for Sevilla. Him linking up with Kanoute and Fabiano with Jesus Navas and Diego Capel running the flanks, hmmm…..

  14. Ives, have you ever consider podcasts? I know many would subscribe to it. At least I would. it doesn’t have to be every day… maybe a weekly podcast? I haven’t been able to find a good us soccer podcast.

  15. The worst thing about WC seeding (which gives great weight to recent WC performances) is that it is self-perpetuating. You do well, you get a good seed, which makes it easier to do well, etc. You get placed in a tough group, so it’s harder to do well, so it’s hard to get a seeding next time, etc.

  16. In relation to the Eric Wynalda question….doesnt it seem like the US has/had pretty untalented bunch of tv announcers..i.e. wynalda, harkes (kill me now), and…(thank god he’s gone) balboa? You need to get in on some of that action Ives.

  17. Wow, could I write a more convoluted response? Ok, what I’m really trying to say is club teams should compensate national for benching their national stars, contributing to their poor form, ha!

  18. Thanks for answering my question, Ives. Yinka Double Dare makes a very good point: even if FIFA allowed clubs to demand compensation from national federations (which has been made clear to me that FIFA doesn’t allow that kind of thing), Milan have NO argument. They’ve played him in how many league/cup games??? Like maybe a total of 60 minutes?

    I read another good point somewhere else: big teams like AC Milan make lots of money (i.e. shirt, ticket sales) employing popular players who play for their respective national teams. National teams can make a player a star, which in turn makes that player’s club earn more money.

    Therefore, the United States fed should demand compensation from AC Milan for their not playing Onyewu enough which led to his poor play on Wednesday! I know, I know, it doesn’t make much sense, but a point nonetheless.

  19. Ives,

    I’m a transactional attorney here in northern California, which means I’m a slave to the billable hour. But every hour or two, I find enough time to surf two websites: 1) and 2) Sad, but true. On to the questions:

    1) The USMNT has this horrble knack of falling behind early, and then having to claw it’s way back to a draw or a last gasp win. While it makes for great drama, it won’t work in SA next summer. What, if anything, can we do to remedy this problem?

    2) What in God’s name is the obsession with Freddy Adu!?!? The guy has done, um, just about nothing his entire career.

    This really is a fantastic and informative site.

  20. Somewhere, the Colonel is smiling on you, Ives!

    I can see FIFA’s point on including past WC performance into the seeding equation, but I also dig the idea you floated of considering the qualification performance. That, to me, is much more important than the FIFA ranking (which is absolute bollocks).

    (SBI-To be fair, i think the current FIFA rankings formula is miles better than the old formula, which was scrapped just a few years ago.)

  21. I don’t understand why Gooch is not likely to be loaned in January? assuming that he is healthy by December.. could be a good rehab stint playing 90 min in the Sire B.

  22. My impression of Eric Wynalda:


    “No caller… you don’t know soccer. I’ve played in Costa Rica before so you can’t possibly have a valid point.”

    Nick: “Uhm, Eric, the caller said she thought Costa Rica was a beautiful country”

    Eric;- “No, I’ve played there. It’s a cess pit. Listen to me damnit, I’m Eric Wynalda.

  23. What are going top be the surprise call-ups in January considering the Davies/Gooch injuries and the left back issues? Any “left field” call ups?

  24. What about Michael Parkhurst? Why is he not on the radar with all the CB injuries? Is he not getting time in Denmark for Nordhjsjsjsdllannd?

  25. I don’t think the issue of compensation for Milan is even an issue. FIFA law states the club are fully responsible for their player in every way, shape or form while he is no national team duty. It’s a blanket law, as far as I know it covers everything that wouldn’t involve misconduct of some sort by the national team.

    There was no misconduct here…Gooch unfortunately blew his PT but it happened on camera, there is no way to blame U.S. Soccer so Milan won’t receive a dime.

  26. As I noted in the other thread: if Milan wants compensation, 50 bucks and an Olive Garden coupon should do it considering how much playing time they were actually giving Gooch.


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