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Your November Questions Answered (Part 2)

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It's the Monday after Christmas and while I'm sure many of you are at work wishing you weren't at work, here is something to help you pass the time.

This is the second installment of Your November Questions Answered. I will be posting some more answers through the week before posting the December Q&A on December 31. And yes, one of my New Year's Resolutions is to starting answering these Q&As more quickly.

Now, onto some more of Your Questions Answered:

PREKI– What non-playoff team do you see make the biggest-off season splash and being next year's version of the Galaxy's worst to first?

IVES– It’s still too early to tell since teams need to make their signings and draft picks but it wouldn’t surprise me to see Toronto FC or FC Dallas making some real noise in 2010. The Red Bulls could also turn things around, but that will depend largely on what coach they bring in, and whether or not a certain French striker actually shows up this summer.


DOMAGOJ– Don't you think it is time to give Nick Rimando a look at the national team level? He has been pretty consistant over the last 3 years and I rank him higher than Hahneman and Perkins. Also, what does RSL do with Seitz?

IVES– Bob Bradley must have heard you. Rimando will be in the January camp and deservedly so. That being said, I’m not sure I’d rate him ahead of Hahnemann.


JR– Philly Union – who do you think they go after for their DP, thoughts on the expansion draft on wednesday, is the stadium going to be ready by the spring…it still looks like a pile of dirt and concrete

IVES– I don’t have an idea of names but I think it’s fair to say the Union will use a DP on either a forward or a playmaking midfielder. As for the stadium, I’d say it will be ready by the summer. A lot of progress has been made on the project, but a spring opening seems unlikely.


DYLAN– Ives- Love the site. What do you think the next move is for Brian Perk? Do you think he enters the MLS draft or looks to sign somewhere in Europe?

IVES– Perk is in the MLS Draft and he should be one of the first three keepers selected. I can see him as a second-round pick.


SUSHANT– We keep talking about the lesser known players in Europe getting a look (e.g Jeremiah White) but they haven't been called into a USMNT camp yet. What gives?

Also, what's with BBmcalling in Castillo and playing him as a mid? Why not try him at Left Back and see how he does?

IVES– Who is “they” in this question? Marcus Tracy and Alejandro Bedoya have been called into the January camp so White is really the only player I can think of who people are clamoring for, but the fact is White hasn’t played much at all in recent months for AGF Aarhus so his lack of a call-up makes sense. As for Castillo playing on the wing in his debut rather than at left back, Castillo best traits on the wing are his ability to get forward so it could simply be that Bob Bradley sees him as a candidate to play left wing as well as left back and put him on the wing in a game the U.S. team was losing and needed goals in.


JONATHAN– 1. What ever happened to GolTV's weekly program "American Soccer"? Any info?

2. How would Marta do in MLS? Hypothetically, of course. Would she be a starter? Would she be a star of the league or an average MLS player? Just curious what you think.

IVES– 1. I was told the show was cut due to budget issues. 2. How would Marta do in MLS? I really don’t think she’d be an MLS player. She could productive player on the men’s college level, and even that might be a stretch. I’m sure some folks would disagree, but that’s about how I’d rate her.


SEA OTTER– Did Leweike(sp?) let the cat out of the bag in his Guardian interview regarding upping the # of DP's?

True or not, does this add fodder to the CBA negotiations (overlooking the players the league is built upon sort of stuff)?

IVES– Don Garber shot down Lieweke’s claim of MLS going to three designated players and the reality is that it would be crazy for MLS to make that decision when the CBA has yet to be negotiated.


FELIX– Michael Orozco has seen regular playing time for San Luis while they have made their run in the Mexican Apertura playoffs. He plays a position that is in some flux right now for the national team at CB, but has not been called up since the red card at the Olympics. Do you think Bradley is still holding the red card incident against him? Why do you feel he hasn't been called up since the Onyewu injury? Do you feel he should be given another chance?

IVES– Orozco is a promising prospect, but it needs to be said that just because you start in the Mexican League, particularly as a defender, doesn’t mean you suddenly become a U.S. national team player. Duilio Davino, who was awful in MLS, starts in Mexico, and Daniel Hernandez, who has joined FC Dallas, was a regular starter in Mexico before moving back home and nobody was calling for him get a call-up when he was a starter in Mexico.

All that being said, he’s young and has a bright future, but his time hasn’t come yet.


WALLY– How do you see mls growing when we seem to be losing so many young americans to other leagues that are at least on par with Mls.
What can be done to target high caliber players from central america and south america?

And also what is the status on how many DPs will be allowed for 2010, and could it go up to 3 perhaps?

IVES– Losing top talent is a problem leagues throughout the world must deal with. It’s not an MLS-only issue. The allure of Europe is a strong one, not just for the money, but also the chance to move closer to the bigger European leagues. The key for MLS is to start developing more talent at a faster rate. By developing more talent, MLS can grow to the point where it doesn’t have to lose players leagues like Norway and Denmark


BECKSTER– Ives, given what we know today about our MNT defenders, (length of time out on injury, playing time, skills etc), who do you predict will be our back four in South Africa?

Who are three survivors when Lost wraps up next spring?

IVES– The back-line vs. England in the World Cup opener will be Jonathan Spector, Oguchi Onyewu, Carlos Bocanegra and Steve Cherundolo. It wouldn’t shock me of Bornstein got the nod, but ultimately I think we’ll see Spector on the left in that game. I also realize that Bocanegra isn’t starting for Rennes, and Jay DeMerit might be considered a better alternative since he’s playing, but I see Bocanegra being in the lineup.

As for the three survivors when Lost ends? I’ll go Jack, Hurley and Sun.


KERNEL KLINK– You mentioned earlier that LD might be the best option up top now that CD is out. He obviously would be our best forward but does this outweigh the problem of taking our best player out of what seems to be his best position and putting him in a position of need?
Also, what odds would you give that either of Maurice Edu or Jermaine Jones will be a contributor in S.A.?

IVES– That problem you speak if is what led to Donovan moving to left wing in the first place. Part of the reason Donovan moved to the left flank was DaMarcus Beasley’s absence and loss of form. If Beasley can maintain good form then Donovan can certainly become an option up top, though you could also argue that he and Beasley could man the wings while Clint Dempsey moves up top. That might ultimately be the better option.

As for odds on Edu and Jones contributing in the World Cup? I’ll say Edu is 5-1, Jones is 8-1.


STEED– If the US Open Cup is open to all teams in the United States, why don't College teams enter? Are there off season NCAA restrictions? Do you think some of the powerhouse teams of the NCAA could make a decent run?

IVES– There are NCAA restrictions that would prevent a college-affiliated team from competig in the U.S. Open Cup, but individual players can play for their own amateur club teams. That being the case, I imagine that a college team could compete together but under a different name. If that were so, I do think a team like Wake Forest, Virginia or Akron could get to the Round of 16 and even Round of 8.


JASON– What players from the 1990's and 2000's do you see as legitimate possibilities to coach the USMNT in the future?

IVES– Funny that you mention that because I heard of a pretty interesting list of names of former national team players going for their A coaching licenses this month. Claudio Reyna, Jeff Agoos and Alexi Lalas were three of a handful of well-known former players who were getting those licenses and Reyna is the one player who I see having the knowledge and temperament to be a good coach.


A.S.-As usual, there are a ton of questions about potential moves from MLS to Europe in the upcoming transfer window. From Landon Donovan to Rico Clark and Ching, Holden, etc. My question is – should players hoping to play extensively in the World Cup really try to move clubs in January? In many cases, they will be trying to break into an established team, and will likely have a lot of difficulty getting playing time. In Landon's case, if he transfers/goes on loan in January, he will have played for more than 2 years straight – Galaxy, National Team (including Confed Cup), Bayern loan, and whoever his new team will be. He's going to be exhausted come June, no?

It seems to me that the best plan of action for all those guys – at least if the World Cup is their top priority – is to stay with their MLS clubs until the August transfer window. Thoughts?

IVES– I’d say your course of action is the safest, not necessarily the best. Sometimes opportunities come when you will have to risk something to take them and that’s where a player has to make a tough decision. For players like Ricardo Clark and Stuart Holden, they need to think about their entire career, and not just about the 2010 World Cup, and therefore they can’t just pass up a golden opportunity to make a big move abroad because there’s a chance they won’t play. Pro athletes are generally confident people who believe they can handle challenges so I doubt the fear of failing is going to stop them from making major moves.

Ultimately, while it may be a short-term risk and potential for short-term disappointment, I think it’s more important for the long-term growth and strengthening of the national team that players take on these challenges. The more who take it, the more that will succeed, and the national team will grow when it has multiple players taking on the challenge of Europe and succeeding.

As for the question about Donovan and not getting enough rest, I think that’s a bit of a myth. Donovan is wrapping up a five-week break from the game, which is about the standard amount of break top European players get, from mid-to-late May through June, before returning for summer training camps and tours. Donovan will have had a sizeable break much more recently than the likes of Tim Howard and Clint Dempsey by the time the 2010 World Cup roles around so I don’t see Donovan being too tired. If you want to talk about players who might be tired in South Africa, consider Spain's players from FC Barcelona. They played through until the Champions League final, then Confederations Cup, then a short break before resuming the La Liga season, then the Club World Cup in December before resuming play in January.



  1. “USA to win the Cup

    Maybe I’m being too generous here, but I’d set it at 40-1.”

    haha, good one!!!

    (im being sooo sarcastic..that was lame..very very lame

  2. Well we will agree to disagree then. 🙂

    To clarify, for the J.White commment, I think hes on the same level as the crop that’s being brought in to the Jan camp. I don’t think hes better than say J.Altidore. I just think he merits a look more than some of the MLS players.

    Ahm, the L.Castillo comment was directed at the original post at the top when L.Castillo was brought up in the convo. I don’t think Ives thinks that Castillo will be placed on the wing, but Ive seen it mentioned elsewhere. If, IF this happens it will be a tragic mistake is all I’m saying. He needs time immedietly to jell with the Yanks if he is to start at L.B. which is a good possiblity and in my view the best for us.

    As for the Int Coach search. True I only know from what I’ve read, but beside Klinsman Ive never seen us go elsewhere, thats been atleast reported on. As for Ruud failing at the Galaxy, we need to seperate the Yanks from the MLS. Two different beasts.

    Ding Dong, I couldn’t agree more. Sadily with so few information channels commited to soccer, burning bridges would prob be a bad move from a journos self intrests. However, The Yanks are OUR team, Not the Gulini’s (sp?) team. It seems to be a boys club thats being ran as a business promoting soccer in this country. Close ties to MLS, which I don’t really see as a problem as long as THEIR intrests dont get in the way of the Yanks. Which Ive seen happen.

    Look, I’m not all doom and gloom. I do like our chances to get out of group. I even like how we line up against England (as long as B.Bradley listens to this blog poster lol) and can see us pullin off an upset. But long term I see us stagnat and can’t see us getting to the next level under the current leadership. Have we made strides, yes. Are we on the right path, I’m up in the air on that.

    P.s. Is Honduras getting T.V. rights to the game in Jan? <-Should we not give their soccer fed some payback and hold out the TV contracts due to them not making sure we got to see the game. (Im aware of how the TV contracts were negotiated btw)

  3. (Sorry–my reply function isn’t working, but this is obviously in regards to the Edu/Jones odds.)

    I re-read the post and saw that the question was about “contributing”–that’s why I added in my revised odds. I still say 5-1 is far too long on Edu getting PT in the Cup. If he can stay healthy, I see him getting some time in the Cup…I’d even mark him down as a dark horse to start right now.

    4-1 is probably a little generous for Jones, but it’s close…I don’t think saying there’s a 20% chance of him seeing PT in the World Cup is way out of line.

    If you don’t mind, I’ve got a new odds question for you:

    USA to win the Cup

    Maybe I’m being too generous here, but I’d set it at 40-1.

  4. I have to disagree with your Jones and Edu odds. Maybe I’m overestimating Edu’s skill, but I think if he’s healthy and in form, he’ll be going to South Africa. He’s getting close to fully recovered from his injury and it wouldn’t surprise me if he’s starting for Rangers by the end of January (if not sooner). He’s far from a lock, but I think he’s got better than a 1-in-6 shot of making the team. I’d put him at 1-1 right now…it could really go either way.

    Jones only makes the squad 1-in-9 times? I get that this is largely an injury issue, but I see him as a lock if he recovers/regains form with enough time. That’s a huge “if”, but I still think there’s at least a 1-in-4 shot of him making it. So I’ll set his odds at 3-1.

    I suppose there is a distinction to be made between getting called up for the World Cup and actually making a contribution. In that case, I might drop Edu to 2-1 and Jones to 4-1. I guess what I’m getting at is, if you’re getting into the bookmaking business, I’d love to place a couple of bets with you.

    (SBI-Mike the question was “making an impact”. Edu needs to A) make the team and B) actually play in order to do that. As it stands, even if healthy he’s no lock to start. Jones situation is even more up in the air because of his poorly-healing leg. I think 4-1 is way too generous for a player who’s health is, at this point, a serious question mark. I’d just as soon play it safe and keep the odds long. If he gets back on the field any time soon then the odds would certainly change since I think he can start if healthy and integrated into the team (another issue that can’t be ignored).

  5. Just curious will we ever see the bational team try a 3-5-2 with some strong defensive mids and just see if it helps us get our best available players on the field? It’s not impossible to play 3 inn the back with defensive minded mids and I’d say with a weak back line and def. mids kinda what we have this would make since to look at?

  6. I really have to laugh at the question on “Martha” playing in MLS. The men’s and women’s games are on two completely different levels.

    One example, was that several years back the US Women’s Team as the defending World Champion were gearing up for the Olympics and played the US u-17 team as a warm up. The US 17s beat Mia Ham et all by a score of 6-0.

  7. Marta could definitely play in the MLS. DC would sign her, and benefit. She’d be more useful than Fred. If you watch her play, she doesn’t even have to dribble, she can pick players out with a long ball with scary accuracy, and make dangerous passes before coming in for the back pass. Don’t assume that one needs to be bigger or stronger (and let’s face it, she’s way more skilled than just about everyone in North America).

  8. i will agree with you on the press issue. 100%. i feel so let down at times by the journalists analyzing the game in this country.

    as far as your other points, we’ll have to agree to disagree. i dont think our players are good enough to compete at the highest level, always.

    no way you can assume j.white is as good or better than our crop of strikers when he’s scored fewer than 20 goals in the last FOUR years. i wont believe it.

    still dont really know where i stand on mike bradley starting all the time. i get frustrated at times but the time when he was struggling most the US was also in its greatest danger as far as qualifying is concerned. i love love love torres but im not sure i see him slotting in and bossing the game.

    also as far as your belief that we’ve never looked internationally for managers is a bit presumptive. you’ve never been involved in the search, so i dont think you can assume it didnt/doesnt exist. we almost hired klinsmann, and since that fell through their hasnt really been anything that bradley has or hasnt done to warrant his exit.

  9. we don’t have an international manager partly because it makes a lot of sense to have a manager who is very familiar with MLS and american soccer. ruud gullit didn’t know squat about the MLS and he failed at the galaxy. while we have a lot of players overseas now we still heavily rely on MLS and MLS products to carry the squad so it IS important our manager has a knowledge of it, something jurgen doesn’t. also bob didn’t play castillo at left back for 15 minutes of a friendly so everyone’s gotta chill. finally our players are not that good and while some may not be in the ultimate best positions i think bradley deserves credit for how much success we’ve had lately compared with the unreal talent and depth of other nations. our most respected international right now is either howard or dempsey, we do not have a single world beater in our side yet we’ve had success and are ranked up there with teams that do have more individual talent. i find it perplexing people hate on bradley when i really feel that he’s grown into the role and gives the team confidence through a quiet but strong work ethic and the players know the staff will pore over every detail of the opposition. counter-attack football is our best bet right now, we have a HUGE lack of striking talent and our strongest midfielder is as green as the toronto FC astro turf, be a little positive eh? also a mo edu/mike bradley midfield pairing will be our backbone this summer, i’m expecting great things

  10. Ives will yell at me if I am wrong (maybe even if I am right), but my impression is not that we don’t have good soccer coverage (this is site is an example of that) but that that the soccer journalism world isn’t large enough to encourage tough criticism.

    Size, I would imagine, matters because:

    1. The U.S. soccer world is small enough that people want to remain on good terms. There is no division, as there is in more developed countries, between those who get the scoop/do the soccer reporting and the guy with a newspaper column who can say whatever he wants since he does not need to maintain friendships with sources (or for that matter, related to my second point below, a guy with a newspaper column who is so established/important that sources can’t afford to ignore him — but let’s hope Ives is on the path to that!).
    2. There is no established soccer show that the USSF/MLS cannot afford to blow off; so journalists may worry about being too critical since that might spell the end of getting interviews, etc. (Does Jamie Trecker get interviews any more?). While a channel like ESPN or a paper like the Washington Post might have this power as an entity, the individual journalists working the soccer beat there don’t.

    Does this sound right? I have no idea, to be frank, but it seems plausible.

  11. To Steed & Ives. BYU does participate

    in the US Open Cup as a PDL side. They

    are not members of the NCAA because of

    traveling outside the USA only once for

    competition or invites to tournaments.

    So only BYU is the lone college side to

    particiapte in US Open Cup Qualifying

  12. I don’t think that we will be in the final anytime soon Jig. But I WANT to be there. It seems like the mindset is well if we have a good showing thats all that matters. Do I think we have players that are good enough? yes I do. Do I think they aren’t being used right. Yes I do. We need a midfielder who can control the ball and help build an attack. We can’t counter attack all the time and then bunker down. As for me being wrong on all my points, can you explain how I’m wrong on Torres starting, L.Castillo being used at left back instead of midfield, why J.White wasn’t called up (him not playing alot in the past isn’t good enough for me, Gooch would be called up though I recognize hes on a different caliber then J.White. Not to mention J.White is on par if not better then the strikers called up in the Jan Camp)How we haven’t ever looked elsewhere outside the U.S. for a coach, at least seriously? And if favoritsm doesn’t exist, why wasn’t bob jr. benched towards the end of the year, when his club form and Nat play suffered? I blame most of this on B.Bradley but also blame on the USSF. I’m diehard, but I don’t have blind love to the colors. Being a critic isn’t out of line.

    p.s. As for my soccer press comment, have you ever heard a tough question posed to the soccer brass? I mean other countries press hold their feet to the fire. We are just glad to see soccer on ESPN.

  13. dude, you’re wrong. on probably all of your points. and you’re completely delusional if you expect the united states to compete in the final of the world cup anytime soon. the players arent good enough, and that’s not the fault of national team manager.

  14. We don’t need another coach from the U.S. ranks. We need to think globally like EVERY other world class int. team. It amazes me that we always look for american talent instead of looking internationally. (Fyi- Klinsmen is moving back to L.A. with his fam.) As for B.B. not playing Castillo at left back, Ives I gotta raise a flag here. Why does it make more sense to play a player who has shown talent at the very position that has been our achillies tendon, LEFT BACK. Our midfield with the exception of GK has the most talent and options. Bornstien will get TORN UP if he goes against England. He’s worthy of the Yanks bench, MAYBE!! No. As usual, Bunker Bob’s call ups and placement of his players makes no sense. I would even bring up why Torres isnt starting! anyone wanna venture into explaining that? I’m sorry. L.Castillo should and hopefully will get a wack at left back. As for J.White, If the shmucks he called up from the MLS, which 80% have no chance of ever getting a cap are getting a look at, a striker with speed that isn’t a big target man (Bunkers favorite ie Ching) that could replace Davies, should get a look at. (I hear the reason he hasn’t gotten a look at was he critized the USSF.) Once again favortism has held back our national team. Now let me finsh by saying, IM A HUGE YANK fan. A member of the American Outlaws and an advid hater of England and Mexico. The problem is with the lack of soccer press (no offense Ives 😉 ) Bob’s feet haven’t been held to the fire. I’m not just happy advancing out of the group. I want to compete in the final. And the way our team is ran has frat boy favortism written all over it. Thanks for letting me rant 😉

  15. THANKS FOR SPOILING THE DEPARTED IVES!! I was going to go see it tomorrow.

    (SBI-Dude, that movie has been out forever. What other movies should I avoid talking about? Wizard of Oz? Godfather? Casablanca? LOL. Kidding man, The Departed is still an amazing movie worth seeing.)

  16. A minor correction to Felix’s question about Michael Orozco: he has been called into and capped with the senior team since the Olympics, away at Trinidad and Tobago in the semifinal round of Concacaf qualifying.

    I’ve watched him play a few times with San Luis and would say he doesn’t look as good as our other CB’s, but he’s still relatively young and could develop. I think he may be a little slow.

    Also, I believe he was getting significantly less playing time at the end of Apertura 2009–someone who follows San Luis more closely feel free to give better info.

  17. I’ll buy you the floats for your arms. As much as I dislike Lalas and his performances has personnel guy, it still better than that thing you called a country…Butchers of the game!!!

  18. yes he does. It’s been said and established already by most that league one players don’t deserve a call up just because they get minutes. League One is below MLS! Though i’d argue on behalf of Charlton Athletic, recently relegated. Pittman isn’t even starting anymore.

  19. take a hike redline…Lalas served our nation on the pitch with all he had. he may not be a good personnel guy in MLS or your favorite commentator, but he deserves respect. In all reality, he would have to work miracles with an MLS side before he’d ever get a crack at the USMNT. move to Mexico? seriously? we’d be better off without you

  20. Marta wouldn’t stand a chance in MLS. I watched the U.S. Women’s team (Hamm, Foudy, etc.) play the U.S men’s U-17 about eight years ago and the boys crushed them. Hamm talked after the game about how she thought Eddie Johnson, Santino Quaranta, and Justin Mapp were three of the best players she had ever played against. The difference in pace is astounding

  21. I don’t want anyone affiliated with being a fan of the USMNT who would ever consider moving to Mexico. I take Lalas over YOU every day of the week and twice on Sunday. Good riddance, RedLine55.

  22. the day Alexi Lalas becomes the USMNT head coach is the day I put away my stars and stripes and move to Mexico. Could you imagine? THE HORROR!

  23. i think Major League Soccer is past the point of losing good players to Norway, but Denmark(better league than Norway) is still a little bit more desirable than MLS and its possible a good MLS player may still want to go there even though Jeremiah White and Danny Califf both have left the Danish league

  24. I go to BYU and they are part of the PDL. Their team is their varsity team. They could play in the US open cup if they were good enough… They got creamed by RSL’s reserves

  25. In regard to AS’ question –

    Good question, but who has ever heard of Ching has having European possibilies? That’s news to me…

  26. The question was actually who are three survivors – not who are the three survivors…just looking for three people you still think will be alive at the end.

  27. Marta a productive player in the men’s college game? Not a chance.

    The college game is all about athleticism. Skill and finesse are considered liabilities.

  28. Rimando is a solid American Keeper, but WWWAAAAYYYY too short to be an effective international.

    Ives, you were very generous in your assessment of Marta. The USWNT routinely scrimmages U-16 boys teams and gets buried. Though a gifted skillfull player, she could not even compete physically on a mid level NCAA mens team. Dax McCarty dwarfs her!

  29. Who said Lost was only going to have 3 survivors?

    (SBI-I hadn’t heard that either, but was just answering the question. Would seem odd to kill off all but three. Crappy way to end a series, then again it worked for The Departed to kill everybody.)

  30. college teams in the open cup?

    that actually isn’t the worst idea in the world…

    maybe the NCAA would play ball…

    there technically is one college team that can enter (BYU), but they aren’t NCAA

  31. No ives a college team could not compete under a different name in the open cup. Only a certain amount of players from one college team can play on a seperate affiliated team such as PDL. Example, only 4 UCLA players can play for someone like the Loredo Heat.

    (SBI-Thanks for the info. I suppose the rule makes sense so as not to help teams circumvent the rules regarding off-season activities.)

  32. Ives–I hope you are right about the back four in the game vs. England! Please let your prediction get through Bob Bradley’s thick skull!


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