Ever wonder who the best players not playing in the World Cup are? Have you had questions about just how much MLS allocations are worth? Have you spent time thinking about whether Canada will ever be a CONCACAF power?
These are just some of the questions and topics covered in this latest installment of Your January Questions Answered.
Here are some more of Your January Questions Answered:
JC– Are we being little too tough on Freddy Adu and Jozy Altidore when Mexico is having similar problems with their prodigies Carlos Vela and Giovani Dos Santos, who are having their own problems at their respective clubs (Arsenal, Tottenham)?
IVES– Very fair point. I think fans put way too much pressure on young Americans to live up to unrealistic expectations. The criticism recently of Altidore sounds totally misguided to me. He’s playing games in the EPL and doing well but since he’s not scoring goals some folks want to rip him. That just makes no sense at all. Adu’s situation is a bit different since he’s been in Europe a few years and has yet to really establish himself at all.
SCOTT– Hey Ives, love the site. What do you think the chances of a team in the south getting a team? Atlanta maybe? When do you think it will happen?
IVES– Miami and Atlanta are the most likely targets and both have reputations as weak markets for pro sports. Neither has an obviously strong ownership group ready to pounce so I’m not sure we’ll see a southern team in the near future, which is a shame.
LANDYCAKES– Who's your darkhorse favourite to win the world cup? Considering that, who will finish top four?
IVES– What qualifies as a “:darkhorse favorite”? I think Spain and Brazil are the favorites, while England is getting a lot of consideration (at least before Terry-Gate.). I would say the Netherlands is a team that has to be considered, while I could see Serbia as a longer long shot.
JTnTEXAS– What is the chance that the MLS season is:
1)delayed due to the negotiation target day being missed and a lock out or strike happening;
2)canceled completely (i.e. NHL)due to lock out or strike;
and what are the ramification to MLS, the US National Team and soccer in the US in general.
IVES– 1. I’d say there’s a 25 percent chance of a delayed start to the season due to a lockout/strike.
2. I really don’t see a complete lockout/strike. I’d say there’s a one percent chance of that happening
AMIT– I'm sorry if this has been asked before, but when an MLS team gets an allocation or partial allocation, I always wonder how much that is? Is there a fixed amount? If there is a range, could you approximate lowest to highest amount? Thank you!
IVES– I have heard of allocation values being as little as $60-$75K and as high as $300K. Allocations can be broken up into different values but start out in the $300K range.
RLW2020– Will Canada ever become a major rival to the US? they seem to have all of the pieces in the right places with good players and growing fan interest. maybe by the next HEX?
Also which current US player would you like to see take a coaching job in the MLS in the next 5-8 years, or take a TV Broadcasting job?
IVES– It’s interesting because there has been plenty of talent from Canada heading to Europe for years. With Toronto and Vancouver setting up shop, and with both teams expected to set up qualify player development systems, which should mean even more talent. Ultimately, the Canadian federation needs to step up and do a better job of running things.
ADAM IN IRVINE-Two questions I've always pondered, Ives:
1) First and foremost, who is the most well-known person that you have met who reads your columns/tweets/SBI?
2) Have you ever though of having a soccer celebrity guest column? Such as having Gooch do a write-up for you while he's rehabbing, maybe he could explain the day-to-day of coming back?
IVES– Other than players, I can’t say I’ve had an actual celebrity emerge as a reader. As for a celebrity guest column, I doubt a player would agree to one, but it’s something to think about.
SERGIO of SF– Now that the second division has been approved by USSF. Do you ever see teams being relegated as is done just about everywhere else in the world? I would like this to happen once a 20 team league is well established.
IVES– Not happening any time soon, if ever.
WAKE– What would be your starting XI of players from countries that didn't make the World Cup?
IVES– Here goes:
———-Zlatan Ibrahimovic———Emmanuel Adebayor——-
Ryan Giggs———————————————–Luka Modric
Yuri Zhirkov———————————————–Darijo Srna
——Vincent Kompany————-Thomas Vermaelen————
(SBI-Apologies for listing Yaya Toure, who is from Ivory Coast, but I was thinking of Seydou Keita. Given the position, Diarra slots in. Also, Given has to get the nod over Igor Akinfeev, who is good but not quite at Given's level yet.)
KP– Assuming Stuart Holden does not return for the Dynamo, what other midfielders in MLS could Houston bring in as his replacement?
IVES– Christian Gomez is available. Amado Guevara was available before returning to Motagua. I have a feeling Houston will look outside MLS for a playmaker.
ERIC– Aside from keeper, I think the Nats should be about our best 10 players instead our best four defenders, best four midfielders, and best two forwards. If Bob were to choose a different game plan and put our best 20 feet out in the field, who would you like to see out there? Defense would be four guys who have a good sense of defensive assignments but can also distribute under pressure. That, for me, would put Little Bradley and Jermaine Jones (if healthy) in the middle with Holden and Beckerman on the left and right, respectively. From left to right in the midfield, you get Edu, Fielhaber, Donovan, and Rogers. And up top, you have Dempsey and Altidore. Some would complain there isn't a target forward between Dempsey and Altidore, but the idea is that everyone on the field can now possess instead of rely on long balls. Was this idea doomed forever when Beasley fell apart at left back? It just doesn't seem right to pin the feasibility of that game plan on the results of a single player who relies so much on riding his own tide of confidence.
IVES– With all due respect, this is one of the sillier suggestions I’ve heard. You do realize that a team needs to be able to defend, right? I also don’t think Beasley was tried at left back because of Bob Bradley’s desire to apply this strategy. Beasley, when on form, brings some good defensive qualities to the left flank. At least he used to.
I do agree that the U.S. team needs some better technical quality, but you can’t simply move players around and out of position all over the field.
KYLE BURKHOLDER– Does Donovan have any control if he does wish to leave MLS for Europe? I was surprised he signed the MLS contract when he did, considering European clubs could be very interested after the WC, but maybe not willing to pay the outrageous price MLS is sure to ask for him.
IVES– I’ve been told Donovan doesn’t have any out clauses in his new deal, but I have to believe there is some sort of agreement, whether binding or a handshake agreement, that if a major bid comes in MLS will consider it.
JANK– With seattle huge fan base, are they gonna get/try and get their own stadium?
IVES– I don’t get the sense that this is an issue for Seattle right now. Qwest Field is just fine aside from the turf and building a stadium with anywhere close to the same capacity would cost a fortune. That’s not even considering location. They’re not finding a better location than where Qwest Field is.
MENLO PARK TF– Do you ever see City ever overtaking United as the marquee club in Manchester?
IVES– Not any time soon, but if City’s owners keep spending and United’s owners keep driving the club into debt, it just might happen. I still don’t think it will though until Alex Ferguson retires.
SAM-Can you believe how crazy dollar menus have gotten recently? For 3 dollars, I can get 3 chicken sandwiches at Wendys, 3 double burgers at BK, or 3 Five Layer
Burritos at Taco Bell!
IVES– This is true, but do you really want three of any of those? I can’t imagine you being able to function if you had any of those trios. Now, if BK puts its Chicken sandwich on the dollar menu all bets are off.
RICH– I've been hearing a lot about MLS adding a second DP slot for 2010. I was initially in favor of the idea because I want the on-field product to improve. However, it's virtually impossible for one player to elevate the overall level of play in MLS. And with the exception of Beckham, the existing DP's haven't really generated much buzz. Wouldn't the money that would go toward a 2nd DP be better spent on 3 or 4 stronger senior players?
IVES– Beckham is the only DP to generate much buzz? Really? How much do you watch MLS? It’s safe to say Cuauhtemoc Blanco and Freddie Ljungberg created buzz and Juan Pablo Angel has proven to be more than worthy of a DP slot.
I agree with your premise that if the choice is between teams having a second DP slot and teams being able to sign multiple players of higher quality then multiple players would help more, but it should also be noted that the market for quality talent in the 100-300K price isn't exactly unlimited and that's what I don't think people realize. At a certain point you need to be able to pay considerably more than non-DP max to bring in real talent.
CHUCK Z-Is there a more badass movie character than Wesley Snipes' Blade? I mean that man should receive an Oscar for his deliver of the word F***.
IVES– Blade was a pretty bad dude, but there have been plenty of folks who were even more intimidating. Who? Here are some great all-time movie badasses (and I'm listing strictly heroes and anti-heroes, not any outright bad guys).
Josy Wales (The Outlaw Josey Wales)
Bruce Lee (Enter the Dragon)
Jason Bourne (The Bourne Identity)
William Munny (Unforgiven)
Snake Plisskin (Escape from New York)
Brian Mills (Taken)
Mickey O'Neil (Snatch)