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SBI Live Q&A (February 3rd Edition)

Good afternoon everybody (and good morning on the West Coast). It's SBI Live Q&A Time.

Time for us to talk soccer. Whether it's MLS, U.S. national team or European soccer, get your questions ready to send my way. We can talk about all things soccer (as well as some pop culture).

Want to talk MLS pre-season? The upcoming UEFA Champions League Round of 16? The U.S. national team's upcoming matches? Americans Abroad? We can talk about all those things, and more, over the next few hours.

Let's get started:





  1. I think the “new Chicarito” comment attributed to Arsenal came from the fact the Vancouver coach used to play for Wenger in France, and they were probably yapping recently and Tietur told Arsene he had the “new Chicarito” on his team in Salgado and it ended up in the paper. Or something like that.

  2. Thanks for the reply Ives,

    I don’t know for certain as to who the top attackers would rate as the best defender(s) I was just assuming they would list players they haven’t had success against but by nature of your job your in a position to actually get the real answer!!! (would be an awesome piece btw)

    Bottom line I’m just having a hard time understanding how John can effectively mark (i.e not get beat) by the same quick and shifty players that you say he lacks the agility to cope with?

    I do understand the difference between MLS and ITN’L level soccer…

    that’s precisely why I don’t understand how someone who hasn’t been exposed at the MLS level can be rated lower than a player(s) who have.

    I realize its all opinion and time will reveal the real…and you could be right that John (although good) is mainly a product of D.Hernandez and Ugo and Hartmans headstanding..we’ll see.

    Again it be awesome if you could do a poll

    of starting defenders rating the toughest attackers to defend and vice versa

    (SBI-John has never been exposed? Did you see him as a rookie? He was definitely exposed on multiple occasions his rookie season. He improved in 2010, but so did the supporting cast around him.)

  3. I know I’m a fan of Ives too, soccer site on the net by far.

    Maybe lateral quickness refers to being able to quickly step in front of a player coming down the lane to get into position to take a charge…oh wait that’s bball.

    I dunno. They say Gonzales lacks it…and I admit he does seem to shuffle his feet abnormally slow BUT Ive heard Ream accused of the same thing yet only seen him beat when he hesitates to make a move which is obviously more mental than physical so its hard to tell one way or the other

    I’m now as curious as you as to what the definition is, how it applies to the CB position, and Ives opinion as to who has it.

    (SBI-Lateral quickness refers to being able to move quickly in closed situations and being able to deal with quick and shifty players. There’s a difference between a quick and fluid centerback who can move his feet quickly when faced with a shifty player in the area and a plodding centerback who’s slow to react to moves and jukes. John and Gonzalez are lacking in that department. Ream is actually pretty good in that department. People try to use the Convey playoff goal as evidence of his lack of it but that play was a case of him cheating to Convey’s strong side and letting him turn onto his stronger foot (more a rookie mistake than physical limitation).

    When talking about the better centerbacks in the world, guys like Pepe, Vidic, Pique and Puyol, those players can cope with quick and shifty players as well as pure fast players or big and strong players. In MLS right now I’d say Jamison Olave, Chad Marshall, Ugo Ihemelu, Jason Hernandez and Ike Opara are some players who I can think of who have the agility to cope with quicker and shifty attacking players.)

  4. Gosh, I really think this is the strongest midfield I have ever seen. Holy Smokes…
    If only we could shore up our defense. I mean wow.

    how do you see the US midfield lining up for the Gold Cup, assuming a 4-5-1?


  5. 1:42
    [Comment From well?]
    so who is the best player in concacaf?
    Landon “Chicharito” Dempsey


    Curious though, what did happen to Dos Santos?

  6. 1:31
    Doesn’t your question count as a Henry question though? #MindBlown
    And yes, I know this isn’t Twitter, but still.


  7. hahaha, great answer man, I believe Ives is almost right every time but I’ve seen George play and he looks good for me, so, I asked whats laterla quickness cause I just don’t know, is it how fast you can catch a striker on the sides or what?

  8. Haha

    Ives was caught repeating the urban myth about George Johns lack of quickness/(pace)

    I’ve personally never seen him beat to OR for a 50/50 ball but as a Dallas fan I actually like it better that he remains just off the radar as it should serve to keep him hungry.

    I bet if you ask Casey, Cummings, Buddle, Findly, Espindola, etc who the best Center back is in MLS the answer would be a lot different than what you find in the media / net forums.

    (SBI-Do you honestly think a survey of forwards would come up with George John as the best in MLS? Don’t think so. There’s a difference between straight speed and lateral quickness. The latter refers to the ability to make quick adjustments in closed situations, being able to deal with cuts and quick movements. Omar Gonzalez can run pretty fast when he gets going on a full sprint, but get him in one on one with a shify player like David Ferreira on him and his lack of quickness gets exposed. Same goes for John, though not as badly. You can sing John’s praises as this amazing centerback all you want. I agree that he’s good but I’d also argue that the combination of Daniel Hernandez, Ugo Ihemelu and Kevin Hartman helped him look even better than he is.

    And for the record, I was higher on George John as a prospect coming out of college than most. I raved about him at the Combine, and I do think he’s a very good defender. There’s just a difference between the MLS level and international level. If John proves he has it on the higher level then hats off to him, but if he keeps getting ignored for call-ups you probably shouldn’t just assume people are blind to his amazingness and accept that he’s not as amazing as you say he is.)

  9. Yves,

    Who are some of the top youth prospects already connected to MLS academies? Obviously, not all of these players will sign with their parent clubs, but it would be interesting to get an indication of which teams have the most promising pipelines of talent.


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