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SBI Live Q&A (June 29th Edition)


It's that time again everybody. Time to talk all things soccer in the latest SBI Live Q&A.

If you want to talk U.S. men's national team, Major League Soccer, or maybe some European transfer news, feel free to do it here. Send your questions my way and I will try to answer as many of them as I can over the course of the next few hours.

Let's get started (Q&A is after the jump):


  1. Yes I cited Castrol and here’s some more.

    John is now the highest ranked defender in MLS and 2nd in the league overall.

    In 57 games in the league John has never been beat 1v1 for a goal.

    puzzling how you could peg him to be “likely to regress” and “not likely to be an international caliber CB” as God doesnt believe that, Greece doesnt believe that, and I suspect Bradley doesnt believe that either.

    Make me wonder if you really have even watched him play closely?

  2. I just want to add something to your analysis, BB needs to go, I am one of those fans who want a real coach, he has no understanding of the game and no vision whatsoever.

    It´s unreal to loose a 2 0 advantage, twice.

  3. All three are good players, good center backs but all are flawed.

    And since we’ve mostly seen them in MLS it remains to be seen how they will translate to the next level.

    I am partial to Ream because the other two seem to be younger versions of Gooch before the light bulb went off in his head. But, as you saw in the Spain game and the Gold Cup, Ream has quite a lot of learning to do.

    Frankly, when it comes to CB, realistically, inthe next year, I want to see what Whitbread has to offer,see if there aren’t any other young candidates out there and see what Gooch does at Sporting.

    I think O-R-J need to move abroad lest they become the latest editions of Chad Marshall.

  4. While I admit I do not read every journalist who covers the USMNT I can’t agree with you that they are “almost all so uniformly protective of Bradley and Gulati,”.

    Now if you are contrasting them to the large mass of US fans who seem to want the have the heads of both men set on fire, on a pike in Times Square during the New Year’s Eve ball drop, then yes, in comparison, they are can be seen as protective.

    Perhaps the real problem is a semantic one.

    There is plenty of extremism provide by posters on a site such as this.

    If you are a professional sports columnist, then your job is write opinion pieces and that is very different from being a beat reporter covering the USMNT on a regular basis.

    It is not the job of a journalist/ reporter to call for someone’s head. They might write lots of stories about how a manager is close to losing his job or has performed poorly and may be in danger of losing his job but that is very different from saying “This guy needs to be fired”.

  5. Ives,

    You keep piling crow on the “I think G.John is not a INTL level CB” plate. WHY?

    Ive never tasted it but im sure its nasty lol.

    John (and Gonzalez) are ranked in the top 10 on the castrol.(Ream is #42btw) You dont get that high by being sloppy in possession.

    The only fault youve ever noted in Johns game is that he has “poor lateral acceleration” yet you cite no example nor would i expect you dare dare say either Omar or Ream have better “lateral acceleration”

    He’s the best with in MLS Ives. Take off the homer shades and find your fork 😛

    (SBI-He’s good, I just don’t rate him nearly as highly as you do. I think all three are comparable, I just rate Ream higher.

    And it wasn’t “lateral acceleration”, it was lateral quickness. Truth is it’s an issue for all three of the defenders you mentioned.

    And you didn’t really just cite the Castrol rankings, did you? Those things are a joke.)

  6. Why would anyone think that Hiddink or Bielsa would be remotely interested in the US job? The USSF is not willing to pay the requisite salary to attract a coach of that caliber, and then there’s the whole Klinsmann/control issue. Do we think that Hiddink wouldn’t call Klinsi and ask him why he turned the job down? My problem is not so much Bradley — I am still undecided about him — he has his good points and his bad points. My beef is with Gulati, Flynn and the rest of the USSF mafia. They seem to be so power hungry that they are unwilling to change the system for the betterment and long-term future of the US program.

  7. 4 finals played.

    1 win 3 loses

    Goals Against 13 Goals For 6

    Won against Mexico

    Embarrassed by Mexico in the 2 loses against them.

    Lost 1 final against Brasil.

    Lost 2 finals were the US had a 2 goal advantage.

    I am not saying if he should stay or leave.

  8. There is a post at BigSoccer that touches a lot of failures for the US soccer program since the last World Cup.

    A source said that Bradley lost the locker room and some players are miserable.

    Bradley seems like a nice guy. But it seems like the team needs some fresh air.

    I actually think that Bob Bradley will be the coach for the next world cup.

    If he stays or if he goes good luck to him and the next coach.

  9. Dude, I think he means, anyone playing on WORLD CLASS teams in WORLD CLASS competitions. Mexico has players who played in serious Champions League games. Mexico has players from programs like Manchester United, Barcelona, etc. The US does not.

    Our best players play for Fulham (mid-table EPL and erstwhile Europa league finalist) and LA Galaxy. That doesn’t sound like Manchester United.

  10. Ives, I see your most recent tweet about Torsten Frings and another signing… Danny Koevermans has been linked the last two days and its all but confirmed supposedly. I saw a Torsten Frings rumor but nothing concrete. I guess we will see in an hour… How do you think TFC will do now? Frings and De Guzman will be quite good and Koevermans is a good striker with a few good years left.

  11. What do you think has more weight: a .500 record over a year of mostly meaningless friendlies in the first year of a Cup cycle where you are mostly playing young guys and trying out new things (aside from the Gold Cup) — or — qualifying for a World Cup and winning a group in the World Cup (a group with England in it)?

    If your priority is the former, then your answer will be to fire Bradley and hire Steve Mclaren or a random MLS coach, but if you favor the latter, then you may realize that Bradley, on the whole, has done a pretty good job, and to blindly call for his head without a clearly better and realistic alternative doesn’t make any sense, and just smacks of complaining for the sake of complaining.

  12. I agree. I think there are three reasons US journalists are so protective of USSF:

    (1) There is a lot anti-Bradley hysteria that goes overboard and so journalists feel they are acting like objective professionals by distancing themselves from it;

    (2) the US Soccer community is fairly small; most of the journalists do not have much brand recognition with the public (they weren’t former star players and aren’t well-known TV personalities). Because of this, USSF could fairly easily shut someone out (either entirely or just partially). Losing access or alienating contacts would be disastrous for journalists’ careers.

    (3) To a degree, they may genuinely support Bradley (and USSF) for legitimate reasons.

    But this third reason cannot explain to me why they are almost all so uniformly protective of Bradley and Gulati, while the majority of fans are not. At least some should be calling for their heads.

    Don’t get me wrong: I don’t think there is some kind of big conspiracy among journalists to protect USSF and Bradley. I just think the sense of professional identity among US socccer journalists as well as their need to stay on good terms with the people who give them their stories, whom they spend a fair amount of time talking to, travelling with etc., makes them unconsciously biased in favor of Bradley and his bosses.

  13. When Ives said,

    “Too many people aren’t realistic about the talent in the U.S. pool. Folks, there’s a reason American players aren’t playing in better leagues and for better teams. While the talent is improving, it’s still not where it needs to be in order for people believe with any validity that the U.S. should be a world power. That’s just not reality. Do i think a better coach could help? Sure, if you can go get a proven winner like Hiddink or a great mind like Bielsa, but short of that, making a change for the sake of change, because Bob Bradley isn’t living up to your unrealistic expectations for the national team, just seems a bit misguided.”

    that sums it up. I think he should post this at the beginning of every USMNT comments section and it should pop up every time someone makes a comment. Maybe then we’d get rid of 90% of the asinine comments and could get on to discussion with actual depth and intelligence. Then, at least, anyone posting the same, old tired garbage could be safely ignored.

  14. It amazes me that Ives and others believe there is no middle ground in terms of critiques of USSF, USMNT, and BB than the sky is falling or everything is fine. When questions are asked about these topics, the answer so often comes back along the lines of “I’m so amused by people who want to burn down the USSF because we came in second in the GC.”

    There are overreactions out there to be sure, but responding with under-reactions is similarly unhelpful. Yes, we reached the GC final, and yes we won our group in the WC, but it is not unreasonable to recognize that we left some victories on the field and that we fall victim time and again to preventable problems. Since everything is working towards the WC, we shouldn’t simply be looking at the results in the short term, like a 2nd place in the GC, but should be looking at whether we are making progress, which we did not show evidence of while finishing 2nd in the GC.

    It is not an overreaction to wonder about why the team consistently starts slowly, or the fact that our best players tend to disappear for long stretches, etc.

  15. It would seriously suck for the USMNT to have Dempsey go somewhere and lose playing time or not keep the same form (which brings confidence) that he has at Fulham.

  16. Dear Mr. Galarcep:

    Re: Your article on – 2011 Gold Cup final.

    At 49 years of age, I’ve was a Cosmos (4 seaons) and Metrostars/Red Bull season ticket holder for 12 seasons. I’m not an expert by any means, but feel reasonably qualified to discuss the 2011 Gold Cup final; as well as a being player growing in central New Jersey, a place where soccer has flourished by immigrant and now present populations over six decades. I would call myself one of the many generation of amateur players of the late 70’s in its leagues and soccer camps.

    I agree we must congratulate Mexico on it most important victory vs. the United States in approximately 9 years of domination. I do not put too much emphasis on Mexico’s 2009 Gold Cup victory. As the United States had proven its dominance after winning the last 3 Cups prior, and did not send an “A” squad. Having said this, I think it deserves mention that since 2002 – 2011 the United States has played in every final. Other nations in our confederation cannot boast such an accomplishment. I date this domination to our great defeat of Mexico in the 2002 World Cup, where El-tri thought they had certain victory. Something, I still think stings in their hearts, as this present loss stings in the hearts of American soccer supporters.

    The loss by the United Sates must be borne as a complete team, and not a single player. To do that world be a form of cowardice on any level, be it professional athletics, business or any endeavor completed by a collective group effort. However, certain players and circumstances must be taken into account before we begin to overly praise Mexico. Bob’s Bradley’s defensive alternative were few and young, and the loss of form of Onyewu was something sorely missed. Was the US at full strength? I think not having Stuart Holden, a fit Charlie Davies, a health Jozy Altidore, Benny Failhaber (though Bedoya was a solid replacemet), Timmy Chandler of German (he status not completely confirmed, but an extremely important US player) and even a not having the services of a questionable Ricardo Clark did not help the cause. Was this Bob Bradley ‘s fault, who had made some bold coaching decisions during this cup? As you mentioned, the loss of Cherundlo hurt. But we cannot use that as an excuse after having had a two goal lead. Was the US beat by an organized and well disciplined Mexican attack, or was the individual players you mentioned in your article?

    A greater question to be asked is how can The United States, a nation with such a young history in soccer, and a league only 16 season old, dominate a nation who has only one sport over 100 years of experience, and a population of over roughly 80 million. Yes, the United States is approximately 300 million, but we share our athletes with 4 major other sports. Before, we start singing the praises of this young Mexican side, we have to remember one tournament, does not ensure victory for the future, nor does it mean Mexico will be transformed into a nation of its counterparts in this hemisphere like Brazil and Argentina. And Why not? Their population is a great, if not greater, than these nations but they have not produced the same results. Brazil and Argentina play the “beautiful game”, they are a joy to watch. Fast players dominating inexperienced defenders does not equate to that level. The USA must learn to play the “beautiful game” as well.

    I wish Mexico the best in Copa America, and it future international endeavors. It will bring greater respect to our confederation, however, I think it may be still to early for Mexico and it supporters to be singing “Hosanna”.

    Best Regards,
    New York, NY

  17. “I’ve been a fan of Bill Simmons writing for years, but let’s be honest, he knows jack about soccer.”

    It’s about time somebody said it.


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