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SBI Live Q&A: Nov. 30 Edition

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It's time for us to have the latest installment of the SBI Live Q&A.

With the 2011 MLS season behind us, and the off-season in full swing, it's the perfect time to have another live Q&A.

Want to talk off-season MLS transaction? U.S. national team results and the future? Some European soccer? You name it, we'll talk about it for the next few hours.

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



  1. “Not sure how Bradley should be considered one of our best players. He plays for a mid-table Euro club, similar to Jones, Edu and Williams.”

    Apples to oranges

    The key phrase is “one of our best players”.

    It does not matter if you play for Barcelona or for Chivas USA. What matters, in this comparison,is how you play for the US.

    Bradley is definitely less talented than the three guys you mentioned but Williams aside ( he is too new to judge) when you compare what all these guys produce when they put on a US shirt, Bradley has it over them.

    Jones and Edu, in the main, have been inconsistent and all over the place while MB has been, overall, steady.

  2. Not sure how Bradley should be considered one of our best players. He plays for a mid-table Euro club, similar to Jones, Edu and Williams. Not sure why Ives thinks he should automatically start over them. If he were playing for a top Euro club then it would be different. Bradley was sold for 4 million. Dempsey and Donovan are our top players. If either of them were Bradley’s age they would command a transfer fee of at least 20 million and TOP clubs would be interested.

  3. My point is that why not help people see/learn what bradley is doing. A reply like: “you aren’t watching the games closely enough. watch bradley do X,Y,Z.”

    MB is one of the biggest points of conversation/contention on this and other sites – so why not get some analysis from a soccer analysts to help in the debate.

  4. Your thinking brings me full circle to my assessment of him after 5 minutes and what often happens to a lot of youngsters and that is the cocky arrogance never goes away as they mature. He was argumentative with me in that he tried to convince me that surfing in Pennsylvania was better than in southern California. Sorry pal, but there are many spots where the surf is better but Pennsylvania is definately NOT one of those places.

  5. This is not like a Spanish player playing for Catalonia (which is not a FIFA recognized team). It is more similar to the UK: one citizenship but separate FIFA recognized teams for England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland. There have been many cases of players who could choose to play for one country or another, but once they played an official senior game with one national team, they had to stay there (Ryan Giggs is one example of that, he started with England’s youth side and then switched to Wales). The reason Armas was able to switch is because he played in a non-FIFA event, so his caps with Puerto Rico were counted as friendlies and did not tie him to PR. Saunders also only played in two friendlies, so he should be able to be called up to the USMNT.

  6. I’m a little surprised that everyone seems to see Beckerman and Bradley as competing for the same spot, central defensive midfielder.

    Bradley is much more of a two way player than Kyle and Michael has much more to offer on the attacking side.

    I see no reason why the two could not form a very good partnership.

    Beckerman’s main competition should be Jones, Williams, Torres and Edu in that order. What Beckerman has over all four of them is he the least talented but the most consistent.

    Whether that is enough remains to be seen.

    Michael is not the most talented midfielder but he is terrifically experienced and remains, in my view, perhaps the most consistent US outfield player of this bunch just behind Dolo.

  7. Convey isn’t really a left back.

    He has said many times for anyone who wants to hear that he doesn’t really want to play that position. I saw him play there for DC United and the US several times and I agree with him, especially about him not wanting to play there

    He really was at his best when he was at Reading and was used as a left sided midfielder. His knee injury was pretty bad and I think it took something out of him physically and mentally.

    I’m sure it was a massive disappointment and I got the impression he did not leave Reading under the best of terms. It seems he was not a fan of the British coaches’ philosophy on man management.

    Certainly, he came back angry.

    Maybe if he got a starting left sided midfielder job somewhere he could work out his frustrations.

  8. I vote Chandler at left back and Lichaj at right back.

    Chandler is a better soccer player and athlete than Lichaj and he has already shown himself to be a better left back than Lichaj was. Left back has been a weakness for many, many years and the Gold Cup did not convince me that Lichaj would solve that problem. Chandler is much better.

    Plus there is a whole laundry list of players who might fill the right back void left when Dolo finally does leave the scene.

    That isn’t true for the left side as we’ve all known for years.

  9. Maybe the Puerto Rico appearances didn’t cap tie Saunders, but maybe USSF doesn’t want to steal players from another federation that is part of the United States? For the same reasons they asked Rongen to go coach American Samoa?

    And (not or) maybe Saunders isn’t good enough to sniff the US national team given our depth at goalkeeper?

  10. “I just think he didn’t get along well with Bradley and Nowak for some reason.”

    You need to update your Convey haters list to include Yallop. So that’s three out of how many coaches that he’s had? Obviously Convey is the problem.

  11. 2014 defense: Chandler-Cameron-Onyewu-Lichaj

    I think it’s far more likely Chandler is RB and Lichaj is LB. They’re both RBs, but Chandler is better, and offers more in the attack, so why not keep him at RB and move Lichaj to LB? We have seen that he can handle LB at the last Gold Cup.

  12. The Saunders question has me pretty curious about his situation. It seems to me that this is more like a Spanish player who plays for Catalonia in their friendlies than trying to play for two separate nations. I remember Chris Armas played a few games for Puerto Rico but was still able to play for the USMNT. I could also understand if his appearances did cap tie him. Honestly, I don’t have a strong enough grasp of FIFA rules to say anything for sure

  13. Convey was always very fast and a very good ball striker, but the rest of his game developed never really developed, perhaps because of an overreliance on those 2 aspects. He is also partially blind in his left eye and I always wondered if that had an effect on his development and manager’s frustration with his game. He’s certainly always been prone to the boneheaded turnovers. He is a very frustrating player to watch.

  14. Comment From Chris
    Ives, call me ignorant. But I, likely as well as Jurgen, do not believe Bradley is one of the better players in the pool. Why do you rate him so highly? Sure, he is an excellent destroyer. But the notion that you have to have player with a skillset like him (or Jones, Beckerman, or Edu for that matter) on the field is a hoax that US National team fans seem to have been fed. Watch the games, Bradley brings great energy and breaks up plays, but that is not enough to earn you a starting spot in the center of the park. He must develop skills to move the ball forward and open up space by way of distributing to the ball to become “one of the best players in the pool.” I’ld love to hear your feedback

    Reply from Ives:
    Chris, if you think all Bradley does is destroy then you really don’t watch the games closely enough. That’s really all I can add to your comment.

  15. just read the entire Q&A…what you acccuse above simply did not occur

    anyway, always love the info Ives spews out in these chats, good stuff.

  16. Do you go up to random people on the street and say things like that? Or do you just prefer to hide behind anonymity when you make classless insults?

  17. I’ve grown to become a MB fan, but that said, I find it surprising/interesting how defensive and dismissive Ives becomes when someone asks in an honest way for Ives to expand on his position that MB is one of the best players in the pool and should be starting every game. As someone who always likes to learn more about soccer, I would find it interesting for Ives to defend his position with more than a blow off response.

  18. After reading the questions about him and generally what I know I beginning to wonder if there are any coaches he has had that he didn’t ruin the relationship with. I count Bradley, Nowak, and Yallop.

  19. Report/Terry Boss

    After repeat concussions, and many appointments with concussion specialist, the doctors have told me that I have to retire. Although its sad news, it’s difficult not to also feel very blessed. By Gods grace I have been fortunate to play the sport I love for a living for the last eight years. Ive met so many great people along the way, and i get to end my career with one of the best organizations in the world and the best fans anywhere. A big thank you to everybody who made my time in Seattle so special and to everybody else who helped me along the way!

  20. I had some beers and a quick conversation with Convey in Columbus after the US victory over Mexico in 2005. He was about 23 and a very good player. Strong, good speed, quick getting the ball off his foot and accurate. I liked very much to watch him play so it was cool to get to meet the kid in the bar as we celebrated. Its my job to read people quickly and to take in to considerations like: just won an important match, great athletism, career just taking off, drinking in a bar, and so on. So my read on him that night was arrogant and know it all-ish but likable. I mean, he’s young and confident so I’m good with all that…

    That being said, maybe his severly damaged knee and not being able to make it back to Reading’s squad left him in a really bad attitude that he manifested upon Bradley and Novak?

    Watching him live at HDC this past season and several times on MLS direct kick didn’t leave me with the impression that he is anymore than a quality player without much special about him.

    Anybody have any better insight to Bobby Convey?


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